Veterans can help break the partisan gridlock hindering national security policy.
It is not news that excessive partisanship has led to gridlock in Washington. Many of the chronic problems we face, from immigration policy to soaring budget deficits to the solvency of Social Security and Medicare, repeatedly get kicked down the road as one or both parties reject bipartisan solutions.
Less noticed is how corrosive this stalemate is to national security policy and foreign affairs. Once, partisan politics "stopped at the water's edge." No more. Now defense and foreign policy challenges – even those that are highly technical – are among the issues most exploited for partisan gain.
This has real consequences. For instance, it has become almost impossible to pass an international treaty through the Senate. During the George W. Bush administration, the Senate approved 163 treaties. In the nine years since then, just 21 have been ratified – mostly narrow ones addressing extradition or fishing practices.
Bedrock alliances that helped maintain the peace for decades once had strong bipartisan support; now they are belittled as irrelevant. Instead of forceful diplomacy [...]