Both progressive Presidents Wilson and Roosevelt introduced huge socialist programs and paid for them with massive cuts to their defense budgets. After several years of reductions in new equipment and reducing the size of the standing army, the country was committed to World Wars I and II. The reason that foreign leaders felt they could ignore the might of the United States was that our armed forces in each timeline did not intimidate anyone.
In World War I the American Doughboy was sent to Europe in 1917 armed with a Springfield 1903 rifle, and we had to borrow obsolete machine guns, artillery and airplanes from the British and the French.
In World War II we entered the war with Sherman tanks that were under-armored and had the smallest gun. The soldiers referred to it, initially, as "Ronson's" after the popular cigarette lighter of the day.
Our fighter aircraft were no match for the ME 109s and the Japanese Zero.
Our newest torpedo had never been field-tested due to budgetary restraints and did not explode on contact.
In the first engagements of both wars, it was the incredible bravery and innovative tactics of the American fighting man that overcame the deficiencies of his training and equipment.
Today, progressive President Obama is threatening us with a massive cut to our defense budget in order to pay for a huge socialist program, unless we approve heavy new taxes that will ultimately curtail investment and employment.
I wonder if the German Kaiser in WW I and Hitler and Tojo in WWII would have been so quick to declare war if American armaments had been kept competitive to the threats of the day.
We all can speculate what nation in the future will no longer be intimidated by the size of our standing army and threaten our destruction.