Throughout the Republican presidential primary race, there has been no shortage of comments by the candidates on their views of the Pentagon budget. The topic has been highlighted in debates, press releases, and interviews, and it is not going away. Unfortunately, the candidates are being unrealistic, vague, or both, about their plans for the appropriate levels of defense spending.
With implementation day for the Iran nuclear agreement around the corner, implicit nuclear threats from Russia, an expensive nuclear weapons modernization program in the U.S., striking revelations of attempted nuclear smuggling, and threats of weapons testing from North Korea, nuclear weapons policy is receiving more attention during debates on U.S. foreign policy.
The Army JLENS blimp fiasco, the $43 million Afghan gas station, the fumbling F-35 program, the NDAA veto, government shutdowns, the Syrian train-and-equip program, etc. These are just some of the issues that have come up in recent times that highlight the desperate need to work towards defense reform in the United States. And the work should start now.
The Marines announced on July 31 that the F-35 has achieved Initial Operational Capability – meaning the plane is ready for combat. But with many flaws unaddressed and excessive spending, does the F-35 deserve the designation of operational capabilities?
Do you know the stances of the candidates when it comes to national security? Here is a breakdown of what you need to know, including candidates’ remarks from the first GOP debate that occurred on August 6th.