Defending Foreign Countries Costs Money

Rep. Adam Smith

America’s military budget includes funds used to pay for defense of the United States as well as funds extracted from Americans to fund the defense of an array of client states across the world. Don’t believe me? Listen to Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash), discussing U.S. military strength in the context of Asia:

We should be strong enough to defend our interests and the interests of other countries in the region.

In this view, how strong should actual countries in the region be? Do they have to do anything to defend their interests? Or will we just do it for them, come what may? If the latter, is this smart?