Budgets are an appealing lens for strategy in part for the precise, dispassionate measure they seem to offer. But part of that certainty is an illusion. As Kate Brannen investigates in a recent Defense News article, questions like “how big is the defense budget?” and “how fast is it changing?” are debatable. Fortunately, BFAD’s Gordon Adams was there to help frame the discussion, pointing out that we should be:
less concerned about the overall levels [of defense spending and]… more interested in whether DoD is spending its money on things that defend the national security interest of the U.S.
Adams goes on to say that:
The real question is, what and how much of next-generation [equipment] do we need?
It’s important to keep points like these in mind when discussing budget reductions. As we have said before, and as Gordon reiterated in the article, the deficit problem is the most important national security challenge currently facing the US, and “you can only get there with everything on the table.”