Wednesday January 24, 2018
Here’s what we can say about the Trump administration’s just-released National Defense Strategy: it’s not a strategy and its subject is not defense.
Bearing the imprimatur of Pentagon chief James Mattis, the NDS—at least the unclassified summary that we citizens are permitted to see—is in essence a brief for increasing the size of the U.S. military budget. Implicit in the document is this proposition: more spending will make the armed forces of the United States “stronger” and the United States “safer.” Simply put, the NDS is all about funneling more bucks to the Pentagon.
Remarkably, the NDS advances this argument while resolutely avoiding any discussion of what Americans have gotten in return for the $11 trillion (give or take) expended pursuant to the past 16-plus years of continuous war—as if past performance should have no bearing on the future allocation of resources.
Try this thought experiment. The hapless Cleveland Browns went winless this year. How might Browns fans react if the team’s management were to propose hiking ticket prices next season? Think they might raise a ruckus?