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In Defense of Defense

Soldierby George Landrith

For every uninformed liberal criticizing the Pentagon (i.e. “Critics on left hit Pentagon on talk of budget disasters,” Washington Times, Web, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2011), there’s a Democratic expert like Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta or Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton who understands that Pentagon spending didn’t cause our budget problems and hollowing out the military won’t solve them.

Defense is far from overfunded – it’s just 16 percent of federal spending, down from 40 percent in the 1970s. Investment in research and modernization, the bulwark of our battlefield supremacy, is just a quarter of that. But count on these vital investments bearing the brunt of cuts if the deficit-reduction supercommittee fails to reach a consensus.

As a result, the budget ax could fall on the drones supporting our special forces and the air power that transports and supports them. Research that brought us smart bombs, stealth fighters and improvised-explosive-device jammers could grind to a halt.

On top of that, the trigger cuts would add a point to the unemployment rate, pushing it past 10 percent and costing a million jobs, according to the Department of Defense.

Defense spending is not driving the deficit, and it would pose terrible consequences for our national security if liberals perpetuate the myth that it is.

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George Landrith is the president of Frontiers of Freedom, a public policy think tank devoted to promoting a strong national defense, free markets, individual liberty, and constitutionally limited government. Mr. Landrith is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was Business Editor of the Virginia Journal of Law and Politics. In 1994 and 1996, Mr. Landrith was a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from Virginia’s Fifth Congressional District. You can follow George on Twitter @GLandrith.