Political analysts are probably overstating the significance of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s primary defeat this week, but it is genuinely portentous for the Pentagon. Cantor is the only strong voice of support for military spending in the House GOP leadership, and support on the other side of the aisle isn’t much better. For three generations there has always been at least one party in the House of Representatives that saw its interests as closely aligned with those of the military, but now national security is becoming an orphan in the people’s chamber. Democrats became ambivalent during the Vietnam War, and then had their skepticism renewed by the Bush Administration’s war in Iraq; Republicans stuck with Ronald Reagan’s “peace through strength” views well after he departed the White House, but now have begun to view the Pentagon as just one more manifestation of big government. With a crisis in Iraq following fast on the heels of Crimea’s annexation, distraction from national defense is dangerous. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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