Putting Defense on Defense

Posted on January 8, 2012. Filed under: Government | Tags: , , , , , |

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This past Thursday, the White House announced it was ‘cutting’ defense spending while updating the Pentagon’s strategy for the future (someone will have to explain to me how decreasing the amount something increases is a cut). Some of these updates include focusing on the Asian-Pacific, investing in unmanned aerial vehicles and cyber-space security, and cutting personnel costs while maintaining beach volleyball courts for Navy pilots. As expected, Republicans are screaming Obama is ‘gutting’ the defense while Democrats argue it’s not enough.

Not surprisingly, national defense is justifiable biblically. We see this from the beginning of Israel’s formation when the Hebrews left Egypt armed (Exodus 13:18). Samuel listed the first role the king would have as commander-in-chief (1 Sam 8:11). But too much of a good thing is not always good, and can even make you vomit (Proverbs 25:16).

The Parable of the Talents gives the account of a man who went on a journey but gave three servants sums of money to invest while he was gone. The first two invested their treasure and thereby turned a profit, but the last buried his portion in the ground. He didn’t earn any interest, but he didn’t lose the money either. The master came home, rewarded the first two, and cast out the last servant (Matthew 25:14-30).

Like the servants entrusted with the master’s money, our government is entrusted with the taxpayer’s money. And like the master, we should expect that our money is spent in a thoughtful, legal, and efficient way,  not simply earmarked for ‘defense,’ a good thing, and hope it all works out in the end. We would be wise to question how 78,000 troops across Europe are still necessary. Or how paying for 2,200 nuclear weapons prevents a terrorist attack, protects us from a crippling cyber attack on our power grid, or prevents Skynet from becoming self-aware. Does keeping a large standing military protect American citizens or make politicians more cavalier with our military?

Christ warned us about entering into military commitments without counting the costs ahead of time, “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able …If he is not able, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away” (Luke 14:31-32).

Not all military spending is necessary or wise simply because it is done in the name of defense or security. We need to know what our end goal is – protecting our trade, nation building, preparing for an alien attack on Independence Day? We need to know if those goals are attainable – can Afghanistan become a stable republic, are advanced alien spaceships even likely to be compatible with Windows?  And of course, we need to know the cost. With $117,000,000,000,000 (and counting) in unfunded liabilities, I have to wonder what we can afford.


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4 Responses to “Putting Defense on Defense”

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God is an imaginary friend for old people. Do you have solid proof god is real? Because I have solid proof of evolution.

While I’m not sure what evolution has to do with defense spending (though perhaps given enough time and random topic variation one could connect the two..), I believe proof is all around.

“They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God” (Romans 1:19-20).

If evolution had solid proof, it wouldn’t be a theory. If it was a good theory, it would be able to explain more, like how life (or matter) began in the first place.

You keep believing that your “god” created everything because somebody wrote it in a book. Do you believe in zeus? It was written in a book. There are scientific facts on things evolving. Show me hard physical proof (not some book) that god exists. Until then have fun reading your fairy tale called the bible.

Clearly, you learned about evolution…not in book?

I’m willing to carry on a logical conversation, but I’m getting the impression you aren’t. Hopefully, you enjoyed the blog for its literary content at least. Thanks for posting.

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