If the coronavirus crisis pushes the U.S. economy into recession, President Trump would be unlikely to win reelection. So now is a good time to consider how a Democratic chief executive might change Trump’s defense posture. Based on longstanding beliefs about national security within the Democratic Party’s base, the shift would be significant. Domestic spending would likely eclipse defense outlays in the federal budget, and within the defense budget spending would tend to migrate away from weapons outlays. Renewed emphasis on arms control might undermine both nuclear modernization and missile defense efforts. Traditional allies would be back in favor, traditional military contractors would be largely out of favor. Concern about human rights and climate change would compete with military strategy in setting priorities. And the demographic makeup of Pentagon leaders would likely change markedly. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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