Writing at The American Conservative, Andrew Bacevich rips into the National Defense Strategy. For too long America’s “defense” has been an imprecise offense. Bacevich hammers the idea that the U.S. needs to spend even more money on its defense. Chris Preble, Cato Institute’s vice president for Defense and Foreign Policy Studies, has written the book, The Power Problem, on just how America’s massive military makes the country less safe.
Here’s what we can say about the Trump administration’s just-released National Defense Strategy: it’s not a strategy and its subject is not defense.
Bearing the imprimatur of Pentagon chief James Mattis, the NDS—at least the unclassified summary that we citizens are permitted to see—is in essence a brief for increasing the size of the U.S. military budget. Implicit in the document is this proposition: more spending will make the armed forces of the United States “stronger” and the United States “safer.”
Remarkably, the NDS advances this argument while resolutely avoiding any discussion of what Americans have gotten in return for the $11 trillion (give or take) expended pursuant to the past 16-plus years of continuous war—as if past performance should have no bearing on the future allocation of resources.
Try this thought experiment. The hapless Cleveland Browns went winless this year. How might Browns fans react if the team’s management were to propose hiking ticket prices next season? Think they might raise a ruckus?
The Pentagon has not recorded many more wins than the Browns of late.
Who will celebrate the National Defense Strategy? Only weapons manufacturers, defense contractors, lobbyists, and other fat cat beneficiaries of the military-industrial complex.
Read more here.
Christopher Preble on U.S. Engagement in the Middle East
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