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December 2, 2019

Focusing on quality over quantity in the US military budget

U.S. Marines Corps haul their gear out of a MV-22B Osprey that evacuated them to the USS Kearsarge aircraft carrier as U.S. military continues to leave the U.S. Virgin Islands in advance of Hurricane Maria, in the Caribbean Sea near the islands September 17, 2017. Picture taken on September 17, 2017.    REUTERS/Jonathan Drake - RC1B0BC5AEB0

Summary

While it is true that U.S. military spending far exceeds all other nations, including rivals China and Russia, James Miller and Michael O’Hanlon note that defense spending is lower as a percent of GDP than it was during much of the Cold War and in the late 2000s. Instead of focusing on the size of the budget, Miller and O’Hanlon argue the case that the focus should be on the quality of the U.S. armed forces. Through innovation, modernization, and a focus on unit readiness—plus a return to normal budget order in Congress—the U.S. military can ensure effective deterrence and combat power.