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Cuts in military spending will not make us less safe

Republicans in Congress, such as John McCain and Lindsey Graham, argue that the automatic military spending cuts under the Budget Control Act of 2011, also known as “sequestration”, will make America less safe.  It seems commonsense that more military spending keeps us safe while military cuts do the opposite, but is that really the case?

Below is a chart of military spending.

defensespending 1

As of now, military spending is higher than it has been in decades – its higher than the arms build-up of the Cold War and much higher than the Vietnam War.

Defense spending went up to cover for the Afghanistan invasion and the Iraq War.  However, both of those operations are approaching their soon-to-be conclusion.  So, it doesn’t make too much sense that  we would want to maintain historically high levels of defense spending, especially when conservatives are calling for major spending cuts to reduce the national deficit. (Conservatives should note that defense spending actually decreased under Republican administrations, Reagan and Bush.  These cuts continued under the Clinton Administration).

On another note, we already outspend every other military several times over. Here is a chart to compare our military spending to other nations

We spend more than China, Russia, the UK, France, and the rest of the top 15 militaries COMBINED!  This makes it hard to argue that the moderate spending cuts proposed are anything but reasonable and well overdue.


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