Opinion

Budgeting our defense

I hope the Pentagon’s recent budget cuts are the first step in a series of austerity measures that might clip the wings of the country’s military-industrial complex.

The United States’ sophisticated military is expected to provide more than national defense. It gives the United States the capability to coerce or cajole allies and adversaries into doing its bidding. Our navy and international bases give us the capacity to wage war anywhere. No other country has a similar capability. On the other hand, the United States’ military is overextended and politicians lack a mandate that would empower them to redeploy the military to another battlefield.

President Obama’s trip to Asia exposed America’s weakness at effectively negotiating her interests abroad. The day when the United States is eclipsed by China appears to be inevitable. It is more important than ever that the United States make investments in sectors that might sustain future development.

Our main concern must be education spending and infrastructure development. One of the reasons that our military is the best in the world is because we have led the technological arms race for years. Now other countries are finding ways to finance research and development spending in new military technology. If America loses its lead in the technological arms race, our desperate levels of defense spending today will mean little tomorrow.

They call it defense spending. Nevertheless, our definition of defense is considerably different than a definition that simply allows for protecting one’s territory. We must pick our battles carefully in the future. We no longer have the capacity to play sheriff. Devoting natural resources to these battles undermines America’s ability to repair the crumbling infrastructure and education system.

Josh Kornfield is a junior majoring in international studies and political science. He may be contacted at
jkornfield@themiamihurricane.com
.

January 19, 2011

Reporters

Josh Kornfield

Senior Columnist


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

A six-pack of Canes notes on a Thursday: • Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz has an interesting theor ...

Juwan Dowels vividly remembers his first winter on the Syracuse University campus. Like the other 11 ...

The University of Miami football team has another player with a season-ending injury — and this one ...

University of Miami men’s basketball coach Jim Larrañaga received a grand jury subpoena for his phon ...

Get ready for an avalanche of University of Miami defensive backs and linemen descending on the Hard ...

Univeristy of Miami’s Wynwood Art Gallery holds its annual faculty exhibition featuring thought-prov ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

The Miami soccer team will conclude its 2017 home slate Sunday against Notre Dame and recognize its ...

The Miami soccer team registered a 3-0 victory over Pittsburgh Thursday night at Cobb Stadium behind ...

As a Hurricane Club member, you are invited to participate in the 25th Annual University of Miami Ha ...

Five members of the Miami women's tennis team will open play Friday at the ITA Southeast Region ...

Here are three matchups to watch Saturday as the Hurricanes take on the Syracuse Orange at Hard Rock ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.