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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

Submitted by Goforit at: February 26, 2013
It about time the Pentagon, needs stronger oversight for its spending. How long has it been that the spending has been a blackhole and will continue to spend,spend and spend. It time for the Pentagon to start having bake sales. We taxpayers have been biting bullets for years.
Submitted by Taxpayer71 at: February 25, 2013
Agree the Pentagon can take the cut. The sequestration approach is terminally stupid, an outcome supported by Republicans and Democrats in Congress. The cuts could be taken intelligently if the Pentagon was given authority to make the reductions where it hurts the least. Congress supported but can't fix sequestration. Congress can't pass a FY 2013 budget. So give the executive branch authority to take the cuts intelligently, go home and wait for revised DoD FY 13 and FY 14 budgets. Come back when you can perform your constitutional responsibilities.

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