Monday, January 10, 2011

Matt Yglesias on national security and defense spending

Another way of looking at this is that we don’t really know what the world will look like in 25 years. But it’s predictable that whatever military challenges we face, they’ll be easier to deal with if we have a better-educated crop of twenty-somethings rather than a worse-educated one. That they’ll be easier to deal with if we have a productive economy with a modern infrastructure than if we don’t. And it’s predictable that the more we spend on the military in the next ten years the fewer resources will be available for non-military purposes. But it’s the civilian side that ultimately supplies the capacity to engage in military activities over the long run. Obviously the long run does you no good if your country can’t defend itself in the short-term, but a strategy based on perpetually higher commitments to defense spending is self-defeating over time.

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