A Simple Solution for Military Spending
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A Simple Solution For Our Military Spending

Endless debates have been raging for years about how much we should be spending on our military, how to spread such money, and who should handle such decisions.

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A Simple Solution For Our Military Spending

The question of how much we should be spending on our military is basically a test to find out one's political tendencies- are you a conservative who takes rabid pride in your country and your guns or are you a liberal who sees it as a force for colonialism and imperialism?

Well, the answer is often more nuanced, but those remain the two sides of the spectrum, and lawmakers' positions on such an issue have been decisive indicators on what will happen on the world stage. To understand why this issue is of such importance, and how we got to such a divisive state, let's take a look at our history.

Our military up until the 1880s-1890s was a fairly unpredictable affair. While we had the strength of generals like Washington and the fierce desire to protect our fledgling nation, we didn't really come on to the world stage until the modernization of our Navy, around the release of Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan's influential military theory book "The Influence of Seapower Upon History".

After this, our military strength was on an upward trajectory, and with our victories in WWI and WWII, we had the most powerful military force in the world. This was a fact we were, as a whole, enormously proud of, and the military was seen as a cherished American institution, as evidenced by Elvis' proud entry into its ranks.

However, as the Cold War grew hotter and our fear of Communism grew stronger, we began to have doubts about the true strength of our armed forces. Events like the Cuban Missile Crisis made us realize how truly exposed we were, and by the height of the Vietnam War, our military had lost a significant amount of its prestige, even becoming an enemy to many.

The divide started to creep in around this point, and as issues like gun control came to the forefront of the national conversation, it became a critical question, each opposing answer at the center of each party's ideology.

Now, I for one think it is, of course, sensible to give our military a significant portion of our budget. War is a fairly constant phenomenon, and the armed forces have a multitude of non-combat responsibilities (intelligence, humanitarian aid, and so on) that ensure both the safety of our nation and the well-being of our world.

However, the world is changing, and we cannot stick with what has always been the plan in the light of such change. While we have always had to deal with new threats, the rapid advancement of technology signals a need for concentration on the digital as opposed to the psychical, and the widely-accepted fact that our world is becoming safer and more peaceful indicates a need for restructuring.

My plan would involve not an increase, nor a decrease, but a redistribution of our already vast military funds. We would still continue to fund our "traditional" military, and leave room for new projects, but would cut down on waste in regards to how much we're spending on audacious projects that will never see the light of day, or how much we're giving to certain authorities, or how much we still contribute to countries that we really have no business being in. We would then put some of that money where it's needed most- humanitarian projects, technological advancement, rebuilding what we've destroyed.

In giving to groups like NASA, we can advance our military's strength while making the center of the attention exploration and adventure, giving us a national purpose again. Isn't that what we need most in the midst of such national division- a national purpose to unite us? In giving to humanitarian causes, democracy can flourish and give America more allies, and we can work to fix our imperialistic mistakes so the world continues its trend towards non-violence.

The logistics of such a program are admittedly unknown, but from what many veterans and recent statistics have told me, the military is aching for change, and the US can fully embrace it without falling into party lines. What's not to love?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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