The Culture Wars Are Hijacking Debate On the Military Budget

NPP Pressroom

The Progressive
Lindsay Koshgarian

The culture wars have come to U.S. military policy, and the price could be far higher than any of us can afford. Rather than a serious debate over military spending and foreign policy, we’re being subjected to a right-wing circus performance.

The annual National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, lays out how the military budget—$886.3 billionfor this coming year—will be spent. There are few pieces of legislation with more significant consequences for U.S. taxpayers or the world. 

Members of Congress frequently opine that passing this legislation is one of their most important jobs—but just as important should be getting it right. With war, peace, and nearly $1 trillion on the line, the stakes are too high to mess this up.

Against all common sense, earlier this month, Republican representatives came at this all-important legislation with one clear set of goals in mind. It wasn’t a clear focus on how the military with the world’s largest budget and greatest number of overseas bases could ensure peace and avoid new wars in a century where the United States is unlikely to remain the sole superpower. It wasn’t shameful price gouging by Pentagon contractors, even though those contractors account for hundreds of billions of dollars—roughly half of the Pentagon budget.

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