It's time for small-government conservatives to rally around the president. Mr Obama has proposed downsizing the Army to a leaner, meaner, more mobile force. Implicit in the cuts to classical combat forces is the promise that we will not again attempt a decade of conquest and pacification of distant, restive countries, as we did in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
The president's proposed cuts would offset the perpetual growth of the military and the military-industrial complex, which is as strong and as corrupt as ever. It would shrink the size of government and lower the permanent tax burden on American taxpayers. It would underscore the vital Constitutional principle of civilian control of the military.
The general change in strategy would seem sound coming from a Republican president, right? We need a more mobile, responsive military. We can't waste lives and treasure trying to force democracy on people at the point of a gun. Of course, a Republican (other than Ron Paul) wouldn't dare decrease total military spending. Is that because of a real concern for national security? Or is it because the GOP depends as heavily on military and military-industrial donations and votes as the Democrats do on dependents of the rest of government.
Conservatives, don't let your party loyalty confuse you: President Obama is right on this issue, and it will strengthen - not weaken - the conservative cause to rally behind him and stand up against interests whose real goal is to dip as deeply as they can into the public fisc.
Write your GOP congressman or senator and let him know that you are conservative first and Republican second. And shrinking the size of government - including wasteful military spending - is fundamentally conservative.