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A defense budget lesson we never learn

from The Napa Valley Register

The prospect of an exit from Iraq and Afghanistan has sparked rumblings on Capitol Hill that it's time to cut the defense budget. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, says, "I'm pretty certain cuts are coming — in defense and the whole budget." Defense Secretary Bob Gates is already pushing to cancel some big-ticket programs and to wring savings out of the existing budget. If there were ever evidence that it's impossible to learn from history — or at least that it's difficult for politicians to do so — this is it. Before they rush to cut defense spending, lawmakers should consider the consequences of previous attempts to cash in on a "peace dividend." more


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