“Defense spending is a massive part of our federal budget – and a cause of equally massive debate, whether in wartime or in peace. With fiscal pressures rising, Defense Secretary Robert Gates has detailed a reprioritization of Pentagon resources and a $78 billion reduction in planned defense spending over the next five years. But he has also argued that “when it comes to the deficit, the Department of Defense is not the problem.” Still, the $720 billion defense budget is a very large share of federal discretionary spending – more than half in 2010. We can no longer separate national security from fiscal imperatives. Unfortunately, several myths keep us from a more disciplined defense budget.”
From The Washington Post: “5 Myths about Defense Spending” by Gordon Adams and Matthew Leatherman
Gordon Adams and Matthew Leatherman’s Washington Post January 16th article, “5 Myths about Defense Spending” outlines not only the myths that stand in the way of a rational look at defense spending, but also demolishing them in an effective way. These ‘myths’ include number 3, that Republicans like defense spending whereas Democrats don’t. In the last myth, “Gates’ cuts are enough” the author’s note Gates’ cuts are “a small step in the right direction but the proposed cut would still leave the level of defense spending far above what we need.”
A key note: Gordon Adams is one of our nation’s best experts on defense spending and the DOD budget, he held the highest ranking job at the OMB with responsibility for the “National Security Account,” which includes DOD and The Department of State.
He demolishes the myth that our defense spending is dictated by the threats we face. As we have noted in our blog posts at RNS, we know that many of our expensive DOD projects are more related to pork projects supported by lobbyists and their supportive Congresspersons rather than our security needs.