History teaches that there is no substitute for military strength in maintaining a strong defense. Our economic strength and way of life requires a military second to none. That having been said, America has 5% of the world's population but spends 43% of total world defense dollars.
We have two oceans and friendly neighbors on both borders. We spend seven times more than the next largest world defense budget (China) and we have been outspending the rest of the world on that scale for decades.
Our military interventionist policies not only consume an astronomical $700 billion per year, but make us less safe, by imposing our will throughout the world, currying favor with dictators and creating enemies of people who should be our friends.
In desperation against our comparably unlimited power, we have created a fertile climate for terrorism by people who resent our presence on their land.
We maintain hundreds of thousands of troops throughout the world, in some 900 bases, most of whom are left over from cold war threats in places like Germany and Japan. The cold war is over. We cannot afford these astronomical costs.
Our continued presence in many places makes us less safe. We can keep important bases but we need to reduce our foreign troop strength dramatically and let our military come home.
We can let forces shrink through attrition and maintain the strongest defense inside our borders.