In another strong indication of the Obama administration's grasp of what's needed to defend US interests--plus maintaining consistency with Bush administration policies--Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is fearful of the American public turning toward "isolationism."
"Turning inward, history teaches us," the Secretary said in Chicago yesterday, "does not insulate us from the world's troubles."
Currently the US has about 400,000 troops engaged in 100 of the 196 total countries of the globe.
US military activity both overt and covert includes Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Ukraine, The Philippines, and South America.
Additionally, troops are stationed massively in Asia, Europe, and other areas.
The US military budget is currently nearly 650 billion versus China at nearly 200 billion and Russia at nearly 100 billion.
US weapons manufacturers, who have reported boom years since 9/11, are reported happy with Mr. Hagel's speech. So is the Republican Party, as with Mr. McCain's office which expressed enthusiasm in one word--"More."
Additionally, US war activity of the past decade or so has led to rapid expanse of private mercenary armies such as Blackwater. As former president George W. Bush has affirmed, war activity enhances and is "good for the economy."
Following the speech, Mr. Hagel's representative indicated getting a military presence in the remaining 96 countries, including the Vatican (the world's smallest country), is a desirable goal which he hopes to see accomplished soon.
Additionally, continuing war activity (sometimes known as "war, endless war") is important to counter the growing danger of "isolationism" in the US public.
That is, the public should not be distracted by needs to repair infrastructure, build new green industries, assist the homeless and unemployed, and work for a health care system that all citizens can afford.
These concerns indicate a distressing tendency toward self-interest whereas the world needs US military force through the armed forces and private armies to distribute might and right simultaneously.
Americans must think of the globe as in need of protection, as a child needs its parent.
Mr. Hagel's thinking here is consistent with the previous administration's views as espoused by former vice president Richard Cheney toward "full spectrum dominance."
That is, a safe and happy world depends on America in charge with its military continually safeguarding everything. This policy includes regime change in offending countries where a more favorable administration could assist US economic interests.
Thus, American military might in all 196 countries is a desirable goal as part of 21st century thinking for how America can advance into the future.
As Mr. Hagel insisted, congress should be mindful of "our broader national interests instead of narrow constituencies."