October 31, 2013
BETTER TO KILL IT QUICKLY:
The Slow Death Of Defense (Robert D. Kaplan, 10/31/13, Forbes)
Posted by Orrin Judd at October 31, 2013 7:25 PM[T]he world may finally be turning into a place where the public sees less and less reason for an overwhelmingly large defense budget.For instance, if the United States can achieve a rapprochement of sorts with Iran, that will reduce further the public's appetite for military involvement anywhere in the Middle East. And if China enters a period of tumultuous economic and social change, it may begin to look like less of a threat, and that will also lessen the public's willingness to sustain massive defense outlays. Yes, there are unconventional threats like al Qaeda cells in Pakistan, Yemen and other places. But aren't the drones used to hunt such terrorists a lot cheaper than manned aircraft? And, again, how does this justify all those aircraft carriers and B-2 bombers? Such is how the public may think.The public, in short, wants protection on the cheap. It may not necessarily be willing to police the world with a big navy and a big air force at least to the degree that it has in the past -- that is, unless a clear and demonstrable conventional threat can be identified.