Speaking today to graduating seniors at the University of Notre Dame, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates slammed all prospective calls to answer the financial crisis by cutting the record military budget.
Gates conceded that the mounting national debt “could develop into a deep crisis” but insisted that it was vital to maintain spending to ensure that the US military is able to extend its reach globally, and to ensure that the US military is superior to any adversary.
The later claim is particularly ridiculous, of course, because despite Secretary Gates’ constant calls for bigger budgets, the United States already has a nearly ten-fold lead over any nation on earth in the question of military spending, and a near hundred-fold advantage over any nation it is liable to attack.
Gates seemed to try to answer this complete lack of need for such a ridiculously oversized military as well, claiming that the “lessons of history” were that such a force would “ultimately” be needed. Though Secretary Gates may well be right in that any nation spending $700 billion annually simply looking for trouble is liable to find it, this will probably not silence the calls to bring the military down to a sensible size in the near future.