Saturday, March 18, 2017

Does The New Proposed Budget Make US Safer?

There is far less waste and duplication in these departments than in the nation's military spending.

Joseph Nye popularized the principle of how a nation's "soft power" adds much more to its security than the "hard power" of military might. Soft power has to do with the influence a country like the US has when it demonstrates how much a free society can offer its citizens, and when it collaborates with developing countries to help them become more prosperous and the world more peaceful. China understands this principle, and continues to make major investments in emerging economies all over the world.

Much has been made of the fact that a nation's security depends not only on defense, but equally on diplomacy and on development. Unfortunately, the new budget slashes money for the State Department and limits the future influence the US will have in both its diplomacy and through promoting international aid and development.

Meanwhile, billions spent on ever more efficient means of killing, maiming and destroying will make a nation less safe, not more so. We've already wasted more of the world's limited resources in so-called "defense spending" than the combined military budgets of China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, France, India and Germany, the next largest spenders.

Could it be that multiple development and relief agencies like CARE, World Vision and even our own Mennonite Central Committee, small as they are, are the ones spreading goodwill and good influence all around the world in ways that really do help make everyone safer?
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