Senate Republican calling for ‘generational’ $55B defense investment

A top Senate Republican is calling for a “generational” $55 billion investment in defense spending to help the U.S. prevent a world war.

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) wrote an op-ed in The New York Times calling for a “significant” investment in U.S. defense spending, arguing that a short-term increase is needed to prevent a global war.

Wicker, ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he would publish a plan Wednesday that outlined proposals to address shortfalls in the military.

“We have been living off the Reagan military buildup for too long; it is time for updates and upgrades,” he wrote.

“My plan outlines why and how the United States should aim to spend an additional $55 billion on the military in the 2025 fiscal year and grow military spending from a projected 2.9 percent of our national gross domestic product this year to 5 percent over the next five to seven years,” he added.

His proposals include growing the number of ships in the U.S. Navy to 357 by the end of 2035 and producing an additional 340 fighter jets for the Air Force fleet in five years. He also said the plan would “replenish the Air Force tanker and training fleets” and “accelerate the modernization of the Army and Marine Corps.”

Wicker cited Russia’s war with Ukraine and China’s military investments as reasons to increase defense spending in the U.S.

“Worse yet, these governments are materially helping one another, cooperating in new ways to prevent an American-led 21st century. Iran has provided Russia with battlefield drones, and China is sending technical and logistical help to aid Mr. Putin’s war,” he said.

“They are also helping one another prepare for future fights by increasing weapons transfers and to evade sanctions. Their unprecedented coordination makes new global conflict increasingly possible,” he continued.

Wicker told The Associated Press that it would be a “hill to climb” to get his proposal approved. A large investment in the military would likely be met with some opposition from those lawmakers who want to reduce defense spending overall.

The Associated Press contributed.

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