- - Thursday, April 28, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has made a big deal of “making America great again,” primarily by rebuilding its military strength, which has been decimated under the Obama administration’s liberal agenda to weaken the United States.

The situation in the U.S. military is dire indeed.

Troop strength has been significantly cut, to the point where our armed forces are overstretched and incapable of handling a major conflict. Military equipment, including ships, planes, and our nuclear forces, are aging and urgently need to be modernized. The current military scenario is eerily reminiscent of Jimmy Carter’s time in office, prior to Ronald Reagan’s military buildup, which eventually won the Cold War.

One of Reagan’s first actions upon taking office, which was symbolic and set the stage for his entire presidency, was to restart the B-1 bomber program which Jimmy Carter had terminated. This move got our potential adversary’s attention and showed the world that Reagan was serious about ‘peace through strength.’ Even though the technology was somewhat stale at the time, the B-1, through continuous modernization became an effective platform for aerial bombardment and was used heavily in recent Middle Eastern conflicts.

Restarting the F-22 production line would send a similar message to our enemies, that America is back. The program was terminated by the Obama administration well short of the number of planes the Air Force requested, which was north of 300. Although expensive, the capability the F-22 provides is unmatched. The Obama administration routinely sends the plane abroad in order to make a show of force, recently sending just two F-22s into the Eastern European theater to ‘deter’ Russia. Does anyone really think approximately 170 planes is enough to win a future conflict with China or the Russian Federation?

A future President Trump could firmly make his point by finishing the original buy programmed for the F-22. It would give the United States Air Force the fighter power it needs to continue to control the skies in any possible war that America will be involved in going forward. However, the greatest benefit a lot more F-22s will provide is to deter anyone from messing with us in the first place.


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