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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Would Pentagon Budget Changes Be ‘Devastating?’

(David B. Gleason/The Pentagon)

You may have heard that the Pentagon is facing more than $500 billion in budget cuts, because the Congressional Super Committee failed to reach an agreement on cutting the U.S. debt.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says those cuts would be “devastating” and would invite aggression against the U.S. by other countries.

Republican Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon of California said, “I will not be the Armed Services Committee chairman who presides over the crippling of our military.”

But Lawrence Korb, who served as assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration, calls the predictions of disaster “nonsense.”

And Wall Street Journal columnist Brett Arends has run the numbers and he says these are not cuts in defense, they’re just smaller increases.

“They’re not planning to cut anything. All they’re doing is they’re saying: ‘we’re going to increase it more slowly than we had planned before,'” he told Here & Now‘s Sacha Pfeiffer.

Arends also says that we now spend more on defense than we did during the height of the Cold War.

Guest:

  • Brett Arends, columnist for The Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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