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The New Rules: U.S. Defense Cuts a Step in the Right Direction

Monday, Jan. 10, 2011

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates unveiled his much-anticipated budget cuts last Thursday, signaling the beginning of the end of the decade-long splurge in military spending triggered by Sept. 11. Gates presented the package of cuts as being the biggest possible given the current international security landscape, warning that any deeper reductions could prove "potentially calamitous." Frankly, I find that statement hard to swallow.

How can America basically match the rest of the world's defense spending combined, and then describe anything less as "potentially calamitous"? Clearly, given the "nation's grim financial outlook," as Gates himself put it, we're going to have to come up with a more-realistic force-sizing principle, rather than simply adding new threats to the list while never having the courage to trim back less-plausible ones. ...

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