Arguments for Military Sequestration for Conservatives

Arguments strong enough for a conservative, but made for everyone.


Kevin D. Williamson at National Review hits the right with a message they need to hear, delivered in a manner that might be more convincing to them. He wants the right to support letting the U.S. military take its lumps in any sequester.

U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Michael Ammons / Foter / Public domain

Williamson stresses, for example, things such as money wasted on untracked arms to the Middle East that maybe/probably end up in the hands of forces we might end up fighting, and money wasted on diversity training.

But the nub for patriots of all parties to heed, and act on:

Does the Pentagon spend its money wisely? Nobody knows — especially not the Pentagon. It has a long and inglorious history of book-cooking and accounting that alternates between the incompetent and the criminal: a half a trillion dollars in unaudited contracts here; untold sums lost to outright theft and fraud there; shocking waste; voguish nonsense like spending $150/gallon for environmentally friendly fighter-jet fuel so that we can blow stuff to smithereens and kill people in an environmentally responsible fashion, etc…..

There's billions and billions and billions of dollars of that — and that is the small stuff. The big stuff is strategic. Or not exactly strategic: Benjamin Friedman of Cato makes a compelling case that what we have does not quite deserve to be called a "strategy," inasmuch as a strategy requires the intelligent and deliberate ranking of priorities, a project that we pretty much categorically refuse to engage in, instead indulging in threat inflation spurred by what he calls an "overly capacious definition of security." Which is to say, our definition of "security" is driven not by actual threats but by hope, a naïve belief that every good thing in the world that might be accomplished with the assistance of the U.S. military brings with it goodwill and therefore contributes to our security….

Republicans are looking to lift the military half of the sequester in the hopes of shunting a few hundred billion dollars more into the gazillion-dollar stream of appropriations that flows through the war-fighting apparatus. The Democrats' alternative is lifting both sides of the sequester. Until somebody can explain why we're mothballing ships while minting admirals, the sequester should stay — every last farthing of it.

Peter Suderman from last month on the sad fact of bipartisan support for no military sequester.