Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

The defense budget implosion (V): The poll numbers for sharp cuts are rolling in

About half of Americans polled say that the budget can come way down. Nearly 80 percent say we spend too much defending other countries. Whether you agree or not with those views, it is hard to disagree that the Pentagon elevator is going down fast. I am amazed at how little I am seeing written ...

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

About half of Americans polled say that the budget can come way down. Nearly 80 percent say we spend too much defending other countries.

Whether you agree or not with those views, it is hard to disagree that the Pentagon elevator is going down fast. I am amazed at how little I am seeing written about this. I suspect the next 10 years will see a major revamping of the military establishment, in ways we hardly suspect now. Marines out of aviation? Massive consolidation of support services? Mandatory halving of headquarters, with a freeze on hiring any additional contractors, and termination of contractors upon expiration of existing contracts?

Anyone seen good work on this, looking down the road to a substantially smaller Pentagon budget?

About half of Americans polled say that the budget can come way down. Nearly 80 percent say we spend too much defending other countries.

Whether you agree or not with those views, it is hard to disagree that the Pentagon elevator is going down fast. I am amazed at how little I am seeing written about this. I suspect the next 10 years will see a major revamping of the military establishment, in ways we hardly suspect now. Marines out of aviation? Massive consolidation of support services? Mandatory halving of headquarters, with a freeze on hiring any additional contractors, and termination of contractors upon expiration of existing contracts?

Anyone seen good work on this, looking down the road to a substantially smaller Pentagon budget?

(HT to MD)

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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