U.S. Deficit Panel Proposes Steep Military Cuts

Defense News
By William Matthews
November 8, 2010

Promising to “cut spending we simply can’t afford, wherever we find it,” the co-chairmen of a U.S. presidential commission propose to:

  • Reduce military weapon buying by 15 percent.
  • Cut spending on weapon research by 10 percent.
  • Close a third of U.S. military bases overseas.
  • Freeze military pay.

A 15 percent cut in current $107 billion procurement spending would be about $16 billion. And a 10 percent cut in the current $79 billion research budget would be $7.9 billion. …

The proposed cuts to procurement might be the hardest for the U.S. military, said Todd Harrison, a defense budget expert at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington.

While procurement spending has increased dramatically over the past decade, the extra money has not resulted in dramatic increases in military hardware. Instead, prices have increased substantially, Harrison said. …