The recent news has been dominated by military crises around the globe: North Korea, Syria, Russia, ISIS and others.
The present administration has proposed a military budget $54B higher than last year. That raises the question. How big a military does America need?
A short piece in a recent New York Times entitled, “Is the Military Big Enough,” offers some keen insights and a pictorial view of the size of our military. It begins:
President Trump has proposed a $54 billion increase in defense spending, which he said would be “one of the largest increases in national defense spending in American history.” Past administrations have increased military spending, but typically to fulfill a specific mission. Jimmy Carter expanded operations in the Persian Gulf. Ronald Reagan pursued an arms race with the Soviet Union, and George W. Bush waged wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The United States has higher military spending than any other country partly because its foreign policy goals are more ambitious: defending its borders, upholding international order and promoting American interests abroad.
“Our current strategy is based around us being a superpower in Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific,” said Todd Harrison, the director of defense budget analysis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “We’ve sized our military to be able to fight more than one conflict at a time in those regions.”