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National Debt, A Threat To National Security?

710 words - 3 pages

I don’t agree with the former CJCS, Admiral (R) Mike Mullen’s assessment that the national debt is the greatest threat to National Security. First, the Congressional imposed sequestration cuts in 2011 resulted in the deficit declining over 50 percent from a record $1.43 trillion in 2009 (Dean, Washington Times, Oct 30, 2013). The increase in tax revenues is an indication that businesses and individuals are earning more due to the improving economy also contributes to the decline of the national debt. The President and Congress agreed on severe cuts to include the Defense Department, if they were unable to pass a budget. I think that sequester cuts to the Department of Defense is more of a threat to national security that the national debt.

The 2013 budget sequestration has resulted in significant current and future cuts to active duty and reserve personnel. A smaller, leaner military may seem desirable during in a post-war era. However, managing multiple global conflicts as in the case of WWII could prove challenging due the premature loss of combat experienced personnel. The sequester cuts also resulted in reduced training and weapon systems critical to the readiness. Senior Defense officials warned the Congress that sequestration cuts would lower military readiness (asmconline, 2013, Feb 20). Reduced readiness affects the military’s ability to rapidly respond to multiple global crises. Concerns about national debt were the catalyst for sequestration, but I don’t view the national debt as the single most important threat to our National Security.

As a large holder of US securities, China could decide to sell a large share of the US Treasury Bonds, resulting in a domino effect of other countries holding US securities to do the same. The rapid sell off of US treasury bonds could destabilize the US economy. (Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, Aug 2013). This is a highly unlikely scenario because China depends on the US currency to keep it’s own currency devalued as well as the adverse effect on the value of the remaining US securities. If China decides to stop buying US treasuries forcing the US to look for other investors, whom may require higher interest payments. These higher interest...

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