Now that President Donald Trump is in office, the temptation to pass legislation to either raise or remove the spending caps established by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA) is enormous, and Senator John McCain recently released a proposal that would do just that.
McCain’s proposal comes in response to claims that the American military has been neutered by the Obama administration’s inattention to proper funding. These claims have been a central part of the narrative employed not only by Trump during his campaign but also by rank-and-file legislators eager to demonstrate their commitment to a renewal of American strength and vitality.
The premise that underlies this crusade is deeply flawed. American military spending is already sizeable, and though the military’s footprint has declined, it remains strong. Repealing the BCA would unnecessarily boost military spending while leaving less funding available for other increasingly costly areas of the budget like healthcare, education, and infrastructure spending.
In 2011, a deeply divided Congress, in an effort to produce a legislative mechanism so grim that both parties would have no choice but to engage in bipartisan deficit reduction, passed the BCA. The bill was designed to trim a projected $984 billion from the budget over the next decade.
Continue reading at RealClearDefense.
Americans Must Claim Memorial Day as a Day to Promote Peace
Memorial Day often seems to bring about uneasy feelings among many Americans. People too often allow their anti-war views to manifest into disdain for U.S. troops. This shouldn’t be the case.
Memorial Day is an opportunity for Americans to honor the memory of American soldiers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice — a reminder of the true costs of war.
Memorial Day began as a Union holiday to honor the fallen soldiers of the Civil War and was eventually merged with Confederate remembrances to their Civil War dead. The joining of the north and south’s Memorial Day celebrations into a national remembrance for the fallen of all American wars was a critical step toward post-Civil War reconciliation between the north and south.
Today, Memorial Day can serve the same purpose. Americans must join together to honor the brave people who gave their lives in service of their country. But we must also take the next step by making the moral case of honoring the fallen through peace, rather than more war.
There have been 6,882 Americans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past 15 years. This is more than a statistic. Every soldier who has died was a human being with parents, siblings, a spouse and possibly children. Every life lost through violent conflict prematurely cuts short the hopes and dreams these men and women, and their families, had for the future.
Memorial Day is an opportunity to honor the fallen, and to highlight the need to ensure that more Americans are not sent to perish in conflicts that do not advance our national interests.
Read the full article at the PanAm Post.
The Republican establishment has been taking a shellacking in the past few months, as Donald Trump continues his march to the GOP nomination.
Trump’s supporters are angry about a great many things, and his opponents don’t have a clue how to calm down them down. Their most recent ideas have included wheeling out failed former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and issuing an open letter from the Republican national security community. Both have had little effect.
Trump’s key narrative is that he will stop the United States from being taken advantage of on the world stage. Usually this takes the form of ridiculous attacks on free trade, but Trump does have a point that the United States is being fleeced when it comes to foreign policy.
Read the rest on Rare, here.
The Libertarian Party had their first-ever nationally televised presidential debate on Friday. It was a unique opportunity the third-party to raise it’s profile and show how libertarian policies can solve America’s problems. But when it came to foreign policy, debate only showed why no one takes libertarian ideas seriously — a regrettable circumstance for us liberty folk.
One candidate in particular, Austin Petersen, wasted his airtime with a ridiculous proposal to combat ISIS.
Petersen proposed granting letters of marque and reprisal to private military forces, so they can seek and kill ISIS’s leadership. Letters of marque, which permit private persons to legally engage in hostilities against a foreign power, were commonly used for privateering (legalized piracy) until the 19th Century.
Read the rest on The Daily Caller
Tragedies lead to emotions running high. The terrorists that murdered 130 people in Paris are not to be taken lightly. Those 130 lives deserve much more than passive apathy in response to this brutality. But they also deserve more than hasty recklessness.
A foreign policy that rationally assesses its prior successes and failures, looks at the long-term consequences of its actions, and prioritizes the safety of people against terrorism is the answer to the recent barbaric Paris attacks. The temptation to immediately retaliate by bombing ISIS targets in Syria should not be pursued without careful consideration of the costs. Reason must temper our anger.
Public policy, guided by politicians focused on short-term public opinion, is often shortsighted and brash, especially in the wake of tragedies. Responding to pressure that we “must do something,” and motivated by anger and hate, people pursue thoughtless vengeance, rather than deciding on a course of action through rational deliberation.
Yes, justice should be swift, but we must figure out what justice is before acting.
Read the rest on AntiWar.com here.