If Liberals Want to Change DoD, This is What they Need to Do

The west side of the US Capitol building / Photo by Martin Falbisoner via Wikimedia Commons

Though Democrats control the White House and both chambers of Congress, liberals who spoke loudly to limit defense spending and change certain military policies still largely came up empty-handed in this year’s $768 billion defense policy bill. Republicans, meanwhile, walked away with a $25 billion win.

Now some progressive national security advocates are urging those liberal members of the party to learn from the loss and take steps to make sure their voices are heard in the future:  by serving on defense committees and negotiating more strategically.

Progressives were largely absent from the process of writing a final version of the fiscal 2022 National Defense Authorization Act. Besides a few notable national left-wing leaders like Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in the Senate, few progressive liberals serve on the armed services committees that oversee the military and shape the legislation. As a result, their priorities were overwhelmingly left out of the final bill, in which Republicans notched big wins.

“It seems like we’re ending up in a pattern where Democrats are thinking where the bill will end up and starting there with their negotiating position,” said Stephen Miles, the executive director of Win Without War, a group that advocates for smaller defense budgets. “They need to put forward what they want, not what they think Republicans will agree to, and then negotiate from there.”

Read more at Defense One 

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