Thursday, May 04, 2006

Military spending priorities

There's a new report out on the Pentagon's current budget priorities that focuses on some of the really critical issues for the longer term in developing a more realistic and sensible military policy, and one that will be driven by foreign policy instead of the other way around: A Unified Security Budget for the United States, 2007 by Miriam Pemberton and Lawrence Korb 05/03006, Foreign Policy in Focus Web site.

Pemberton and Korb in this paper are *not* making a "guns vs. butter" argument. They argue instead:

The United States simply cannot afford to waste increasingly scarce taxpayer dollars on unnecessary and underperforming components of American military forces at the expense of the nation's non-military national security tools. ...

The United States needs its military to deter threats and defeat its military adversaries. But the overwhelming majority of the threats facing the country today do not have military solutions. Countering these threats instead requires the United States to marshal the non-military components of the country's national security toolkit. For instance, while the United States must have the military capability to destroy terrorist training camps, military power will not erode the appeal of terrorism, roll back financial support for terrorists, or deny terrorists access to fissile materials for use in nuclear weapons, or win the war of ideas against the radical jihadists. (my emphasis)
The Democrats can and should make a central issue out of wrongheaded military spending.

I've discussed this paper at more length in a post on Old Hickory's Weblog.

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