The constituencies that strongly support reductions in military spending are progressives, libertarians and deficit hawks, which also happen to be three constituencies with the least influence in their respective parties when it comes to national security policies. Obama’s military budgets are huge because there are no significant political obstacles to making them that way and there are no political incentives to make them smaller. A first, small step in changing the way we talk about military spending involves referring to military spending as just that. If military spending is ever going to be reduced, most Americans will need to acknowledge that the vast majority of military spending has a tenuous or non-existent relationship to the defense of the United States. At the very least, critics of that spending should avoid casually referring to it as defense spending, when that is not the purpose of most of these expenditures.
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