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Home > defense, economics, foreign policy > Cutting the Defense Budget, Iran, and Paranoia

Cutting the Defense Budget, Iran, and Paranoia

Whenever the topic of potential cuts to defense spending gets brought up, there is always going to be the inevitable kicking and screaming from some of the most notorious warmongers.  The fear-mongering over potential cuts to defense are being couched as if modest cuts (if they even happen, which is unlikely) would severely hamper our military preparedness and ability to react around the globe to protect ourselves from dangerous nations and destined conflicts with Iran, Somalia, and Yemen.

Somehow, I have a hard time buying the idea that a miniscule reduction in the world’s largest defense budget seriously reduces America’s ability to engage in military conflicts with Yemen (a supposed ally) and Somalia (really?!).  However, the vast majority of the US political establishment clearly views Iran as some sort of threat – whether they truly are or not is another question.  But, it is helpful to then consider this chart below, via Matt Yglesias, which shows exactly why fear and paranoia over defense cuts and potential military conflict with Iran is completely misguided.  We could cut the Pentagon budget in half and still hold the unquestionable advantage in military expenditures over Iran.  Defense spending basically sits at levels as if we’re anticipating perpetual conflict with the Soviet Union at the height of its power.  Something tells me Iran doesn’t quite possess the same capabilities as Soviet Russia in the 1960’s and 70’s – and we haven’t even made a submarine movie about them!

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