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Where We're Headed

Hitler's actions surprised people, though he had been quite candid about his intentions; perhaps people were surprised because they found what he proposed unthinkable.

President Trump has proposed a $54 billion increase in defense spending, which he said would be “one of the largest increases in national defense spending in American history.”

Past administrations have increased military spending, but typically to fulfill a specific mission. ...

Mr. Trump has not articulated a new mission that would require a military spending increase. This has left analysts wondering what goals he has in mind. Erin M. Simpson, a national security consultant, called Mr. Trump’s plans “a budget in search of a strategy.”

The United States has approximately 1.3 million active-duty troops, with another 865,000 in reserve, one of the largest fighting forces of any country. ...

Mr. Trump wants to increase the number of active-duty military personnel in the Army and Marine Corps by about 70,000 — a rise of about 11 percent....
The United States has around 2,200 fighter jets, including about 1,400 operated by the Air Force. Mr. Trump wants to add at least 100 more fighter aircraft to the Air Force.
The United States Navy has 275 surface ships and submarines. Mr. Trump wants to increase that number to 350, including two new aircraft carriers.

The new carriers would add to America’s already overwhelming advantage: More than half of the world’s 18 active aircraft carriers are in the United States Navy. ...
Mr. Trump has not specified new missions that would require additional carriers, which could take years and billions of dollars to build.
After Mr. Trump tweeted his pledge to expand America’s nuclear capability, he told the talk-show host Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC: “Let it be an arms race. We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.”

Gordon Adams, a former senior White House national security budget officer, said, “Unless you decide you’re going to war — and going to war soon — nobody keeps a large military.”

- K.K. REBECCA LAI, TROY GRIGGS, MAX FISHER and AUDREY CARLSEN, Is America’s Military Big Enough?, NYT, AR. 22, 2017 (excerpts not all in original order)


How Trump's chief strategist sees our future:

We're going to war in the South China Sea in 5 to 10 years, aren't we? There's no doubt about it.
- Steve Bannon, Chief Strategist in the Trump administration, Interview of Lee Edwards (at 5:22), Breitbart News Daily, March 10, 2016


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