President Obama told the American people it was time to turn our backs on “a decade of war” and discover new paths in which the United States carefully decides when to engage in shooting people and when it decides that negotiation is the better part of valor. Obama proposes reducing the size of the armed forces by at least 500,000 men and women over the coming years which would also reduce the amount of money being spent by the Pentagon.
The president identified three issues which in one way or another must shape our ideas on war and peace. First, the 9/11 decade is over. Passions of revenge over the attack must give way to analytical decisions about war and peace. Second, our focus must shift to Asia which is the new center of the world in this century. Third, the United States simply cannot afford to devote $700 billion each year to the gods of war. Our infrastructure needs more attention than our war infrastructure.