Yesterday I wrote a piece that analyzed the potential cost of Donald Trump’s Pentagon spending blueprint. The costs of Hillary Clinton’s approach are less clear, but under her current proposals, Pentagon spending would definitely increase.
As with my discussion of the Trump plan, it must be noted that the United States is already spending more than is needed to provide a robust defense of the United States and its allies. As my colleague Stephen Miles of Win Without War and I have noted in a piece written in advance of the “Commander-in-Chief “forum earlier this month, the Obama administration has spent more on defense than was spent during the George W. Bush years, and current levels exceed the peak level reached during the Reagan buildup.
The U.S. already has 4,000 troops in Iraq, so presumably what Clinton meant is that she would not sent large numbers of ground troops akin to the 160,000 that were there at the height of the Bush administration’s intervention. If she holds to this promise, it could obviate the need for major defense increases and open the door to ending the use of the war budget as a slush fund. The Stimson Center has done an analysis of how the war fund could be phased out; candidate Clinton would be well-advised to take a close look at that proposal.
Read the full article here.