Is no one capable of the same discussion of entitlement reform? Apparently not. From Pentagon to Present Vision of Reduced Military, emphasis my own:
Nowhere is balancing budget and strategy more challenging than in deciding how large a ground combat force the nation needs and can afford. The Army chief of staff, Gen. Ray Odierno, the former commander in Iraq, points out that the Army had 480,000 people in uniform before the Sept. 11 attacks, and at that number was supposed to be able to fight two wars at once.
But the Army proved to be too small to sustain the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and was increased to its current size of 570,000. The Army is now set to drop to 520,000 soldiers, beginning in 2015, although few expect that to be the floor. The reality is that the United States may not be able to afford waging two wars at once.
Fascinating, isn’t it? The only spending authorized in the Constitution provides for the common defense, yet we’re hacking away at it because we just can’t afford the ability to fight to wars at once. Can’t afford to honor the promises made to current service members apparently, either.
But no one at the NYT wonders whether we can afford food stamps. Or Social Security. Or the countless social programs upon which we spend more than the military budget.
So as we head off Mark Steyn’s proverbial cliff, we’ll do so still paying out as much in entitlements but having decapitated our defense capabilities. Sounds fitting at this point.