What Price American Leadership?

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Bargain...or burden?

Dueling items Thursday morning over the U.S.’s proper place in the world, and how much the nation should be willing to invest in maintaining it.

On Time’s Curious Capitalist blog, veteran Asia hand Michael Schuman wonders:

…The world expects America to use its armed forces to solve the world’s problems. When Washington takes a backseat and lets others drive for a while – as in the current conflict in Libya – the White House faces stiff criticism. But as the debate in Washington rages over how to close the budget deficit and control rising government debt, I’ve started wondering how long the U.S. can afford to play the role of global security officer. And if the U.S. doesn’t, who will?

Well, a growing number of Republicans on Capitol Hill are finding their wallets a little threadbare, according to this morning’s Politico:

Supporters of Pentagon spending are pushing back against pressure for deep defense cuts in a potential deal to reduce the $14.3 trillion national debt, saying the cuts could have real implications for national security in the future. It’s a fight they may lose. The focus on defense cuts is splitting the GOP caucus, pitting budget hawks more willing to consider deep reductions against traditional supporters of military spending in the committees that authorize Pentagon programs and appropriate the money.

Fasten your seat belts — this could get ugly.