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Presidential Issues: Military Preparedness & Budget

Military Preparedness & Budget

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Conservatism and the national defense

November 11, 2015

By Jim Talent

Senator Rand Paul is entitled to take any position he wants on whether and how to fund America’s armed forces. He is not entitled to redefine conservatism to make it fit the impulse, which he has embraced, to further weaken the defenses of the United States in an increasingly hostile and dangerous world.

Last night at the Republican debate, Senator Paul and Senator Marco Rubio had an exchange about defense spending. Senator Rubio has announced that as part of his national security platform, he will increase military spending to at least the levels that former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates requested in the ten-year budget plan he recommended in the spring of 2011. That budget increase is not only clearly justified; it is the minimum necessary to rebuild the armed forces – the “hard power” tool which is the foundation of American security.

Senator Paul attacked Rubio’s defense proposals during the debate. The gist of Paul’s critique was not that the armed forces are fully ready to meet the threats facing America; they clearly are not. Nor did Senator Paul deny that the defense sequester has been a disaster for American national security.

Read the full article at the American Enterprise Institute: Conservatism and the national defense