A recent letter reminded us of the outstanding work of the Navy SEALs in tracking down Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.
The letter writer went on to imply that President Barack Obama had shown a lack of gratitude by proposing a reduction in the budget for the Department of Defense of about $900 billion over the next 10 years. Such a reduction would amount to approximately $90 billion a year, or about 20 percent of the average defense budget over the past eight years. This reduction is quite modest compared to the 100 percent increase in the budget over that period ($300 billion to $650 billion).
The major point here is that our nation cannot afford anywhere near this kind of build-up. These large defense budgets are an important reason for our massive increase in our federal budget debt. And they are a contributing reason for our nation's inability to eliminate the operating deficits, which have been exceeding $1 trillion in each of the past three years.
Our defense budget exceeds that of any other nation on earth, and almost exceeds the collective sum of defense spending of all other nations of the world. And the debt remaining from our recent year's extravagance has left our economy in a weakened position. Even our former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, has spoken of the situation several times in the past year, stating that the federal debt is the greatest security risk that our nation faces.
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Robert J. Keegan
Hilton Head Island