The United States currently spends more on defense than the next 9 countries combined, with over $730 billion allocated in FY2021. Much of this spending fuels an expansive global military footprint and maintains large stockpiles of outdated weapons systems and platforms.
This bloated budget strains resources without adequately preparing us for current and emerging threats. Critical domestic priorities like infrastructure, education, and healthcare remain underfunded.
Our foreign policy also relies heavily on military intervention as the first resort when challenges arise. But the wars in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan demonstrated the limits of military force while costing countless lives and trillions in taxpayer dollars.
In addition to the immense monetary cost, excessive military interventions have geopolitical consequences. Civilian casualties and regional instability breed resentment and actually undermine our long-term national security interests around the world.
We must recognize that 21st century threats like cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns cannot be addressed by traditional military force alone. Our security requires a balanced and targeted approach.
How We Will Solve the Problem Together
As your Senator, a West Point graduate, and a military veteran who fought for America in the Gulf War, I will champion right-sizing our military budget to focus on 21st century priorities. This will strengthen national security while freeing up funds to rebuild America and Maryland.
I will conduct a top-down review of all defense programs to identify waste and redundancies. We must transition from expensive legacy platforms unsuited for today’s needs.
The current even three-way split of the budget between Army, Navy, and Air Force is an outdated approach that must be reassessed and modernized. Allocations for our military must be carefully determined based upon modern day threats and needs, with an increase or decrease where resources are required to ensure national security.
Savings should be redirected to enhanced cybersecurity, autonomous defense systems, missile defense, diplomatic capacity building and other asymmetric capabilities suited for modern threats.
I will also reform our foreign policy culture to make military action a last resort. Additional investments in diplomacy and cooperation will help resolve conflicts before they spiral out of control.
A realigned, right-sized military will also take better care of servicemembers and veterans. I will ensure savings are reinvested to improve pay, healthcare, housing support, education benefits, and career transition programs for those who serve.
I will appoint a bipartisan commission of defense and foreign policy experts to thoroughly review spending and make structural reform recommendations to Congress. Rethinking military budgets requires nonpartisan analysis.
How We Will Advance the Issue in Washington, DC and Maryland
In Congress, I will lead bipartisan efforts to right-size defense budgets, close overseas bases, and pass legislation to repurpose savings into domestic infrastructure projects.
I will build coalitions among lawmakers to put America’s long-term interests over defense contractor profits. The time has come for structural change.
In Maryland, I will work closely with state and local leaders to direct reinvested funds to priority infrastructure needs, creating jobs and opportunity. My office will also assist veterans transitioning into the workforce.
I pledge to make military base realignment decisions transparently, weighing local economic impacts and transition support for affected communities and personnel. This process requires care and compassion.
The Benefits for America and Maryland
Strategically realigning our military will allow major reinvestment in domestic infrastructure, creating jobs and opportunity.
In Maryland specifically, the savings could help improve our transportation networks, replace aging water systems, expand high-speed internet access, and modernize public schools.
This will boost American and Maryland jobs, manufacturing, innovation and economic competitiveness. And it will improve the everyday lives of all our citizens.
A more balanced military and diplomatic approach will enhance both our hard and soft power globally. We can better compete economically and ideologically by leading on human rights and sustainable development.