August 27, 2010
From the Dept. of Silly Ideas
It blows my mind that some legislators still think it's a good idea to peg our nation's defense budget to a percentage of the GDP. Call me a traditionalist, but a nation's defense budget should probably be based on a) how the nation sees its current and future threat environments, to include planning for contingencies, b) resources available, and c) how defense spending rates as a priority compared to other government expenditures. We can then have dynamic, fact-supported arguments about a), b) and most especially c).
Further, it makes some sense that our nation has spent a lot of money on national defense while fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But if I am following the logic of those who want to tie defense spending to the GDP correctly, our defense budget should have shrunk in FY09. And if the world's economy collapses because the Iranians attempt to close the Straits of Hormuz, does that mean we then slash the budgets of the U.S. Navy and Air Force?