So the question is, How safe is safe enough?
At what point will a politician be able to say "We need to start seriously scaling back our global operations." without their opponent yelling, "Obviously somebody doesn't understand that there are currently terrorists working around the clock plotting our children's deaths!" received by giant applause at the town hall meeting.
In all reality, how can this conversation change? I'm sure the first candidate will have to maintain that R&D + intelligence system integration keeps us safer than our ever-expanding global military outposts, and that he could actually increase that spending while severely decreasing our actually costs of production, maintenance and manpower.
But, how do we even get to that point without being laughed out of the room? Because those bombs and parts and men get made in every city of this nation. And they have a vested interest in growing our system, not saving it.