Warren Falls Back on Liberal Oldy but Goody
It should not be a surprise to anyone that Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass takes a dim view of military spending. The Military Times put a series of questions to the presidential candidate and her answers were very illuminating. While, like President Donald Trump, Warren desires to decrease American involvement in armed conflicts around the world, such as Afghanistan, she by and large does not want to use the savings to build up readiness and to buy the next generation of weapons to prepare for possible conflicts with Russia and China.
“We need a strong military to protect our interests, with funding set at sustainable levels. But if more money for the Pentagon could solve our security challenges, we would have solved them by now. The Pentagon budget will cost more this year than everything else in the discretionary budget put together. That’s wrong, and it’s unsustainable.”
Warren goes on to suggest that she would rely more on diplomacy rather than hard military power. She would “prioritize” which parts of the military budget she would spend on and would cut the rest. Naturally, she blames defense contractors and “special interests” for what she sees as a bloated Pentagon budget, in keeping with Warren’s anti-corporate ideology,
Why Warren is desirous of slashing the military, besides that would be doing what liberals always do, is explained by The National Interest. “In particular, her plan to harvest about $800 billion from defense budgets has drawn little comment. In the context of a health-care expansion reckoned in the tens of trillions, the Pentagon cuts are a drop in the ocean. Yet in the context of military budgets, they matter a lot.”
The National Interest analysis suggests that Warren is looking at the Overseas Contingency Fund account which, in theory, is used to pay for America’s wars. The cost of maintaining military conflicts have declined from about $200 billion a year to $75 billion a year. Yet the OCF account is being funded at $150 billion a year, with the balance being used to acquire weapons systems such as the F-35. In this way, the government is able to get around budget caps that hold down military and domestic spending.
Warren regards such spending as “waste.” That means under a Warren presidency, the military will have to make do with fewer weapons, less readiness, and less research and development for things like cybersecurity and space systems that will be important for the wars of the future.
Warren is less concerned with maintaining a strong and effective military than she is freeing up money for her domestic policies, such as Medicare for All and the Green New Deal.
“The final fib in the Warren view of defense spending is that such cuts will free up significant resources for domestic priorities and remove a ‘drag’ on the overall economy. She builds a straw man and then sets him on fire by protesting that defense spending has begun to outpace domestic discretionary spending, conveniently failing to mention that mandatory spending — principally Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and interest on the national debt — accounts for two-thirds of annual spending, a proportion increasing annually. “
Some analysts have noted that Warren will repeat a pattern that has featured every Democratic administration since that of Jimmy Carter. The Democratic president slashes the military, compromising the effectiveness of the armed forces. A foreign disaster ensues, ranging from the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 to 9/11 in 2001 to the rise of ISIS and China’s drive to be a super power, It is left for the subsequent Republican administration to clean up the mess, increase military spending and engage in conflicts that have flared up around the globe in response to perceived American weakness.”
President Trump has been busily trying to beef up military readiness, particularly by creating a new service branch that he calls the Space Force. Trump and his advisors perceive that an enemy attack on America’s space assets, satellites that provide communications and navigation capabilities, would be a crippling, war losing blow. The Space Force would help to deter and defend against such an event. It is virtually certain that Warren plans to end such efforts, leaving the United States vulnerable to a Pearl Harbor style attack from which it may not recover.