Sarah Palin: Don't Cut Defense Spending
1:08 PM, Jul 1, 2010 • By JOHN NOONAN
With the deficit soaring, it might not be the easiest time to make the case for increased defense spending. But the long-term prognosis for the U.S. military isn't good -- we are embroiled in two tough wars, face threats along a spectrum of conflict that is at its widest in history (from cyber to space to terrorism to peer threats), and wholly dependent on a military that's using equipment left over from the Reagan years. So credit to one of the champions of the Tea Party movement, Sarah Palin, for saying what must be said:
I've spoken with a few military leaders who, rather dourly, think America is headed down the same road as the British circa the Suez Crisis, where overextension of a strained British armed forces, massive foreign debt, and the draining weight of a new welfare state swiftly unraveled the mightiest empire in history. In the 50s, the British had America on hand to fill the power vacuum. Today there are no benevolent powers to fill the void should America abdicate its unique role in world affairs, only eager and unstable actors like Russia and China, whose belief in their own territorial destiny borders on religious.
Some argue that our military power is directly reliant on our economic power, but the relationship is more symbiotic. Our economy thrives because of the security provided by the U.S. military. That's never been more true than today, a time when our Armed Forces serve as vanguards of realms like space and cyberspace, without which the modern, globalized economy could not exist. The period of Pax Romana was ushered in on the might of Roman legions who controlled the empire's highways, while the peace and prosperity of the Pax Brittanica was derived from the free and safe sea lanes guarded by the Royal Navy. America's security responsibilities are multi-dimensional and far more complex than those of imperial Rome or Britain. Providing the international community with stability and security is a responsibility that we abandon at our own peril. Ed Morrissey at Hot Air encapsulates this succinctly:
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