A Better, Not Bigger, Military Budget – The New York Times

“Given recent history, the next president can expect to face an even more unpredictable world than the one President Obama is dealing with. Russia, China, Syria, Iran, North Korea, the Islamic State — the list of security challenges is daunting. It will require smart policy choices backed by a powerful military to protect American interests.So far, the candidates have not sufficiently explained their approaches to military spending which, at $580 billion for 2016, is half of the federal discretionary budget. The toughest talk comes from the Republicans who lean dangerously toward a one-dimensional view of American strength that is over-reliant on an all-powerful military.“I will make our military so big, powerful and strong that no one will mess with us,” Donald Trump says. But what does that mean? This is the guy who extolled the power of nuclear deterrence in a recent debate, but didn’t know it relies on three types of forces — missiles, planes and submarines.”

Source: A Better, Not Bigger, Military Budget – The New York Times

Don’t Just Close Bases at Home, Close Them Overseas – The New York Times

“WASHINGTON — THERE are signs that Congress may soon approve another series of domestic military base closings, after the Pentagon threatened earlier this month to cut nearly 90,000 jobs instead. For years, the military has been trying to save money with new rounds of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), the congressionally mandated process for shuttering underutilized domestic military installations.

The move could save billions since, by the Pentagon’s own estimate, our network of domestic bases is bloated by more than 20 percent. But Congress has resisted, since local bases mean local jobs, and votes.

BRAC, however, does not apply to the more than 700 United States bases overseas, including 174 in Germany, 113 in Japan and 83 in South Korea, as well as hundreds more in some 70 countries from Aruba to Kenya to Thailand. The military and Congress should go further by closing installations abroad. They both waste taxpayer money and undermine national security.”

via Don’t Just Close Bases at Home, Close Them Overseas – The New York Times.