Writing at The American Conservative, Daniele DePetris, a fellow at Defense Priorities, details the dangerous global bind America today finds itself in.
With so much money being spent, the American people have the right to ask whether toppling governments and rebuilding nations from scratch is the most efficient way to keep America safe. The results so far, with the Taliban slowly capturing more districts from the Afghan government and the Iraqis still dependent on U.S. airpower to fight the Islamic State—not to mention the tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers either dead or injured over a decade and a half—suggest it is not.
The past 15 years are a reminder that even the best, brightest, and most dedicated counterterrorism and intelligence professionals in the world continue to learn on the job. The key takeaway from the Global Terrorism Report is that an increase in U.S. defense spending has not ended, and will not end, terrorism. If the next administration wishes to improve upon the record of its predecessors, it must begin to look the world as a whole in a clearer light, with a constant reminder of what the problem is and what it is not.