By William Hartung
New York Times
20 July 2011
To the Editor:
Re “The Pentagon’s Financial Drawdown,” by Gordon R. England (Op-Ed, July 15): The president’s proposed reduction of $400 billion in Pentagon spending over a decade should not be referred to as a “cut.” It is measured relative to the Pentagon’s unrealistic plans, not against current levels of spending. In fact, the $400 billion can be accommodated while letting the current budget grow with inflation.
An across-the-board reduction in the rate of growth of Pentagon spending will not “result in a hollowed-out force that will embolden our enemies,” as Mr. England suggests. Over the last few years, United States military spending has been at post-World War II record levels, and it is almost as large as the military budgets of the rest of the world combined.
A small course correction will not significantly change this spending gap, regardless of how it is carried out.
WILLIAM D. HARTUNG
New York, July 15, 2011
William Hartung is the director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy and the author of Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex.
Copyright, New York Times, 2011. Original article available here.