Math, Not Strategy

by Tom Donnelly

The $78 billion in defense budget cuts announced by the Pentagon take the Obama’s administration’s assault on American military strength across a new threshold. Recent leaks indicated that there would be new rounds of weapons program terminations—on top of the $330 billion of cuts made in 2009. But to also announce substantial land-force cuts in the midst of a successful-but-incomplete “surge” in Afghanistan is shocking. Six weeks ago, Defense Secretary Robert Gates described the defense cuts recommended by the Simpson-Bowles deficit-reduction commission as “math, not strategy.” Today, he announced many of the very same cuts—and commits the same error.

(flickr/DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley, U.S. Navy)