I happened to hear a comment from a Canadian discussant in a TV broadcast recently, to the effect that he was delighted the US military budget was to be reduced. For next year it is to be $261 billion, several percent less than it was, but only about a billion less than President Clinton asked for. Congress only managed to whittle it down Clinton’s request by about 0.4%.
As someone who has witnessed 20 budget cuts in 23 consecutive years at an Ontario University I can tell you that the first few cuts don’t affect the important programs. You learn to eliminate the wastage; then, if the cuts continue, you consolidate a bit, and later you may have to cut the least important other things. By inference one can predict that, with this enormous budget, the US military will still be able to carry on a tremendous program of arms development as well as keeping their very powerful forces deployed anywhere they choose across the globe. The cuts will make little difference. $261 billion is an obscenely large sum to be spent on the military, especially now. Unlike the panellist on the TV show, I am not reassured.