Don’t Use COVID As Excuse to Slash Defense Spending

May 20, 2020

Breaking Defense

Even as many Americans huddle in their homes to avoid the coronavirus, our adversaries have continued to use military power to test and undermine the United States. Since the crisis began, Moscow has sent bombers to probe American air defenses near Alaska. China escalated its belligerent activity in the South China Sea. Iran has harassed U.S. naval vessels in international waters. North Korea launched a barrage of missiles. Hackers have pummeled defense networks and suppliers with cyberattacks. All the while, terrorists have continued attacking U.S. and partner forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Authoritarians and terrorists apparently did not get the memo that they were supposed to play nice during the pandemic. They clearly still believe they can advance their interests and undermine ours with the employment of cyber and kinetic military power.

Despite this, opponents of defense spending may cite the economic consequences of COVID-19 — huge deficits and ballooning national debt— in an effort to slash the Department of Defense’s budget. If they succeed, American military supremacy will erode further, inviting aggression from adversaries and decisively undermining American security.

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