The New Mandate on Defense
No, it’s not to spend more—it’s to spend less, and liberals should not flinch from that position.
The United States was indispensable in 1945 and for many years thereafter, given the weakness of other nations, including our closest allies, and the strength of the Soviet Union. But things have changed. We can no longer afford to be the indispensable nation extending a military umbrella over many allies on whom it is not raining—and who can well afford their own protective gear if it does. Fortunately, there is no longer any need for us to play that role, and that in turn is fortunate because, for a number of reasons, we cannot succeed at the job when we try.
This all means that a major political task going forward for liberals is pushing for further reductions in military spending, an objective that we now know is not only socially and economically necessary but also politically achievable.
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