Here's a thought experiment: would it be so terrible if the United States stopped being the world's military superpower?
What would happen if we reduced defense spending down to the level of, say, Australia (the 13'th largest defense budget in the world)? The US spends over half a trillion dollars a year on the military, Australia spends 14 billion dollars a year-- or roughly half a trillion dollars less than the US.
I was born in Australia-- it's a very nice country. As far as I can tell, Australia isn't suffering because it's not the World's Number One SuperPower. Like the US, it doesn't share any borders with unfriendly neighbors (but my mum tells me that a big worry down under in the sixties was the "Yellow Peril"-- that Chinese overpopulation would force them to invade).
Run the thought experiment in reverse-- what benefits would Australia get if it spent an extra half a trillion dollars a year and became the Worlds Greatest Fighting Force?
I know next to nothing about defense or foreign policy, so enlighten me-- besides bragging rights, what am I getting for that half a trillion dollars that I wouldn't get if we spent 20 billion dollars instead?