by Gordon Adams
America has never been militarily safer than it is today. No nation poses an existential threat to the country. The threat of a terrorist attack is diminishing.
Today, the American military is the only one in the world that can steam, fly, and deploy globally. It is the only military that has truly global logistics, infrastructure, communications, transportation, and intelligence. It has more ships than any country, more tanks, more aircraft, more military transportation, and refueling capability. No other country, not even China, attempts to build such a global force.
Nor is it a "worn out" force. Gen. Peter Chiarelli,
Nor is it burdened with worn-out equipment that now needs to be repaired. At a cost of
Today we have a big security problem: a deep economic recession combined with a yawning federal deficit. Our national debt, as the recently retired chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, has said, is "the most significant threat to our national security."
It is time to discipline defense, along with the rest of the federal budget, and target tax and spending policies for an economic recovery. The defense budget has more than doubled over the past decade, rising to constant-dollar levels unprecedented, in peace or war, since 1945. This surge of funds meant, as Admiral Mullen put it in January 2011, that the
Now it is time to restore order at the department and bring defense budgets back into line. There are lots of good ideas about how to do that, sensible ideas that do not "hollow out" the military. At this moment of transition out of Iraq, we need to re-look at how we use the military. We should not be asking the military to "do more with less," we should be asking them to do less with less, to set mission priorities in a safer world.
The challenge is doing a build-down right.
We have done three of them since the end of the Korean War and we have not "gotten them wrong." The build-down of the 1990s left in place a force that used Saddam Hussein as a speed bump in 2003.
It is time to stop whining and get down to business.
An orderly build-down would be good for the nation, for a disciplined
It Is Time for Discipline, Defense | Politics
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