Charting the defense cuts
Source: Project on Defense Alternatives
January 26th, 2012
08:58 PM ET

Charting the defense cuts

Mention cuts to the U.S. Defense Department budget and you’ll hear that it’s either a catastrophic mistake or you’ll get hollering from those that say the fat hasn’t even started to be trimmed. Perhaps a look at the numbers could bring some clarity to situation. The Project on Defense Alternatives seemed to think so when they put out the chart above that plots out the Defense Department’s base budget, the budget minus war spending, starting in the late 70’s after the Vietnam War.

The defense policy think tank, which argues that defense spending could be cut further, shows that when looking at the bigger historical picture projected cuts are nowhere near the lows of the 90’s, often referred to as the “Peace Dividend”, after the Cold War. Even after sequestration cuts that would slash the Pentagon budget by another $500 billion, a scenario that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta referred to as “doomsday”, the base budget would still be higher than the average spending during the Cold War in the 1980s.

All numbers have been adjusted for inflation, the group says, according to Defense Department estimates.

Filed under: Budget • Defense Spending • Military • Panetta • Secretary of Defense
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Valentin Sferrazza

    March 4, 2021 at 10:07 am | Reply
  2. michaelfury

    "It does not matter whether the war is actually happening, and, since no decisive victory is possible, it does not matter whether the war is going badly. All that is needed is that a state of war should exist."

    – Orwell, 1984

    January 27, 2012 at 7:23 am | Reply
  3. mipolitic

    so the secretary of state is leaving the rough road of office for smoother roads to enjoying life. this may become a trend. israel has recieved the message by proxy of 100,000. helments being offered to protect its population since the usa will no longer need them due to its down sizing the military personal. at least this is what i understood from the message of usa secretary of DEFENCE. i am sure he is the secretary of DEFENCE and not the secretay of war like cheney . is that DEFENCE just of the usa or also its allies . ya well we have all defended others with words. i guess the helments is better than nothing. i wonder where that puts Canada and the artic with the russians? well before it all goes to hell i am going fishing before all the usa veterans catch all the fish. after all with the unemployment stats what else will the booted military personal do?

    January 26, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Reply
    • mike in wa

      Or she is getting out now to build up the financial power to run for president in another four years.

      January 27, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Reply
      • Ewciaa

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        April 5, 2012 at 5:49 am |

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