Sen. Ted Cruz on Tuesday proposed the largest military build up of any of the Republicans vying to be president. The plan features growth in numbers of troops, airplanes and ships.
The Texas Republican talked about how he would build a military with “more tooth, less tail” if elected as the next commander in chief. The plan also far exceeds the administration’s request for fiscal 2017.
Cruz would build up the active duty Army to 525,000 soldiers. The Army’s troop level in 2016 was about 475,000 soldiers, but is planning to draw down in fiscal 2017 to 460,000 and an eventual goal of 450,000 soldiers by the end of fiscal 2018.
Cruz said the Army must be built up to give the U.S. military a capability that can not be duplicated by special operators.
“The president must stop his recent rush to mass produce special operations forces. The president is doing this in order to send smaller teams of warfighters to conduct critical operations so he can claim there are no conventional boots on the ground,” Cruz wrote in his strategy. “Our special forces are the finest fighting units in the world, but they cannot be mass produced and they are not an answer to our lack of conventional capacity.”
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