Let Them Eat Missiles
By an excessive reliance on military power the United States has undermined its capacity to reduce world hunger. As long as the politics of power rather than the politics of justice dominates our thinking, we will do little to assist countries overwhelmed by poverty.
This nation's defense requirements are admittedly enormous and costly. Given the stance of present Soviet leadership, acknowledging the need for reasonable power-balancing, and taking into account the soaring costs of both nuclear and nonnuclear technology, our military spending will be high. But we have exceeded the limits of reason. We depend too much on raw power and pay too little attention to the exercise of power through justice. Various considerations point to this.
The sheer cost of the arms race illustrates an excessive reliance on power. In 1961, shortly after he retired from the presidency, Dwight D. Eisenhower said at the Naval War College:
...We know that the Communists seek to break the economy of the United States -- an economy that is based on free enterprise and sound currency. If we, therefore, put one more dollar in a weapons system that we should, we are weakening the defense of the United States.
While more than a sound economy is at stake in military spending, Eisenhower's misgiving was well-placed, because over the years most of the deficit in our federal budgets can be accounted for by heavy defense spending.