Reducing Defense … Cuts

The strength of the military-industrial complex (MIC) was made readily apparent by President Obama’s latest proposal to House Speaker Boehner to avoid the fiscal cliff. Other than raising taxes on rich Americans, Republicans have been most horrified by the fiscal cliff’s cuts in defense spending. With Obama’s most recent proposal, Republicans can relax because even … Continue reading “Reducing Defense … Cuts”

The True Costs of Empire

Mars? Venus? Earth-like bodies elsewhere in the galaxy? Who knows? But here, at least, no great power, no superpower, no hyperpower, not the Romans, nor imperial China, nor the British, nor the Soviet Union has ever garrisoned the globe quite the way we have: Asia to Latin America, Europe to the Greater Middle East, and … Continue reading “The True Costs of Empire”

Against Stereotype, Budget Hawks and War Hawks Edition

French President Francois Hollande, by reputation, is an unlikely budget hawk; as a candidate for office, he ran against austerity measures. But the realities of governing sometimes complicate politicians’ promises. After taking office, the euro crisis is now forcing Hollande to pledge to cut the French budget deficit down to 3% of GDP by the … Continue reading “Against Stereotype, Budget Hawks and War Hawks Edition”

The Pentagon’s Bases of Confusion

One of the jokes of our era is the Republican Party’s claim that it favors “small government.” An accurate description might go more like this: the present-day Republican Party (libertarians excepted) has never seen an oppressive power of the national security state it didn’t want to bolster or grow. And it loves big government — … Continue reading “The Pentagon’s Bases of Confusion”

Military ‘Cuts’: Don’t Believe the Hype

Listen to Rep. Paul deliver this address. Grover Norquist, the influential conservative activist, recently made some very frank and sobering remarks about the U.S. military budget. Unlike many conservatives, Mr. Norquist understands that American national security interests are not served by the interventionist foreign policy mindset that has dominated both political parties in recent decades. … Continue reading “Military ‘Cuts’: Don’t Believe the Hype”

Look Who’s Singing the Sequestration Blues

For a moment just imagine that American public schools received 80% of their operating budgets from the federal government, and in an attempt to control that budget and lower the national debt, Congress voted to cut the next year’s appropriations by at least 7%. As a result, the schools cried foul and said a million … Continue reading “Look Who’s Singing the Sequestration Blues”

The US Should Leave NATO, Not Shore It Up

With the media focused at the NATO summit in Chicago on the organization’s future role in Afghanistan, President Obama’s plan to strengthen the alliance passed largely under the radar. Even as the United States supposedly “pivots” to Asia to contain a rising China by augmenting alliances with China’s neighbors, the United States is once again … Continue reading “The US Should Leave NATO, Not Shore It Up”

How Much Does Washington Spend on ‘Defense’?

As the country’s big wars on the Eurasian continent wind down, American war-making and war preparations fly ever more regularly under the radar. There has, for instance, been much discussion about the Obama administration’s policy “pivot” to Asia — the only warlike act in the region so far has, however, been a little noted drone … Continue reading “How Much Does Washington Spend on ‘Defense’?”

The Pentagon’s Obesity Problem

America has a problem with portion control. U.S. restaurants serve enormous entrees, convenience stores sell “Big Gulp” cups of soda, and Americans routinely compete to see who can eat the most hot dogs or pizzas or chicken wings in 10 minutes. It’s not just the quantity. It’s also the quality. Americans get as much as … Continue reading “The Pentagon’s Obesity Problem”

We Were Right About the Costs of War

Listen to Rep. Paul deliver this address. This month, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki announced the addition of some 1,900 mental health nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers to its existing workforce of 20,590 mental health staff in attempt to get a handle on the epidemic of suicides among combat veterans. Unfortunately, when presidents … Continue reading “We Were Right About the Costs of War”