The Skeptics

Obama and Congress Are about to Go to War over War Funding

One of the most basic responsibilities of the U.S. government—if not the most basic—is providing for the national defense. What this general phrase means is subject to interpretation depending on whether you happen to be a defense hawk or a fiscal hawk in the Tea Party mold, but the concept is nonetheless self-explanatory: to be safe, prosperous and a stalwart ally to friends around the world, politicians in Washington need to ensure that the U.S. armed forces have the tools, money, and flexibility to do their job.

We Desperately Need to Close More Military Bases

Congress is poised to yet again deny the Pentagon’s request to reduce its excess overhead. Last month, Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work wrote the leaders of the relevant congressional committees making the case for a round of military base closures (also known as BRAC—Base Realignment and Closure). It was the fifth time that the Pentagon has asked Congress to approve another BRAC, the last of which occurred in 2005. Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, was quick with an answer: no.

America Needs Allies, Not Dependents

America’s international position is distinguished by its alliance networks. Presidential candidates decry today’s dangerous world, yet the United States is allied with every major industrialized power, including China and Russia. It is a position Washington’s few potential adversaries must envy.

Unfortunately, littering the globe with security commitments is costly. Equally important, America’s defense and support transforms friends and allies into dependents. The principle is the same as domestic welfare. Why do it yourself if someone else will?