Few Republicans or Democrats are ever on the right track when it comes to foreign policy and the actual defense of America as intended by the original Articles of Confederation and the Constitution. Nope, politicians think in terms of offense (unwelcome, expensive, often unconstitutional, and rarely productive). The military is treated as a jobs program. Have you ever thought of any of this in terms of the extent of the damage done to our country’s image around the world and the actual safety of Americans?
Few politicians have. Most of what you read on foreign policy and defense has an ugly neocon slant promoted by major think tanks. One person who has literally written the book on what needs to be done to make America safe is Cato Institute’s Chris Preble. I know Chris well and travel around the country to meet with him. You want to know what Chris has to say on all current foreign policy issues. Trust me, I make an effort to get together with few people in any given year. If I am making time to meet with Chris regularly, you can be certain there is a darn good reason.
OK then, here Chris is dealing with, among other issues, excess base capacity and the need for a smaller civilian work force associated with the military. Chris highlights that our military is asked to do a whole lot more than defend America, thanks in measure to the Washington busybodies.
Early last month, I, along with scholars and analysts from nine other think tanks, including Flournoy’s own Center for a New American Security, signed a letter calling for reductions in excess base capacity, a smaller civilian work force, and changes in how pay and benefits are calculated for active-duty military. Some of those reforms would generate significant savings quickly, whereas Flournoy’s proposals might not.
Of course, the reason why Americans spend so much more on the military than any other country in the world is because policymakers in Washington ask U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marine to do a lot more than simply defend the United States. For example, a significant portion of U.S. so-called defense spending actually goes to defend other countries that could defend themselves. If the busy-bodies in Washington asked our military to do less (a popular proposition), Americans could spend less while still keeping faith with those who wear the uniform of the United States of America.
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