A senior Pentagon advisory group, in a series of bluntly worded briefings, is warning President-elect Barack Obama that the Defense Department's current budget is "not sustainable," and he must scale back or eliminate some of the military's most prized weapons programs. The briefings were prepared by the Defense Business Board, an internal management oversight body. It contends that the nation's recent financial crisis makes it imperative that the Pentagon and Congress slash some of the nation's most costly and troubled weapons to ensure they can finance the military's most pressing priorities.
I’m all in favor of a strong military but there has always been room to make our Defense Department leaner without sacrificing national security. According to this source, overall Federal spending rose from 18.99% of GDP in 2000 to 20.86% of GDP in 2007 with defense spending leading the way as it rose from 3.77% of GDP in 2000 to 4.8% of GDP in 2007. Defense spending represents 23% of the total Federal budget even if we include Social Security benefits. Defense spending is also more than double nondefense Federal spending. While you may her talk among Republican circles that we can balance the budget without raising taxes, this talk is pure fantasy unless one is willing to curb DoD spending. Yet – Republican support for the type of proposals outlined by this advisory group has historically been quite rare. Let’s hope things change over the next few years.