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Rethinking National Security
An Outmoded Concept Is Sapping America's Strength
by John Prados
In addition to its involvement in three major wars since the fall of the Soviet Union, the United States now spends far more on its military than any other nation. In a time of severe economic constraints that linger from the Great Recession, some policymakers question whether Washington can continue to act as the world’s policeman at the expense of mounting domestic problems.
In this trenchant analysis, the distinguished national security historian John Prados calls for a total rethinking of our concept of national security.
As we now view it, Prados says, it has become so expansive as to include almost any threat. We need to rein in “national security” and make hard decisions about existential and marginal dangers to the United States. If we don’t, he concludes, we will find ourselves in a death spiral as a nation, committing ever-increasing portions of our treasure in a vain attempt to achieve perfect security.
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