US should invest in relationships, not more guns

| Apr 12, 2022

Amid the war in Ukraine, Europe has shown more willingness to provide for its own defense and the Biden team should encourage it.

By Zuri Linetsky, Research Fellow

This article appeared in Responsible Statecraft on April 12, 2022.

President Biden plans to increase defense spending by four percent annually through 2025, following a similar increase last year will not help the United States confront Russia or compete with China, and it may hurt the American economy.

Instead of spending more on the military, the Biden administration should empower allies and partners in achieving our common security objectives.

The Pentagon budget is already rife with waste, as four years of failed independent audits indicate. And despite claims from those who promote defense spending as a jobs creator, data shows that $1 billion spent in health care, education, or clean energy creates thousands more jobs than $1 billion spent on defense.

Defense spending also diminishes economic growth and undermines the American economy by adding to the deficit, which then contributes to rising interest rates (which are further increased by ongoing inflation). According to a recent Gallup survey, 42 percent of Americans have already rated the current economic conditions of the United States “poor.” Needlessly throwing more money at the Pentagon will only serve to further undermine those views.

Read Zuri’s full article in Responsible Statecraft.

Written by Zuri Linetsky

Zuri is a research fellow with the Independent America project at the Institute for Global Affairs.

Read more from Zuri

This post is part of Independent America, a research project led out by IGA senior fellow Mark Hannah, which seeks to explore how US foreign policy could better be tailored to new global realities and to the preferences of American voters.

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