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The Significance of the F-22 Debate

By Matthew Yglesias on July 17, 2009 at 3:14 pm

"The Significance of the F-22 Debate"

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Useless against the Deceptacon threat (wikimedia)

Useless against the Deceptacon threat (wikimedia)

Chris Preble had a good post up on the Cato blog yesterday praising Barack Obama’s veto threat over the F-22 issue. I continue to hope that folks will stay engaged with this question, because I think it’s more important than it first appears. I know that a lot of people, both on the progressive left and the libertarian right, would like to see a more ambitious cutback of the American defense posture than what you see in this initial budget proposal. But viewed in that light I think you need to see the issue on the table right now as whether or not the political system can impose any discipline on the military-industrial complex at all. If it can, then bigger change may be possible in the future. If it can’t, then it can’t.

At any rate, Preble is doing a talk at New America on the 24th about his excellent book The Power Problem: How American Military Dominance Makes Us Less Safe, Less Prosperous, and Less Free. It’s worth checking out. There hasn’t historically been much liberal/libertarian collaboration on these kind of questions, but hopefully there will be in the future. Making change happen is really hard and we need as broad a coalition as possible.

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