Jacob G. Hornberger
Throughout the Cold War, the proponents of the national-security state assured us that the only reason the United States needed to adopt this totalitarian-like apparatus was because of the international communist conspiracy emanating from the Soviet Union and Red China. Once the Cold War was won, the statists said, America could restore the limited-government constitutional republic that the Constitution established.
Of course, the argument was a sham. The proponents of empire, standing army, and CIA knew that the possibility that the Cold War would ever end was virtually non-existent. They knew that the “communist threat” could be used as a perpetual justification for the existence of America’s warfare state and its ever-growing budgets and army of contractors and subcontractors. The statists just loved big government and figured that they had come up with the perfect scam to achieve it on a permanent basis.
And then the unexpected happened, which sent the national-security state and its proponents into a state of fear and panic. The Cold War ended. Suddenly, the justification for the national-security state apparatus, which had fundamentally altered the American way of life, was gone.
What to do now?
One option was the obvious one: dismantle the national-security state by closing all the overseas bases, bring all the troops home, discharge them, dismantle the enormous standing army, close domestic military bases, abolish (i.e., not reform) the CIA and the NSA, and end all the taxation needed to support this gigantic, privileged force in American life.