A “Prepared Military” Vs The National Debt

By Daniel Nardini

As the United States may or may not completely pull out of Afghanistan, there is little question that most Americans are tired of war, and tired of getting into any new military ventures. Most people think that the U.S. government should focus on domestic matters like poverty, America’s decaying infrastructure, unemployment, and taking care of the millions of homeless and destitute. And of course, there is the national debt. The national debt is so large now that if not taken care of now we may be leaving this to our grandchildren, or worse we will have no country. Countries and civilizations have been known to collapse from national debts so out-of-control that whole societies have suddenly disappeared almost overnight.

And, yes, this means belt-tightening that will impact on so many sectors. This includes the U.S. military. With U.S. President Barack Obama trying to shrink the U.S. military to pre-1941 levels (before the U.S. entry into World War II), it will mean that the United States will have the lowest number of military personnel under arms than at any time since the end of World War II. Already the Republicans and many extreme right wing think tanks are screaming about “America in decline” and “America being unprepared” in case there is a possible war. First, I should remind these doomsayers that America still spends as much on its military as those countries with the 13 largest armed forces in the world. Second, the United States has been building a rapid mobile professional force that still packs a considerable punch.

Finally, the U.S. military may not have everything it wants, but it can still ably defend this country from attack from any other military power. I believe that Obama is trying to save money to bring down the national debt so that in the future the U.S. military can have the military hardware to defend this country and be able to help America’s allies and friends. In the long-term, America will have to leave more military commitment to its allies in dealing with the problems this world faces. More than that, America will need what friends and allies we have to defend and protect our shores from attack just as we have protected them. That may sound like “heresy” to U.S. military planners, but our friends and allies will have to stand up to the plate to help America just as we have helped them in decades past. It may all sound like a rotten deal that America’s military has to shrink, but let us hope that this is for the short-term and that cutting our military expenditure will help America and Americans in the long-run.

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