Leon Panetta may be glowing with the success in Abbottabad, but he will have to turn to the challenge of the defense budget in short order. The House Armed Services Committee looks like it will push for as much funding as possible; Rep. Ryan ducked the issue in his budget resolution, but like the ghost of Hamlet's father, the problem will not go away.
For my views, read the op ed column I did for the Washington Post this morning.
(originally posted on The Will and the Wallet
For thirty-five years, the Egyptian people believed the myth and lived in fear, fear of the security forces and fear of the chaos and instability that might exist without a strong ruler. They have just overcome that fear and created hope. That collective psychic shift was the key to making the change they needed to bring about.
He actually was already there, but congratulations to CG&G's very own Gordon Adams who, along with Matthew Leatherman, did the policy equivalent of having his name in lights at the top of the marquee when his column was published in today's The Washington Post.
Five Myths About Defense Spending
The Presidential debt commission co-chairs (Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson) decided to move forward yesterday and present the package they want the commission to discuss over the next two weeks. In defense, it is a striking package, with a great deal of merit and no small amount of courage in tow. It also has one critical weakness, which I will come to.
The package puts defense squarely on the table in the overall effort to reduce the deficit and get the debt under control. It lays out a very detailed set of options, including procurement savings from terminating or cutting back on major programs (like the V-22 and the F-35), a 3-year military and civlian pay freeze, and a variety of efficiency savings, many of which have been advanced for years by the Congressional Budget Office.