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R
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Some of your arguments do make fantastic sense in an idealist's world; however, they are weakened here, at least, because recognition of the way the rest of the world 'works' (and indeed the way Washington therefore works) is not acknowledged as the context. Dismantling our military forces certainly invites others to begin mantling theirs. Having more formidable military forces will raise instability on the global chess board. If military no longer becomes a negotiation tactic for the USA, it will become a significant tactic for other countries vying for power (nearly everyone else), and that will diminish standards of living among other things. Indeed, empires have to answer for their atrocities in the name of the 'white man's burden,' 'civilized mission,' or 'manifest destiny,' but aren't there some clear benefits behind sole domination of a non-expansionist, 'liberal empire'? Certainly the problems you mention here are troubling, and there is much to be done domestically to unify people which have polarized themselves into useless factions, which in turn could revitalize key values and bring us back up closer to where the country was after WWII. But I will agree that whatever current course we're on is the sure path to implosion, and drastic steps are required to get the US productive, fair, and back on track.