2001 was predictable: WTC 1993, Kohbar towers, US African embassy attacks, USS Cole... But back then we chose to collectively ignore and minimize the threat because we want to live in a world of a "Peace Dividend" and where “all is fine.”
If we choose to shrink, as our surprise in 1812, our surprise in 1918, our surprise in 1941, our surprise in 1962, our surprise in 2001... the enemy will come knocking on our door soon enough, but that apparently is absurd in your mind and we have absolutely no historical perspective or rational argument for believing such. lol
Our defense spending is well below even what it was during the Cold War outside of war time. We today spend about 4% GDP on defense and while some will want to dazzle you with big numbers, this is actually a sustainable amount. The entire fraud waste and abuse argument is nothing more than an interlude to justifying cuts.
Defense, federal law enforcement and intelligence are a core function of the federal government. It is those area's that justify their purpose and are spelled out as their domain Constitutionally. It is not the federal governments job to buy votes by bringing home bacon or special programs for minorities, people with HIV/AIDS, run a department of education... When the federal government feels their actual purpose is something they should avoid (i.e. protect our Southern border) but feels compelled to discuss extending unemployment past 99 weeks, things are a bit backwards. Defense in all aspects makes up roughly 22% of the federal budget and that's their “purpose.” Want fraud waste and abuse? What does the other 78% go too? I know, the all important infrastructure Obama talks about.
Hint- Defense spending goes nearly 90% back into the US economy (without looking at the multiply effect), from aircraft, trucks, missiles to rifles or even the bullets they fire... They are mandated to prefer US made products and security as well as other requirements pretty much make US made goods the choice from computers to boots. Reagan pushed defense, Obama will push infrastructure, social programs whatever... maybe 50% of that money you give people will flow out of this country because they buy "made in China" products- since you mention this argument.
Well said, Red6. Well said.
Or put another way: “Nothing is so inviting to aggression as weakness.”
Excellent post, much appreciated.