I commend President Donald Trump for initiating a program to rebuild our military with a defense budget increase of $54 billion, but it should be decreased by $1.3 billion, and the $1.3 billion added to the Coast Guard budget within the Department of Homeland Security so it is not cut by $1.3 billion.
Due to cuts imposed by the 2014 sequestration act, our Army has significantly decreased from a high of 570,000 soldiers after 9/11, heading down to 450,000. The Marines are going from 184,000 to 175,000, and the National Guard and Reserves will lose tens of thousands. The Air Force will have 700 fewer aircraft, and the Navy remains at 286 ships. My Navy has 11 carrier battle groups, but at any one time a number of them are not available due to overhaul and maintenance requirements, in-port rest and relaxation, and ships in transit. It should have 12 carrier battle groups to fulfill its global missions in a dangerous world. George Will stated in an Oct. 1, 2015, article that “the sun never sets” on our Navy.
Two significant potential adversaries are China and Russia. China has a huge army, is adding to its air force, and is building up its navy, including aircraft carriers and submarines. China lays claim to the South China Sea and has established island bases in the region, which our Navy will have to contest. Russia is rebuilding its navy and maintains a large army and air force, and it continues to threaten Europe.
Donald Moskowitz, Londonderry, New Hampshire