Weekly Writers Round-Up: Fixing the Defense Budget, Reopening Schools, and Rehiring Violent Cops - America's Future

July 29, 2020

AF Community

Weekly Writers Round-Up: Fixing the Defense Budget, Reopening Schools, and Rehiring Violent Cops

By: Josh Evans

Each week, we’ll be featuring opinion pieces from the alumni and current participants of AF’s Writing Fellows Program. A few highlights from the past week are below. Do you dream of having bylines like these? Learn more about how the Writing Fellows Program can help boost your writing career!

Let’s Cut the Army Budget: We Need Ships, Not Land Forces, To Fight China by Gil Barndollar (Summer 2018) in The National Interest
The erosion of American naval primacy has been one of the most under-reported national scandals of the past decade. Even as the United States rang up record peacetime defense bills and used purportedly counterterrorism Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) money as a slush fund, the U.S. Navy was stagnant. The U.S. currently mans 293 warships, a tiny bump from the 288 of 2010. Despite President Trump’s campaign promise of a 355-ship navy, the administration is requesting $6 billion less for shipbuilding in 2021 than it did last year. At just eight hulls, this year’s proposed Navy shipbuilding budget is the smallest since 2015. Probably nowhere in the entire U.S. defense budget is the gap between rhetoric and reality larger than in Navy shipbuilding.

The U.S. National Defense Strategy and an appraisal of recent events both tell us that China is the preeminent foreign threat to American national security and prosperity. The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has not spent the past decade adrift; from 2015 to 2017, China launched twice the naval tonnage U.S. shipyards did…

Students’ futures at risk without choice of in-person schooling by Vance Ginn (Spring 2019) in the Victoria Advocate
In a recent poll, parents’ top concern was whether their children will miss in-person school instruction time. And they have good reason to be concerned as 67% of teachers said completion rates of student assignments were worse than in-person instruction.

This hurts disadvantaged students the most, as the Texas Education Agency recently noted that students in low-income families across the U.S. had a drop of 55.6% in online math coursework whereas those in middle-income families had a 34.2% decline and in high-income families actually had a 4.8% increase…

Why the George Floyd cops could get their jobs back by Brad Polumbo (Summer 2018) in the New York Daily News
Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin stood on George Floyd’s neck for seven minutes and 46 seconds, stomping the life out of an innocent man in a tragedy that has since been seared into the national consciousness and prompted months of justifiable outrage. Chauvin now faces second-degree murder charges in court, while his colleagues who watched Floyd die and did nothing face criminal charges for aiding and abetting — but new reporting suggests that all four abusive officers could still be reinstated to the Minneapolis police force…