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The Pentagon Can Take the Cut

The Pentagon has been pulling out the big guns to fight the coming defense spending reductions that are part of sequestration. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and the Joint Chiefs of Staff have been making the rounds in Washington to try to avert the cuts, but many defense experts think their warnings are overblown and the Pentagon can adapt to a smaller budget.

In a CNN article, William Hartung, the director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy, said he agrees that the forced cuts aren’t the best way to reduce spending, but:

[T]here is no question that the Pentagon can reshape its budget to meet current challenges while saving hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer funds.

The Pentagon and the armed services should spend more time looking for ways to impose spending discipline and less time trying to prop up their budgets at levels we don't need and can't afford.

Similarly, Mark Thompson writes in TIME’s Battleland that the rhetoric around the sequester cuts is ridiculous given the actual size of the cuts.

“The notion that the nation can’t trim its military spending back to 2007 levels – which is what the sequester would do – is bizarre. That level is higher than the Cold War average.”

Read the rest of Hartung’s piece for some smart ways to reduce Pentagon spending and check out the Battleland article to get an idea of how today’s Pentagon budget compares to defense spending over that last 40 years.

By: Andre Francisco
Online Producer, POGO

andre francisco Andre Francisco is the Online Producer for the Project On Government Oversight.

Topics: National Security

Related Content: Budget, Defense, Sequester, Wasteful Defense Spending

Authors: Andre Francisco

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