"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Report and Retort: Jim Talent’s Untalented Defense Analysis

November 27th, 2007 by mopns · No Comments

Below is a response by Mr. Carpenter to criticism levied at him by Senator Talent in an earlier article about defense spending.

by Ted Galen Carpenter

Jim Talent believes that the Heritage Foundation’s proposal to spend a minimum of 4 percent of GDP on the military has to be correct because the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other military leaders also believe that such a spending figure is justified. Indeed, he notes that there “is no dispute within the defense community over the need to increase defense spending substantially.” Unlike Mr. Talent, most of us are neither surprised nor unduly impressed that officials of a government bureaucracy would like to maximize the budget of their bureaucracy. I would venture to say that leaders of the Department of Education or the Department of Agriculture undoubtedly feel the same about their organization’s funding level.

The real issue is whether 4 percent of GDP (much less Fred Thompson’s even more generous proposal for a floor of 4.5 percent) is justified given America’s legitimate security needs. A nation that spends as much on the military as the rest of the world combined, has weak and friendly neighbors and faces no serious peer competitor anywhere in the world for at least the next 15 to twenty years should not have to increase military spending from its already lofty height. Read more…

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Tags: Hon. Jim Talent · Iraq War

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