Historically, both in terms of the geopolitical status in the world, and from the perspective of the global economic frailty, we find ourselves in a window of opportunity to shrink the bloated, wasteful and unnecessary defense budget.
The 2012 defense budget of $646 billion has declined from the war-spending peak of $691 in 2010. But the 2012 budget, which is still in effect because Congress hasn’t passed the 2013 spending bill, is more than double the pre-war $316 billion budget of 2001.
Chuck Hagel could be a Secretary of Defense that could get this done. He has the bona fides, and the first hand experience in war, to legitimize his arguements.
How much can the defense budget be cut and not threaten our national security? My take on this issue is that the military has to find and even create justifications for it’s existence. This is clear in so many instances, where “causus belli” have been manufactured to convince an easily scared public of the need to tragically go to war.
This statement by one of the leadiing Senate hawks I find fascinating. “I’m one of the strongest defense hawks in the Congress,” Graham said. But “if we could come up with an entitlement reform deal that saves Social Security and Medicare and deals with Medicaid and sets spending limits that are sustainable, I would entertain going past $487 billion” in defense cuts over the next decade.
Read more at http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/…
As a country, we’re trying to craft a “Grand Bargain”, more out of necessity than ideology, but ideology and inflexibility seem to keep getting in the way.
It’s encouraging that even Senate hawks now couple defense spending reductions with other contentious issues. Perhaps defense cuts can pay for social programs. One can dream, right?