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Retired DoD leadership has not been sufficiently vocal and organized to oppose the tide of progressivism. And some, particularly Gen. Powell, have been strong advocates of an expansive welfare state and policies, like letting people vote without showing ID, that provide political support. The simple fact of the matter is we have a European size welfare state (or larger, with generally more progressive taxation) and cannot afford anything more than a European-sized military. In a few years we will be like France and be challenged to project power nearby (Mali for France, Panama for us).