Common sense solutions like these, while painfully obvious, are entirely inadmissible within mainstream political dialogue. Why is that? Why can't common sense be applied to our defense expenditures, which now are almost equal to the rest of the world combined?
We are in a dangerous zero-sum world in which a military reduction in the United States means a military increase somewhere else. To break out of this situation and create a virtuous circle of military reductions, we must pursue a three-prong strategy.
The GOP has defined itself indelibly as the party of moneyed greed and unfettered imperialism. The Republicans are a sick joke, and their narrow ideological stupidity has left rational voters no choice in the coming presidential election but Barack Obama.
Sure, a Chinese leader might like American basketball or admire American business. But the essential fact is that he leads a political, economic, and military apparatus dedicated to preserving itself and the country's territorial integrity.
Our troops need to know that in this tight fiscal climate they still have our complete support. Former top commanders raking in seven figure salaries from taxpayers while active duty soldiers bear the brunt of the cuts sends the opposite message.
As the US cuts back its armed forces, other nations will upgrade theirs, which will require the US to constantly reevaluate its global military posture. The Pentagon will have to reorient itself and rely increasingly on regional allies to maintain stability acceptable to the US.
In 2010, the United States spent 20 percent of its budget on Defense and Security, as opposed to less than 1 percent on non-security related international assistance. This 1 percent is less than half of the foreign aid budget of the 1980s, and even less of earlier decades. What's the deal?
Secretary Panetta is set to come out with his new "strategy" to offer his assessment on how to cut the military budget. The question: will it be the same old or will he have the courage to mandate what truly needs to be done to build a stellar military for America's national security needs?
If the Tea Party actually gave a damn about what the Founding Fathers said, they'd be screaming at the top of their lungs about getting rid of the most pernicious threat to our liberty and solvency that ever existed: our military.
Defense factory workers, Pentagon civilians and restaurant owners near military bases, among others, have to start thinking of the possibility of life in the civilian economy. Fortunately, the U.S. has some experience in cushioning the impact of shifts in defense spending.
The War in Iraq has ended. Osama bin Laden is dead. NATO is looking at a 2014 date for significantly reducing operations in Afghanistan. Yet some conservatives are looking to continue the era of massive military spending increases.
Media lapdogs are marked by stenographic tendencies, sympathetic frames and a reliance on industry jargon. Politico's latest report about Congressional Republicans working to undo looming defense cuts meets all three criteria.
On Iraq, Afghanistan, and military spending, Romney, Gingrich and most of the other candidates have mostly sung from the old-time Republican hymnal. Meanwhile, the great sea of Republicans has been doing Vatican II.
If 2008 turnout and a recent Des Moines Register poll give an accurate picture of what would happen if the Iowa Republican presidential caucus were held today, new peace voters by January 3 could carry the Iowa caucus for Ron Paul.