By Teresa Welsh |
When asked about my intention to cut the U.S. defense budget, I am always quick to clarify that I want to cut military spending, not defense. I want America to be the most strongly defended nation in the world, but I oppose our current foreign policy that stretches our troops thin across the globe so we can play world policeman. This foolish endeavor costs us dearly in lives, and it has become far too expensive to sustain.
In the past 10 years, overall military spending has more than doubled, which should be extremely troubling for those claiming to be fiscally conservative. Frankly, it is impossible that government does not waste any of the hundreds of billions we spend on defense yearly.
We cannot control government's growth without reining in the expansion of the military industrial complex. If we are really serious about balancing the budget and addressing our unsustainable debt, nothing can be off the table.
For instance, President Obama claimed we were drawing down troop levels this year and turning over operations to the Iraqis. Surely, at least a 10 percent cost savings should have come from that move alone. Yet the funding for 2011 was exactly the same as 2010, and the spending outlook for 2012 doesn't seem to indicate any reductions in this area.
We will remain in great jeopardy if we do not immediately change course. Either we make the tough choices now, or we face the even tougher consequences later.
My Plan to Restore America does not cut one penny of defense. But it helps make America more secure, and it brings our troops home to defend this country. Under my plan, America will retain the strongest national defense in the world, but we will end expensive foreign wars, overseas nation building, and foreign welfare.
Under my presidency, the United States will still spend more money on defense than President Bush did in FY 2005. America will still spend four times more on defense than China and more than all the countries of Western Europe combined. We will continue to maintain our status as the most dominant military force on the planet, but we will do so with a much more sensible and sustainable foreign policy.
And we will be more secure.
About Ron Paul U.S. Representative and Republican Candidate for President
Patrick Takahashi Director Emeritus at the University of Hawaii
Travis Sharp Bacevich Fellow at the Center for a New American Security