Republicans Wrongly Equate Pentagon Spending with American Security

Robert Borosage

The following statement is in response to the newly introduced Republican bill that would block the automatic military spending cuts that are now part of the 2010 deal to increase the debt limit.

Republicans believe bloated Pentagon budgets strengthen American security. In fact, the reverse is true. The most important security priority for America is making the investments here at home vital to reviving our economy, modernizing our infrastructure, educating our children, and getting our fiscal house in order. To achieve this, we need to reduce unnecessary spending – and there is no greater source of that than the Pentagon.

The Cold War is over. Bin Laden is dead and Al Qaeda dispersed. The U.S. cannot and should not police the world. The Pentagon now spends almost as much on the military as the rest of the world combined. It is the largest source of waste, fraud and abuse in the federal government. The Pentagon budget more than doubled over the past decade, bringing total U.S. defense spending to historically high levels not seen since World War II. It’s higher in comparable dollars than it was under Ronald Reagan in the midst of the Cold War.

We can and should reduce our military spending, revise our forces to fit the new world we live in. Even after the full sequester, the U.S. will retain by far the most powerful – and expensive – military in the world. These Senators would weaken our security, not strengthen it. They are defending the entrenched interests of the military-industrial complex a Republican President, Dwight Eisenhower, warned us about, not the real security of the American people.

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