National Security Strategy: Derailed by debt?
Hillary Clinton laid out the Obama administration's National Security Strategy Thursday. But she acknowledged that unless deficits can be reined in, the vision won’t be realized.
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Some analysts of Obama’s first NSS lauded its overall direction while questioning its lack of specifics – especially in how resources will be managed more efficiently in an era of assumed deficit reduction.Skip to next paragraph
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Washington’s Stimson Center applauds the document’s “new tone” in terms of working with allies and strengthening international organizations, but it’s less positive about what it says is the document’s failure to either defend increased national security spending or suggest where it can be trimmed.
In an analysis by its Budgeting for Foreign Affairs and Defense program, Stimson says the NSS “does not suggest missions that will not be done or risks we should be prepared to accept” in the name of budget reductions.
At the same time, it says, the document fails to “provide a strong defense of the level of foreign policy spending on strengthened diplomacy and foreign assistance.” Some in Congress are calling for major reductions in these areas, the critique notes.
Others say the document fails to draw the conclusions that follow from its own statements. Christopher Preble, director of foreign-policy studies at Washington’s Cato Institute, says he fully supports the strategy’s observation that the United States can no longer afford to be the world’s policeman. But the document stops there, he says, and fails to outline how the US envisions limiting its military reach.
“So long as the US spends nearly as much on its military as the rest of the world combined,” he says, “and as long as it deploys its military in ways that discourage other countries from defending themselves, Americans will continue to shoulder the burdens of policing the planet.”
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