How? Let's adopt a "4 Percent for Freedom" plan. That means our country should never spend less than 4 percent of GDP on defense. Today, we spend almost that amount -- 3.9 percent -- on our core defense budget, including non-Department of Defense spending on national security. It's not enough, though.
This year's budget begins to recognize that. President Bush wants to add six brigade combat teams to the army, and he's set aside the money to pay for them. That's the first step on a long journey, one we'll need leaders in both parties to support in years to come, as Bush leaves office and a new administration takes over.
The preamble to our Constitution states that the federal government must "provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity."
We can argue about whether federal entitlement programs really "promote the general welfare." But there can be no doubt we need a strong military to provide the "common defense."
Spending at least 4 percent of GDP to fund our defense is the least we can do to make sure our country remains safe and free for generations to come.