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Why Rubio's Alarms on the U.S. Military Don’t Add Up

Republican candidate stakes out foreign policy ground by promising to confront China with muscular armed forces
Caption:AT SEA - AUGUST 8: In this photo provided by the U.S. Navy, an F/A-18C Hornet assigned to the Valions of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 15 is guided on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) on August 8, 2014 in the Arabian Gulf. The George H.W. Bush is supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Lorelei Vander Griend/U.S. Navy via Getty Images)

Caption:AT SEA - AUGUST 8: In this photo provided by the U.S. Navy, an F/A-18C Hornet assigned to the Valions of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 15 is guided on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) on August 8, 2014 in the Arabian Gulf. The George H.W. Bush is supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Lorelei Vander Griend/U.S. Navy via Getty Images)

Photographer: Lorelei Vander Griend/U.S. Navy via Getty Images)

Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio sounded the alarm about the state of U.S. armed forces in a foreign-policy speech today. But his claims and campaign promises don't account for the impact of improvements in U.S. military technology or in some cases their production schedule.

 Rubio, a Florida senator, said the U.S. Navy is "now smaller than at any time since before World War I" and the Air Force "has the smallest and oldest combat force in its history."