I enjoyed Professor Olson's engaging lecture on National Defense and Global Security. It was interesting to see how people voted about various scenarios that lurk in the shadows of national defense. Making decisions that involve people's lives is a grave challenge that will weigh upon anyone's heart. Believing in your decision for the sake of protecting one's fellow citizens is something none of us have ever faced. Professor Olson has made those calls and I have immense respect for his service as well as the many others to whom we can't place a face or a name. However, on many issues of national defense I would most likely disagree with Professor Olson's opinion and that of the majority. My disagreement stems from many convictions some personal, some spiritual and some economical.
From one perspective, I view the issue of national defense through a lens of economical pragmatism that I is similar to the President Clinton's era. War and national defense are expensive. How expensive? It's not easy to nail down the exact figure but from various sources** the 2012 budget for national defense can be estimated between 800 million - 1 TRILLION dollars without adding in the budget for "covert black-budget operations".
1 TRILLION dollars.
Now I want you to think about this. You are married with two kids. Your family earns the median US household income of $50,000 usd. Your family is burdened with choice. You can either contribute $12,000 dollars per year to pay for the national defense budget or contribute that money to free university education for every child in the country.
War costs people. The average citizen must contribute $3,000 plus interest on the money borrowed to support the national defense budget. However, most young adults are graduating college with historic debt because they can't afford the phenomenal costs of college. How many people do you know have borrowed money to further their education? There are siginifcant opportunity costs to think about when one talks about National Security. While this issue of War and Defense is an impassioned argument, I ask you to not lose your logic in the heat of the moment. Please leave comment in the bottom.
I don't believe it is right for Americans to go outside our borders and fight an extrajudicial war. It is true Al-Qaeda on the tragic day of 9/11 killed innocent Americans. That act cannot be forgiven. But how can we justify the acts we commit as a country, when we invade other countries for the sake of revenge? When we commit drone strikes abroad and shrug off the collateral damage of killing innocent people, do we forget those acts reflect upon ALL of us. We live in a democracy and it up to us to participate. I can never spiritually condone the killing of an innocent person for the sake of revenge. That to me is playing God and that is not something with which I wish to wash my hands. It is easy to forget that terrorists are the minority and the only weapon they have is fear. I am not afraid. I will never be afraid. And I'm willing to defend my country right here at home.
The Military Imbalance: How The U.S. Outspends The World
Our Insanely Big $1 Trillion National Security Budget
Military Budget of the U.S.