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“Modest reforms to pay and compensation will improve readiness and modernization. It will help keep our all-volunteer force sustainable and strong. Keeping faith also means investing sufficient resources so that we can uphold our sacred obligations to defend the nation and to send our sons and daughters to war with only the best training, leadership and equipment. We can’t shrink from our obligations to one another. The stakes are too high.”

Gen. Martin E. Dempsey

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The Real World

Chairman Ryan’s comments yesterday clearly show that he does not understand how defense planning and budgeting are done. Bernard Brodie said it more than thirty years ago: “strategy wears a dollar sign.”  Strategy affects resources, resources affect strategy; that’s how the defense business is done and everyone in the Pentagon has known it, and done it, for decades. At a defense spending level more than $150 billion a year higher in constant dollars than at any point in the last sixty years, and with an unprecedented global military dominance, the US has more than enough room to absorb reductions in the defense budget, even well below those currently forecast by the administration. We would lose nothing in terms of our security, and the nation would be fiscally much better off.