Are U.S. Military Expenditures a Public Good for the Rest of the World?
I've skimmed some of the debate (which I don't find particularly interesting) and come across a post by Daniel W. Drezner here. Drezner argues that"One could make the case that comparing large economies with Scandanavia or the Benelux states is unfair, because the bigger economies have other public goods functions to fulfill" and cites an article by Bruce Bartlett. Bartlett declares that "U.S. Falsely Charged with Being 'Stingy' on Foreign Aid" and makes some good points about how private individuals in America contribute to world prosperity. That said, I found the argument cited by Drezner thoroughly unsatisfactory. Bartlett states:"The first thing one notices when looking at the big foreign aid contributors is that they all spend very little on national defense. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, in 2002, The Netherlands spent just 1.6 percent of its gross domestic product on defense. Norway spent 2.1 percent, Switzerland spent 1.1 percent, and Ireland spent a piddling 0.7 percent. By contrast, the U.S. spent 3.4 percent--and this was before the Iraq war. It's easy to be generous with foreign aid when another country is essentially providing your defense for free." But is the U.S. really providing for their defense? And defense against what? Indeed, aren't U.S. policies (invading and occupying Iraq as the most egregious example) actually destabilizing the world and endangering the lives of the citizens of these nations, particularly when they travel abroad?
comments powered by Disqus
- Senate has a secret book of rules
- How the Vikings Saved Europe and Got a Terrible Reputation
- Hard Hats On: Members of the Media Tour Exhibits under Construction at the National Museum of American History
- Shaman dancers, coolies and suffragettes: rare photos of 1900s Beijing discovered from Austrian archive
- England's King Richard III died painfully on battlefield
- Pro-Israel groups going after federal support of Middle East Studies
- 100th Anniversary of Beard's 'An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution' commemorated
- University of Illinois Bigwig to Native American Studies scholar Jean O’Brien: Drop Dead
- 2 of 21 MacArthur Fellows for 2014 are historians
- Ken Burns electrifies Jon Stewart show