Does the Defense Department’s budget make the Pentagon look fat? Some officials believe so, as political and economic pressure to cut the U.S. military’s bloated spending habit has stirred the first serious debate on the Pentagon’s budget since 2001’s terrorist attacks.
A fact worth keeping in mind: The U.S. spends more money on its military than the rest of the world combined. —JCL
The New York Times:
After nearly a decade of rapid increases in military spending, the Pentagon is facing intensifying political and economic pressures to restrain its budget, setting up the first serious debate since the terrorist attacks of 2001 about the size and cost of the armed services.
Lawmakers, administration officials and analysts said the combination of big budget deficits, the winding down of the war in Iraq and President Obama’s pledge to begin pulling troops from Afghanistan next year were leading Congress to contemplate reductions in Pentagon financing requests.
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has sought to contain the budget-cutting demands by showing Congress and the White House that he can squeeze more efficiency from the Pentagon’s bureaucracy and weapons programs and use the savings to maintain fighting forces.