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During his confirmation hearing last week, incoming Defense Secretary Leon Panetta reiterated an earlier assertion from Secretary Robert Gates: The defense budget must not be viewed as the panacea for reducing the nation’s debt.
This is easier said than done, in light of President Barack Obama’s call for $400 billion in cuts over 12 years. Even with 100 percent efficiency, it’s hard to see those savings will be achieved without cutting into the bedrock of the Pentagon’s capabilities.
This is a concern. Investment in procurement and research and development must remain adequate to continue the technological superiority of the systems that give our troops an unparalleled battlefield advantage. They deserve nothing less. Consider the president’s decision to draw down troops in Afghanistan; this demands technology-driven systems to support those that remain on the ground.
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