Monday, March 31, 2008

Two Views of the Defense Budget

Here's Elizabeth Dole writing in the Washington Times:

What nation's Air Force is flying aircraft more than 50 years old?
What nation's Navy has the smallest fleet since before World War II? And what
nation's military transports are banned from the airspace of a South American
country because they are notoriously unreliable? Most Americans would be shocked
to learn the answer is none other than the United States.

While Philip Carter plus Fred Kaplan think they know How to fix the US military:

...the Air Force's No. 1 priority today is to build as many F-22 fighter planes as it can, at a cost of
hundreds of billions of dollars—even though they would play no role in any
foreseeable war over the next two decades. One way to wean them off such weapons
is to build up (and put more money into) other Air Force missions—for example,
cargo-transport planes (to carry ground forces and their gear),
close-air-support planes (to fire shells or drop bombs in support of troops on
the ground), or to provide security for bases (many Air Force personnel have
been reassigned to do just that). The defense secretary could announce that the
service's continued share of the budget depends on boosting the importance of
those missions.

Liberals often enjoy cutting the military's budget with little thought of its effect on our National Security. Likewise do conservatives call for more defense dollars, with little regard whether the money is spent wisely. This is Mrs. Dole's attitude with her call for up to 4% of our GNP spent on the defense budget. Yet we see too often with the rising cost of new weapons, however much money we throw at this burgeoning colossus, we seem to get fewer weapons for our money, in other words, far less bang for our bucks!