Many Americans believed for years that military spending had to be maintained at a high level to keep us secure. But with a $14.5 trillion national debt assaulting our financial security, that philosophy is being re-examined.
Last week the Senate Appropriations Committee - in a bipartisan 30-0 vote - approved a Pentagon budget bill that holds military spending next year to the same level as this. The measure slashes $26 billion from what President Barack Obama requested.
Suggestions military spending should be brought under control have sparked horrified reactions from some quarters. Defense contractors say they will have to lay off workers. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warns cutting too deep will mean U.S. forces cannot undertake tasks they have been expected to perform in the past.
That may not be a bad thing. For decades, the U.S. has kept hundreds of thousands of American service men and women at bases overseas, protecting some countries that should have been defending themselves.
It is time to reevaluate our role. We can’t afford to be the world’s policeman any longer.