Hey, Conservatives: You Want Defense Cuts
Fareed Zakaria on the Pentagon's out of control budget
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2011 12:02 PM CDT
Updated Aug 4, 2011 1:35 PM CDT
The aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) arrives Friday, July 15, 2011 at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., after a six-month deployment to the US 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility.   (AP Photo/Navy Visual News Service, MC2 Rafael Martie)
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(Newser) – So let’s get this straight: If Congress can’t agree on another $1.5 trillion in budget cuts, half the cuts will automatically come out of defense spending? “If so, let the guillotine fall,” declares Fareed Zakaria in the Washington Post. This is the kind of thing “serious conservatives” should want, he says—after all, the Pentagon’s budget has climbed for an unprecedented 13 straight years, and now “contains tons of evidence of liberalism run amok that they usually decry.”

“We spend more on defense than the planet’s remaining countries put together,” Zakaria observes, and there’s “so much waste that no one bothers to defend it anymore.” Military marching band members outnumber the entire US Foreign Service. One former Reagan official has estimated that we could slice $1 trillion from defense spending over the next 10-12 years without harming national security. And we should. The current glut has produced “a warped American foreign policy,” Zakaria writes, ready to fight before it talks.