Volume XLIV – Number 1

Sean Jackson

Abstract: This article analyses the stances taken by 2008 Presidential candidates on the issue of military spending. In comparing the policies of Senator Barack Obama, Senator John McCain, and Ralph Nader, the article argues that Nader’s approach to military spending is the most efficient. The military spending polices of Senator Obama and Senator McCain are very similar, both advocating for an increased military budget, continued commitment in the War on Terror, and an increase in the number of recruit, specifically in the United States Army and United States Marine Corps. However, these stances are not only a burden but ultimately inefficient, as they represent a continuation of the Cold War paradigm as well as an increased commitment to war in the Middle East. Candidate Ralph Nader campaigns on the platform of cutting military spending and allocating the funds to other sectors of the government. To do this, Nader plans to remove Unites States bases that served a strategic purpose during the Cold War, such as those in Japan, Italy, Germany, since there is no longer an overarching threat such as that posed by the Soviet Union. Nader also opposes increased troop numbers for foreign deployments, and is highly critical of Senator Obama’s plan to spread operations into Afghanistan, a conflict that he argues would be “the mother of all quagmires.” Senator Obama and Senator McCain, though from different political parties, both represent a continuation of the status quo of high military spending, while Ralph Nader represents a change in military spending that would prove to be more economically efficient in the long run.

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