Bring The Troops Home (All Of Them)

What would happen if we drastically shrunk the U.S. military’s overseas footprint? There’s a growing chorus of voices calling for troops to come home from Afghanistan. What if we went further?

Spc. Charles Moore and Spc Andrew Vanderhaeghen return fire upon a sudden attack by Taliban on Combat Outpost Badel in  Afghanistan near Pakistan border. What if all the troops came home? (AP)

Spc. Charles Moore and Spc Andrew Vanderhaeghen return fire upon a sudden attack by Taliban on Combat Outpost Badel in Afghanistan near Pakistan border. What if all the troops came home? (AP)

Any day now, we will hear how many troops the Obama administration plans to draw down in Afghanistan.

The turnaround of President Obama’s surge.

But with a huge spotlight on American federal spending and deficits lately, the “bring ‘em home” impulse is at work well beyond Afghanistan these days. American military spending is massive.

So is American debt. Could we, should we bring the troops home from Afghanistan, Iraq, Germany, Japan, more? Should we have a new and lower global military profile?

This hour On Point: the military we can afford.

– Tom Ashbrook


Stephen Walt is the Robert and Rene Belfer professor of International Relations at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He also writes the “Realist in an Ideological Age” blog at Foreign Policy magazine.

Christopher Preble, is the director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, and has written often about defense cuts. He was also a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy, and served on the USS Ticonderoga.

Rachel Kleinfeld is the co-founder and CEO of the Truman National Security Project.

Tom’s Reading List:

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