Cutting Pentagon budget weakens our national security

August 19, 2011

Dan Rodricks proposes to cut defense spending almost by half, but says he also wants our troops to have the technology they need. ("Austerity measures must apply to the Pentagon, too" Aug. 11). Like so many advocates of reckless defense cuts, he provides no specifics about how we could possibly accomplish these contradictory objectives.

Defense spending didn't dig us into this hole and we shouldn't look to it to dig us out. Defense spending shrunk by more than half as a share of the budget since 1970, while spending on entitlements more than doubled. And the Pentagon has already contributed nearly $500 billion toward deficit reduction in the last two years.

If we make Rodricks' cuts, we decimate technology he agrees our troops need, because the savings he is counting on from drawing down troops in Iraq and Afghanistan won't be realized for years. That leaves us with no other option but disproportionate cuts in the high tech planes and drones that have been indispensable in capturing and killing high-value targets such as Osama Bin Laden – equipment that only makes up a quarter of the Pentagon budget.

Doing more with less is a nice slogan in the abstract, but applying it to our military endangers our troops and weakens our national security.

George Landrith, Fairfax, Va.

The writer is president of Frontiers of Freedom foundation.

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