Senator McCain is pushing Gen. Dempsey to get the United States into the fight in Syria. NSA chief Keith Alexander announces the creation of 40 new cyberwarrior teams, 13 of which are dedicated to the development of offensive cyberweapons. The urge to advance America’s national security agenda around the globe, using the military instrument, continues unabated despite a defense drawdown, the potential for the defense budget to drop another $52 billion below what the administration asked for next year, and Secretary Hagel’s warnings that the going is going to get tougher.
It makes me wonder if it is not time to rethink our assumptions in a fundamental way. In the 1990s, when I worked in the White House doing defense and foreign policy budgets, the Clinton staff regularly asked with wonder, “Why do we spend so much on the military?” Pretty senior people, not just the young whippersnappers like George Stephanopoulos or Rahm Emmanuel.
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