Wednesday, November 28, 2012

consensus on defense cuts

Despite Republican campaign proposals for even higher defense spending, there is now a growing consensus among Washington think tanks that deeper cuts will and should be made. [After all, elections have consequences.]  Gordon Adams of American University and the Stimson Center notes that recent reports from several organizations across the political spectrum are suggesting smarter ways to achieve the inevitable reductions. He links to five of the recent reports, so you can read and judge for yourself.

In public discussions of defense spending, too much attention, in my opinion, is paid to big ticket weapons programs. While dollars can be saved there, even more money can be squeezed out of force structure -- military and civilian -- and from the burgeoning military entitlement programs. It just doesn't seem right that recipients of military health care benefits who are not on active duty haven't had to pay more  as costs have risen. It just doesn't seem right that retirement benefits are so generous but only one veteran in six ever receives them. We need rebalancing in these programs.

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