Debt: A Threat to National Security?

  • Lieutenant Colonel Paul M. Skipworth

The gross federal debt now tops $18 trillion, but the outlook appears to be improving as the economy continues to rebound from the Great Recession. In 2014, the nation experienced its fastest economic growth in over ten years, the stock market doubled, the health care inflation rate was at its lowest rate in 50 years, and the deficit had been cut by two-thirds. But much debate remains before the actual debt improves. This paper aims to inform that debate by providing a general description about government debt, reviewing our nation’s history and projections of debt, and describing the impact of debt on national security. Finally, it offers broad recommendations based on this context.