One of my good friends in Dem foreign policy circles is Rand Beers. He constantly makes sense to me and seems (thus far) immune from some of the insecurities I often see among Dems who are trying to posture on defense and security issues. He heads the Democratic leaning National Security Network along with Heather Hurlburt — and they are a refreshing anomaly in a field of Dem national security pundits who never got the joke that the overly muscled guy at the beach really wasn’t all that strong.
A strong and smart national security policy today probably means rewiring the Pentagon, shrinking it some areas and puffing it up in others. But to be strong on national defense, the last thing a Presidential candidate and his team should do is to become Pentagon-huggers. Today, we spend more on our national defense than all other nations in the world combined — and yet, Americans don’t feel secure.
That is a management problem. So far, both McCain and Obama have responded by promising to increasing the size of the military by more than 90,000 soldiers. Throwing more money and more humans at a management problem is a mistake.
This is what is on my mind today as I tour the ancient Chinese capital city of Xian and visit the army of terra cotta warriors buried with Emperor Qin Shihuangdi, who my friend Edith Terry just wrote “burned books and so on. . .but still had a great way of taking his leave of the planet in style. . .”
— Steve Clemons