Magazine article The Christian Century

Cutting the Military

Magazine article The Christian Century

Cutting the Military

Article excerpt

The sequestration cuts that began to be implemented this month--$1.1 trillion in federal budget cuts, divided equally between defense and nondefense areas--are like an inkblot test. One group of observers sees the cuts in military spending and worries about a weakened defense; another group sees the reduction in domestic spending and laments the pain that will be felt by the poor and unemployed and the harm done to research and education.

Some progressives, like former Vermont governor Howard Dean, note that defense spending has long been a sacred cow in American politics and think it's worth suffering the cuts in domestic programs to get across-the-board cuts to the military, which accounts for one-fifth of the nation's budget. The 7.9 percent sequester reduction will cause a little pain at the Pentagon. Procurement of weapons systems will be slowed down. Civilian employees of the military will bear the brunt of the cuts--they will have to take off one day per week, without pay, for the last 22 weeks of the year.

But the defense cuts don't go very deep. The United States will still spend as much on defense as the next 13 countries in the world combined. The new, reduced level of military spending will equal what it was in 2006, at the peak of the Iraq War.

The nation still needs a probing debate about the proper role of the military in foreign affairs, national security and financial priorities and the appropriate size of the defense budget. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.