Proposes Building "million-member Army"
McLean, VA - Fred Thompson today unveiled his "Four Pillars of a Revitalized National Defense" at The Citadel, where he called for increasing defense spending, building a "million-member" Army and Marine Corps, modernizing our Armed Forces, and ensuring better treatment for our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and veterans. Below are a summary of his remarks as prepared for delivery.
Fred Thompson's "Four Pillars of a Revitalized National Defense":
· First, the U.S. must increase spending on defense. The U.S. must be prepared to increase defense spending to at least 4.5 percent of GDP, not including what it takes to fund operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
· Second, the U.S. must increase the size of our military and proposes building a "Million-Member" ground force.
o Increase Army end strength to 775,000 organized into 64 brigade combat teams.
o Increase active duty Marine Corps forces by 50,000 to 225,000.
· Third, the U.S. must modernize its Armed Forces. We must fully field and fund the next generation of military systems to ensure U.S. forces retain dominance in the full battle space: On the battlefield, in the skies above it, and in the waters surrounding it. The investments we make today provide the means to defend our nation tomorrow.
· Fourth, the U.S. must take better care of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines. Whether they are active duty, Guard or Reserve, they are entitled, as well, to expect the best pay and benefits our country can afford. They also deserve the best healthcare, education benefits, and support possible for their families.
o We must also take care of our veterans by fixing the VA system and implementing many of the recommendations of the Dole-Shalala Commission and the Veteran's Disability Benefits Commission report.