U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton warned Wednesday that the U.S. is increasingly falling out of step on national defense, funneling resources into outdated technology and ultimately, he said, leaving the entire nation vulnerable to 21st century warfare.
“If we keep doing what we’re doing, [if] we just keep building on defense budgets as they are, we are gonna lose,” he said on Boston Public Radio, adding “we already are losing to both Russia and China.”
The conversation followed Tuesday's release of an 87-page bipartisan report from Congress' Future of Defense Task Force, on which Moulton is a co-chair.
The report warns that “the stakes could scarcely be higher,” for the U.S., at a time when political partisanship consistently stalls legislative efforts, including on issues of national defense. "Our adversaries are surging around the globe in a long-game effort to supplant westernstyle democracy with a form of authoritarianism that cloaks itself in capitalism as it undermines personal liberties and freedoms,” the report continues.
“The Department of Defense has got to be a lot savvier about where the future lies, and how we invest in our workforce, [and] in our troops,” Moulton urged. He added that the U.S. needs to start preparing for wars "that will start in space, and in cyberspace, [and] that will involve artificial intelligence and the latest advancements in biotech manufacturing.”
Asked about the impact of the current political climate on affecting change, the former Marine Corps officer said the challenge is decades old. He recalled President Dwight Eisenhower’s prescient warning on the dangers of the U.S. military industrial complex, where the nation’s economy is forced to rely on weapons and other local military manufacturing, even when its production isn't necessarcily helpful for the nation's defense.
“It’s true,” Moulton said. "That is what is holding us back right now, and it’s gonna take some real courage, some political courage, [for] members of Congress to say, 'You know what? I’m willing to sacrifice some jobs in the short term, to do the right thing for the national security of our country.'"