May 22, 2023

What a Debt Default Would Mean for National Security

Over the past several years, American political leaders have rightly focused on augmenting national power. Faced with China’s geopolitical challenge, Washington has boosted its defense budget, stimulated domestic innovation, built new international partnerships, and moved to protect its technological lead. These steps have won broad support in both parties and across very different presidential administrations, and for good reason: A more powerful United States, working ever more closely with likeminded partners, is best placed to engage in long-term competition with Beijing.

Military strength and geopolitical influence rise and fall with a country’s economic power, and a debt default would strike a major blow against them all.

In this context, the possibility of a default on U.S. debt — which Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warns could occur as soon as June 1 — seems utterly mystifying. Defaulting on the nation’s debt threatens catastrophic economic consequences and would seriously harm national security. It’s hard to think of a single American action that would more effectively reduce its global standing, influence and power — and boost those of its chief competitor.

Read the full article from The Hill.