Ethics & Public Policy Center

If You’re Scared of Trump’s Foreign Policy, Warren’s Should Terrify You

Published in The Washington Post on November 4, 2019


Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) long-awaited plan to pay for her Medicare-for-all proposal will be justly attacked for its unrealistic assumptions regarding how to cut health-care costs and raise new revenue. Even more seriously, however, her plan includes an element that shows she approaches national security issues without sufficient care or thought.

That element is her proposal to eliminate spending on the Overseas Contingency Operations fund. This fund, appropriated each year by Congress, was initially used to pay for the Iraq War. In subsequent years, it has become the vehicle to pay for U.S. military operations in the war on terrorism and for ongoing military spending in excess of budget caps on defense spending. Since major military activities in Afghanistan ended earlier this decade, contingency operations funding has ranged from $62 billion to $92 billion a year, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Citing figures from the fiscal 2019 “People’s Budget” proposed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Warren says she thinks she can obtain $798 billion over 10 years for her health plan by eliminating the fund.

Doing this, however, would place severe strains on the United States’ ability to conduct responsible foreign policy and maintain a credible global military posture.

Click here to read the rest of this piece at the Washington Post’s website.

Henry Olsen is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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