Robert Gates reform-oriented defense budget would mean less money for some defense contractors and fewer jobs in the districts of some members of congress. Under the circumstances, I’m not surprised that it’s being met with some skepticism. That said, the idea that the Gates/Obama budget would somehow leave us “unprepared” for conventional war is just silly:
Others, like Senator John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, cite the threats posed by nations around the world that remain true adversaries — or at least are competitors to American interests.
In a speech to the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative policy center in Washington, Mr. Cornyn said that China was upgrading and expanding its navy to challenge American warships, that Russia was striving to intimidate its neighbors and re-establish a sphere of influence, and that North Korea and Iran continued to expand their missile arsenals while pursuing nuclear weapons.
Time again to take a look at US defense spending in context:
If we decided to take the threats Cornyn names seriously and spend double the combined budgets of China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran then that would imply large cuts in our current levels of spending. And keep in mind that under such a scenario we’d still be able to call on allies such as South Korea, Japan, and our friends in NATO. The west would still have an overwhelming preponderance of military power.
It’s true, as Cornyn says, that we still face international security problems. But it’s not because we’re not spending enough on defense. It’s because we face problems we can’t solve with more defense spending.