In “Budgetary Savings from Military Restraint,” Cato Institute scholars Benjamin H. Friedman and Christopher Preble offer an initial harvest of restraint cuts. The authors tell readers that the initial menu does no “preclude consideration of further reductions.”
From an initial list of nineteen specific actions, I have selected the following as an initiation for readers:
- Cut the active-duty Army to 360,000 personnel.
- Cut the size of the Marine Corps from 202,000 to 145,000.
- Cancel the Littoral Combat Ship and develop a less expensive alternative.
- Build and operate fewer Air Force fighters.
- Make national missile defense a research program.
- Cut the Pentagon civilian workforce.
The United States confuses what it wants from its military, which is global primacy or hegemony, with what it needs, which is safety. … We can defend ourselves with far more restrained military objectives. … A policy of restraint that discourages state-building and permanent alliances would allow us to plan for fewer military actions and cut the size and cost of the military.
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