America Literally Can't Afford More Military Adventurism by Doug Bandow - The National Interest
Republican presidents and Congresses claim to support fiscal responsibility and balanced budgets. Yet the previous GOP president, George W. Bush, was a wild spender. The Republican-controlled Congress that served alongside him was no better.
So too it looks to be the case with President Donald Trump and the current GOP-dominated legislative branch. The former doesn’t want to touch entitlements. The latter doesn’t like the big cuts President Trump proposed in discretionary outlays in areas such as the State Department. And most of the Republicans are clamoring to fill the Pentagon’s coffers: the only question is how much, how quickly.
These nominally “conservative” spendthrifts act like they have no choice but to foist money onto the military. They rightly worry about a mismatch between foreign policy and force structure. But America’s expansive international intervention is discretionary, not mandatory. No security imperative requires defending prosperous and populous allies in Asia, Europe and the Middle East, fighting other nations’ battles in Africa and the Middle East, engaging in seemingly endless nation building in Central Asia and the Middle East, and treating the slightest instability anywhere as a summons to act.
Congress and the president must begin to rethink priorities as America’s fiscal situation becomes more precarious. As usual, the Congressional Budget Office produces the grimmest reading in Washington…