Honor America's military the right way

Shutterstock.com

Article Highlights

  • Peace does not keep itself

    Tweet This

  • The risk is rising that more Americans will be sent into harm’s way in the future

    Tweet This

  • The cost of US leadership is not trivial, but it pales in comparison to the costs we are reminded of this weekend

    Tweet This

America’s Memorial Day holiday is a reminder that freedom truly is not free. Nor does the peace keep itself.

Rather, our safety and our way of life — including our economic prosperity, values and democratic society — are all actively maintained by a proverbial army of dedicated people in and out of government, chief among them our men and women in uniform, including veterans past and present.

They are willing to serve and give their all if needed. Not only have many sacrificed their lives or limbs, but also time with their families and friends so that we may be with ours instead.

Today, the U.S. has roughly 33,000 Americans serving in Afghanistan. Some are on their first combat deployment; others on their fifth. Still countless other service members are also away from their families scattered around the world helping to prevent future wars from breaking out. Through maintaining a daily forward presence, investing in a cutting-edge arsenal, and engaging with partners and allies across the globe, the U.S. military helps deter aggression and advance American interests abroad while promoting a more prosperous future.

But American global leadership has a price. It is paid in larger defense budgets to fund a forward military presence, constant diplomatic and economic engagement, and an individual willingness to bear any burden to promote the advancement of the American-backed international order.

These costs are not trivial, but they pale in comparison to the sacrifices we are reminded of this weekend.

As the U.S. military shrinks in size and capability, the risk is rising that more Americans will be sent into harm’s way to respond to the outbreak of global conflict at some point in the future.

Thankfully, that future is not inevitable. America can do much to rebuild and strengthen its military posture in order to better deter global aggression. It will take time and money, but in comparison to the alternative, it is the affordable and easy answer.

We owe America’s servicemembers the courtesy of doing all we can to give them the tools they need to not only prevail in conflict quickly, but also to prevent wars before they start.

Protecting our protectors is not be limited to one federal holiday. Instead, policymakers must commit themselves to carefully supporting and overseeing the health and strength of our armed forces and those that served at all times.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Mackenzie
Eaglen

What's new on AEI

AEI Election Watch 2014: What will happen and why it matters
image A nation divided by marriage
image Teaching reform
image Socialist party pushing $20 minimum wage defends $13-an-hour job listing
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 20
    MON
  • 21
    TUE
  • 22
    WED
  • 23
    THU
  • 24
    FRI
Monday, October 20, 2014 | 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Warfare beneath the waves: The undersea domain in Asia

We welcome you to join us for a panel discussion of the undersea military competition occurring in Asia and what it means for the United States and its allies.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 | 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
AEI Election Watch 2014: What will happen and why it matters

AEI’s Election Watch is back! Please join us for two sessions of the longest-running election program in Washington, DC. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 | 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
What now for the Common Core?

We welcome you to join us at AEI for a discussion of what’s next for the Common Core.

Thursday, October 23, 2014 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Brazil’s presidential election: Real challenges, real choices

Please join AEI for a discussion examining each candidate’s platform and prospects for victory and the impact that a possible shift toward free-market policies in Brazil might have on South America as a whole.

Event Registration is Closed
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled today.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.