Op-eds

Strong Defense Begins at Home: Op-Ed by Prof. William Martel

Real Clear Defense

William C. Martel is Associate Professor of International Security Studies at The Fletcher School, Tufts University.

As the United States confronts economic difficulties and growing perceptions if its gradual withdrawal from global affairs, the American people and their policymakers need to ask: "why is this happening?"

A powerful explanation rests with how we defined our defense strategy during the Cold War. In the struggle against totalitarianism, policymakers and scholars defined the nation's "defense" far too narrowly.

Facing a serious geostrategic competitor, debates about national defense were dominated by how much the U.S. spent on defense, capabilities of our military forces and those of our adversary, and wars we fought. With this threat, it was reasonable and practical for the nation to emphasize this narrower approach to "defense."

With its victory in the Cold War, the U.S. emerged as the only economic and military superpower. Sadly, all good things must come to an end.

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