Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Thompson wants more "boots on the ground"

Fred Thompson was at the Citadel Tuesday in Charleston. I'm still for Giuliani but I heartedly endorse this proposal for expansion of our ground forces. From ABC News:

In a speech at the Citadel military college in the early primary voting state of South Carolina, Thompson planned to call for a significant boost in the size of the Army to 775,000 troops and the Marine Corps to 225,000 members. He did not describe how he would pay for the increases in the prepared remarks.

Here's how I would pay for it: by dividing up the defense budget in the Army's favor, with 50% for troops and a 25% split each for the Air Force and Navy. This, I think would be safe enough, as the hi-tech wonder weapons the last 2 services prefer to build are increasingly irrelevant in 21st Century insurgency warfare, and might make then more susceptible to buying weapons geared toward fighting terrorists.

Back in June 2006, I proposed a million man active army, writing in Opinion Editorials "Manpower (should be) increased to produce a “Million Man” Active Army, lessening dependence on the Reserves and National Guard."

Update-Specifically, here are the four military reform proposals Thompson wants to achieve if elected president, tittled "Four Pillars of a Revitalized National Defense", and via the Illinois Review:

  • First, the U.S. must increase spending on defense. The U.S. must be prepared to increase defense spending to at least 4.5 percent of GDP, not including what it takes to fund operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Second, the U.S. must increase the size of our military and proposes building a "Million-Member" ground force.*Increase Army end strength to 775,000 organized into 64 brigade combat teams.*Increase active duty Marine Corps forces by 50,000 to 225,000.
  • Third, the U.S. must modernize its Armed Forces. We must fully field and fund the next generation of military systems to ensure U.S. forces retain dominance in the full battle space: On the battlefield, in the skies above it, and in the waters surrounding it. The investments we make today provide the means to defend our nation tomorrow.
  • Fourth, the U.S. must take better care of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines. Whether they are active duty, Guard or Reserve, they are entitled, as well, to expect the best pay and benefits our country can afford. They also deserve the best healthcare, education benefits, and support possible for their families.