by Lawrence J. Korb
The defense budget should and can be reduced significantly without harming national security. In fact, a sensible reduction will actually increase national security because, as former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mullen has pointed out, our burgeoning federal deficit is the greatest threat to national security.
While reducing projected levels of defense spending will not solve the country's massive federal deficit, defense must play a part. The current budget comprises 20 percent of overall spending, about the same as
The budget is also now in a position where it can be safely reduced. In real dollars, it has grown for an unprecedented 13 consecutive years and is now higher than at any time since World War II.
Even excluding war costs, the regular or baseline budget has grown by about 50 percent over the past decade, the U.S. share of global military spending has risen from one third to about one half, and the United States now spends more on defense than the next 17 nations combined.
The Pentagon has already been ordered to cut its projected spending by
Obviously a reduction of a trillion dollars would have to come in a balanced way and, as was done in previous drawdowns, it should be implemented through a phased approach and would involve all components of the budget.
To give but a few examples, our nuclear arsenal can be slashed from the current level of 5,000 to 311, as recommended by some
Reasonable Ways to Cut Defense Budget | Politics
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