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Roadmap for the 21st Century: National Defense

February 22, 2017

This paper -- the ninth in the Roadmap series -- describes the importance of U.S. military readiness and three priorities for the new administration.

Young female Marine and older mail Marine saluting.

The Roadmap for the 21st Century Project is a collaboration of free-market experts nationwide reflecting their views on the major public policy choices facing the nation, particularly those affecting economic growth and prosperity.

This Roadmap paper, by the Working Group on National Defense, discusses the importance of U.S. military readinesses. The authors note:

President Barack Obama ... seemed to think the road to peace was unilateral disarmament, so we would not appear to threaten anybody. He seemed to think if we voluntarily gave up our nuclear weapons, our rivals would give up theirs, and the world would consequently be saved from nuclear holocaust. That naïve military policy does not take into account evil people whose goal is power, not peace.

The Roadmap author's discuss three priorities for the U.S. military:

  • maintaining nuclear deterrence, which requires rebuilding our nuclear arsenal, modernizing our nuclear deterrent, and completing our missile defense buildout;
  • rebuilding our conventional forces; and
  • defeating terrorism.

They conclude:

National defense is the first and primary obligation of the national government. We cannot allow that responsibility to be downplayed because the national treasury has been depleted by bread, circuses, and income redistribution. We must be willing to increase national defense spending to accomplish these goals.
Peter Ferrara, J.D., is a senior fellow at The Heartland Institute and an advisor for entitlement reform and budget policy at the National Tax Limitation Foundation.
Lewis K. “Lew” Uhler is founder and president of the National Tax Limitation Committee, one of the nation’s leading grass roots taxpayer lobbies. @limittaxesorg