“Each proposal must be weighed in the light of a broader consideration: the need to maintain balance in and among national programs -- balance between the private and the public economy, balance between cost and hoped for advantage -- balance between the clearly necessary and the comfortably desirable; balance between our essential requirements as a nation and the duties imposed by the nation upon the individual; balance between actions of the moment and the national welfare of the future. Good judgment seeks balance and progress; lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration. … In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.” –President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Farewell Speech
The United States is home to the strongest, most elite, and best equipped military on earth and that needs to continue!
Our military needs to remain prepared to protect this nation 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Yet President Eisenhower’s warning is vital to consider if we are to balance our budgets and reduce the unwarranted influence of giant defense corporations.
I do not know one person who is honestly suggesting we have a less prepared military. However, we do want reforms that can rein in some of the superfluous defense spending, much of which exists only as "a jobs program." Too often powerful people in Congress and the Senate propose military projects for their district so constituents can build equipment the military does not need or want.
Unnecessary equipment often creates a pipeline of surplus military gear that gets donated to police forces. We do not need equipment that was designed for the sole purpose of waging war against a foreign aggressor to be used on our local streets.
Surely there are ways to provide jobs with a broader application than military use. For example, shouldn’t the defense of our nation include projects that save our environment, not to mention educate, house and care for our people?