Peace Action West in The Hill
We’re on The Hill’s Congress blog today talking about how Congress needs to face reality and make smart, strategic reductions to the Pentagon budget:
What glaring oversight was a top driving factor in Congress’s failure to avert $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts? As the partisan posturing drags on after Congress’s failure to strike a deal by the March 1 deadline, a bipartisan lapse comes into focus: refusal to face the fact that we need to reshape the Pentagon budget. Because Congress dropped the ball and failed to address out of control Pentagon spending, critical government programs will now be slashed across the board.
Everyone from former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to weapons contractors cried wolf about the devastating impact of reductions in Pentagon spending. But when done the right way, smart Pentagon cuts won’t harm our security. Instead they make the country stronger by contributing to our economic health.
When you put the bluster aside, a very different picture of the Pentagon budget emerges. As the Center for Strategic and International Studies points out, cuts on the level of sequestration would amount to the smallest post-war reduction in defense spending since before the Korean War. We can make smart, strategic reductions on the level of sequestration and still be spending more than the yearly Cold War average.