Military spending in the United States is predictable only in its enormity. Annually, the Pentagon’s budget is the largest in the history of humankind, and just as predictably, by the end of the year Pentagon leaders are denouncing the budget as woefully insufficient.
The trend is always toward a bigger military, with a more ambitious set of policies. The Institute for Policy Studies, however, has released a new report urging the opposite approach.
The report calls for a reduction of the Army and Marines by 20 percent, and said the military’s activity should “become more focused and their goals more discrete, determinate, and realistic.”
It defends the call for cuts “as a matter of long-term national security” given the nation’s current economic troubles. The Pentagon has warned that spending cuts are impossible because of the assorted wars it is currently fighting.
It is these wars, of course, which are at the core of the matter, and the escalation of the number and intensity of those wars which is behind the endless calls for more money. The goals and the size of the military go hand in hand, but indications are that the Panetta-led Pentagon will follow the long tradition of US military leaderships that always see more wars to fight, and more money to spend.