The National Government’s spending spree has people on the lookout for possible cuts to the budget. With the country waging two unpopular wars, military spending is an easy target. Yet President Obama’s Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, says it depends on what is being cut. He rejects the “across the board cuts” of the 70’s and 90’s in favor of targeted cuts. Like the budget in general, entitlements are becoming more and more a part of military spending. Michael Gerson writes:
"Some of America’s most expansive military commitments are not made in the Middle East but rather in the military’s health care, compensation and retirement systems. Health costs in the defense budget have risen from $19 billion in 2001 to more than $50 billion today. The military retirement system is appropriately generous. But the possibility of retiring at age 37 with full benefits — following 20 years of service — seems generous beyond normal bounds."
While entitlement spending could use some trimming, research and development do not. As Tony Stark reminds us, our military's success depends upon having the best combat systems, training, operations and maintenance in the world.