This year, in accordance with the Budget Control Act of 2011, the Obama administration released a plan to reduce projected military spending by $487 billion over the next 10 years as part of an effort to reduce the federal deficit. These reductions are a smart first step to rein in the Pentagon’s $620 billion per year budget, which has increased by 46 percent since 2001 and reached levels that exceed peak military spending during the Cold War.
The $487 billion in proposed cuts, however, come from projected increases in the defense budget. As a result, these “cuts” essentially keep the defense budget steady at its current level, adjusted for inflation, over the next five years, before allowing a return to moderate growth thereafter. In short, the Obama administration has halted the explosive increases in military spending that have occurred since 9/11 but has done nothing to bring the budget down from its current level, which remains near historic highs.