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John McCain’s 5-year defense plan calls for $430 billion increase over current plans

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Permanent subcommittee member Sen. John McCain, R-Az., questions witnesses during the committee's hearing into knowing facilitation of online sex trafficking, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Arizona Senator and Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain released a 33-page white paper, “Restoring American Power,” outlining his recommendations for the defense budget.

McCain did not beat around the bush when detailing how much the plan would cost.

This paper offers a general blueprint to begin rebuilding and reshaping our military. It is not cheap—roughly $430 billion of new money above the Obama administration’s defense budget for the next five years, which is already more than $100 billion above the budget caps in law. The cost of further inaction, however, is worse: We will irreparably damage our military’s ability to deter aggression and conflict.

The senator’s priority in the paper is to win conventional warfare in Asia, Europe and the Middle East and be prepared for other threats in the spaces of nuclear warfare, cyber attacks and irregular warfare.

“The joint force must be bigger, but more importantly, it must be more capable,” McCain writes. “Our adversaries are modernizing their militaries to exploit our vulnerabilities.”

For next year’s defense budget, McCain wants a $54 million increase of President Obama’s planned budget.

“Reversing this budget-driven damage to our military must be a top priority for national leaders,” McCain argues. “President-elect Donald Trump has pledged to ‘fully eliminate the defense sequester’ and ‘submit a new budget to rebuild our military.’ This cannot happen soon enough.”

Some of the calls to action by McCain include a 23 percent increase in ships for the Navy, have the current Marine Corps total of 182,000 Marines over 200,000 by 2022 and for nuclear modernization to move ahead as planned.

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