It was refreshing to read Thomas F. Schaller's commentary about the burden of America's superpower status ("America should give up its role as lone superpower," July 25). Mr. Schaller was a bit too reserved in his criticism, however.
While he points out that our military budget dwarfs all others, he falls into that trap of attributing it to "defense spending." The Defense Department, which used to be called the Department of War, is actually involved in offensive operations. The invasions of Grenada, Panama and Iraq were classic examples of warmongering that had nothing to do with defending the country.
Nor, unfortunately, does the author make the connection between Pentagon spending and the American cities and states that are being starved for funding to deal with a myriad of problems, including our decaying infrastructure. The most recent water main break is just another example of Baltimore's misery.
We have had to close fire houses, recreation centers and swimming pools because of our budget problems, but the "Defense Department" has unlimited funds with which to threaten Iran.
All empires collapse. This country could still make a soft landing if the Pentagon budget were severely cut so funding could go to rebuilding our cities and states. I suspect, though, that the politicians will fiddle around instead until a major calamity befalls us.
Max Obuszewski, Baltimore