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Editorial: More military spending needed

BY DI EDITORIAL BOARD | FEBRUARY 05, 2015 5:00 AM

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Despite the number of recent headlines on the terrorist group ISIS, it has become increasingly on the defensive. In fact, things are looking generally positive in Iraq. The Iraqi army is reforming, air strikes have severely damaged ISIS supplies and numbers, and it has yet to make significant gains since last summer. But domestically, the battle for military spending is just beginning.

President Obama’s budget plan includes a significant increase in defense spending, something many in the upper echelons of the Pentagon have been championing for years. It is a fairly bipartisan issue. Friction begins during the discussion of how to pay for a bigger military. There is taxation or further sequestration of domestic programs.

Started under Bush and finished by Obama, we have a tragically expensive and ineffective Iraq War in our recent history. As the war began in 2003, no one bothered to secure the funding the war would need. It was all put on our tab, hence a growing deficit. Republicans criticize Obama for “taxing and spending,” but their own expenditures in the way of war were certainly not modest. Now, conservatives are hesitant to spend more because of the massive debt, yet we are faced with new threats from ISIS and in eastern Ukraine.

The U.S. public can only hope that defense dollars will be spent more wisely. Too much has been flushed away in useless endeavors. That being said, an intelligent increase in spending could lead to a U.S. military that leads the world against ISIS more effectively.

The most promising outcome for ISIS is the dissolution of the world’s governments and a breakdown in support, communication, and action. The international community has a responsibility to be wary of cracks in the hull. Luckily for those who oppose ISIS, the group’s actions have been nothing but uniting.

Recently, a Jordanian fighter pilot was burned alive on film. This sort of ruthless, excessive, public violence may spur some extremists to the cause, but for the rest of us, it creates a sense of unity.

The world stands together against such an abhorrent enemy. The Arab world has often been criticized for not doing more to fight terrorism, but when faced with absolute evil the likes of ISIS, it seems it now steps forward. Still, the right guide is needed.

Military spending alone won’t elevate the U.S. military. How the money is spent is where the United States can reassert itself as a leader. On the global stage, domestic spending decisions may determine the strength of the world’s leader in the fight against ISIS. The stakes for a budget to be passed are incredibly high. Fortunately, this makes a government shutdown very unlikely.

Will congressional Republicans bow to the necessary tax increases, or will government programs again take a hit? Either way, military spending will inevitably increase in response to the enemies our nation faces today.

The Daily Iowan Editorial Board believes an increase in military spending is necessary. The Editorial Board believes a reinvigorated Pentagon may lead to a more prominent and respected U.S. military abroad. Leadership and cooperation are our most powerful weapons against ISIS. The Editorial Board also believes domestic programs should not go ignored or be gutted. Where a tax will be administered is yet to be argued, but derailing the renovation and expansion of domestic progression is not the way to fund our wars.


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