Letter to the Editor: Arsenal Must Anticipate Future Security Threats

While it may be true that defense-funding priorities haven’t shifted substantially, it isn’t because military budgets are shaped by pork and pet projects (“Weapons Permit: In Military-Spending Boom, Expensive Pet Projects Prevail,” page one, June 16). The past two decades have been a stark reminder that it is all but impossible to predict military needs five or 10 years into the future. Policy makers have simply chosen to ensure our military is ready for all types of future threats rather than myopically put all our resources in one or two risk areas. The missile-defense program cited in the article is a perfect example of the phenomenon. Some argued that the end of the Cold War made defense against ballistic missiles unnecessary. But continued investment in the program ensured progress while a new threat developed: North Korean long-range ballistic missiles. I’m sure today many people are relieved that missile defense didn’t wind up in the post-Cold War scrap heap.