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Wednesday, June 19
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion editorial

EDITORIAL: The new military front

Long gone are the days of the unparalleled American military giant.

While the United States is still number one in defense spending, other countries are catching up.

The new fronts of modern warfare, including threats to information and security, mean America needs to take a look at its defense spending and what it’s doing.

On Feb. 9, the International Institute for Strategic Studies released a study showing countries in Asia have been gaining more and more access to military technology while increasing their defense spending.

These countries have included including China, Saudi Arabia and Russia,

Despite these concerns, the Editorial Board believes the threat of other countries increasing their own military capabilities is not a doomsday signal for the U.S.

Instead, the U.S. needs to work on relations with other nations and re-examine military funding rather than pumping more money into the defense budget.

America needs more cooperation and policies that account for national threats on a multitude of levels.

This could include security breaches of information, drone strikes and other methods of warfare today.

Information technology, security and political ties are means by which threats such as ISIL gain members and strength.

Other countries have upped their defense spending in response to conflicts with the U.S. during the past half-century.

International conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan have been motivated by geopolitical interests rather than protection of international peace.

Due to the debt crisis of the eurozone, it has been harder and harder for European countries to maintain their defense spending.

Five of the 28 countries in NATO are currently meeting the mandated spending threshold, International Business Times reported.

The U.S. currently makes up 70 percent of NATO’s defense spending.

Previous spending giants such as the UK are cutting back as other countries speed up.

That leaves the U.S. picking up the slack, but the U.S.’s real loss is not in the amount of money it spends on the military. It’s in the way that money is used.

While politicians have emphasized the need for more tanks, this doesn’t actually help the military.

The military requires longer range machinery, such as drones. Marjorie Censor of the Washington Post calls tanks “something of a relic,” and yet Congress continues to call for more.

While other powers might be pushing more money into their defense budgets, nations often have different goals.

The U.S. maintains the highest military expenditures because it desires to remain the largest military power in the world.

China’s military strategy is limited to its own regional backyard, as reported by 
the BBC.

Regardless of how GDP spending on the military in the U.S. has slowly declined, America is still top in 
spending.

We should understand the state of military spending is more than just about our sheer ability to spend money.

It should be more about distributing funds, building ties with other nations and doing whatever else it takes to fight the wars of the 21st century.

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