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United States Public Debt: Implications for National Security in a Competitive Environment

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Master's Thesis]

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The United States public debt has reached a value greater than the entire gross domestic product of the country. In addition, China owns a substantial portion of this debt. As China and the United States become increasingly competitive, what implications does the public debt have for U.S. security This thesis uses a range of qualitative and quantitative methods to uncover the degree to which public debt affects U.S. security efforts. The results show that the legislative response to public debt negatively affects funding for U.S. security efforts, that the U.S. dollar is an important mechanism in maintaining stable debt dynamics, and that debt adds to the interdependence of the U.S. and Chinese economies, which can shape national security decision-making. Debt has strategic implications for U.S. security interests. However, the United States has not sufficiently incorporated debt into its strategic policy. The risk of negative consequences increases by failing to understand the unique dynamics of U.S. debt and failing to ensure the debt serves desired ends.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Government and Political Science
  • Economics and Cost Analysis

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]