Cutting the defense budget still further as the Obama Administration proposes is looking more and more like historic folly. In some respects, this is absolutely the worst time to be signaling a U.S. conviction that the world has become safer and more friendly to American economic interests.
Robert J. Samuelson is an economist who is making the economics-defense connection. Eventually, U.S. businesses are going to wake up to the danger of defense cuts, too.
The reverse is also true; namely, economics is another strength in defense and needs to be employed that way. In Ukraine right now the U.S. should pursuing Eastern European energy development--and Western European return to nuclear power--as a way to prevent Russian intimidation. America itself needs to announce plans to ship its own liquid natural gas to Ukraine and anyone else who wants an alternative to Russian natural gas.