Nearly Half Of Americans Say U.S. Can ‘Significantly Reduce Military Spending’ Without Sacrificing Security

Japanese Citizens Protesting Against U.S. Military Bases

A new Rasmussen poll out yesterday finds that a plurality of Americans believe the United States can make major cuts in military spending without sacrificing security and nearly 80 percent said the U.S. spends too much protecting allies:

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 48% of Adults feel it is possible to significantly reduce military spending without putting the American people at risk. Thirty-seven percent (37%) disagree and do not believe major defense cuts come without risk. Fifteen percent (15%) are not sure. […]

Seventy-nine percent (79%) say the United States spends too much on defending other countries. Only four percent (4%) think America doesn’t spend enough protecting its friends. Thirteen percent (13%) feel these defense expenditures are about right.

While the poll found that nearly half said the U.S. military should withdraw from Europe and Japan, 68 percent said “it is possible to significantly reduce the amount the United States spends defending other countries without putting the American people at risk.”

Also yesterday, Reuters reported that a new study from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments found “the U.S. military has essentially the same size, force structure and capabilities as it did a decade ago but costs 35 percent more.” The Defense Department spent $46 billion over the past 10 years “developing weapons systems that were ultimately never fielded, either due to cost overruns or technical challenges.” Thus, the report found, DOD’s effort to modernize its weapons systems did not result in force modernization.

As the Washington Times reports today, momentum for reducing military spending is increasing. “I think this is the time because of a combination of the deficit and the changing way in which we’re going to deal with threats from groups like al Qaeda,” said CAP’s Larry Korb, who along with Laura Conley and Alex Rothman, recently released a report outlining how the U.S. can cut $400 billion in military spending by 2015.