My latest is up over at the Truman National Security Project’s Doctrine Blog. I’ve posted a few snips below, but be sure to head on over to read the whole thing.
In his 2011 budget, Ryan supported Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s proposal to save $178 billion over five years in reductions and efficiencies, as well as the Obama administration’s plan for a smaller increase in spending, year over year. Ryan’s proposal closely paralleled the President’s request, but in doing so, enflamed some members of his own party. Anticipating the details of the forthcoming proposal, 29 members of the House Armed Services Committee, led by Chairman Buck McKeon, sent a letter to Speaker Boehner requesting a $7 billion increase above the President’s request.
In contrast, Ryan’s 2012 budget outlines a military that knows no bounds.
In a time of increasingly dangerous economic pressure, the Pentagon needs a forward-looking, balanced defense strategy optimized for 21st-century threats, but there is no evidence that Ryan’s 2012 budget is based on anything more than the Republican preference for higher defense spending at the expense of other priorities. Ryan’s budget slashes the very tools we need to make us strong and applies arbitrary increases that ignore the realities of modern war.
Romney’s answer to concerns over his running mate’s discrepancies is that his own budget plan will take precedence, but according to the Boston Globe, “Romney’s solution [defense budget plan] is one of the most far-ranging, expensive, and perhaps least understood of his campaign.” Romney would commit at least 4 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product, without regard to strategy, to base defense spending that does not include the wars. That’s about 61 percent more over a decade than we spend now, and considerably more than Ryan himself has ever proposed. When Romney’s reason for the increase was evaluated by the Pulitzer-winning fact check website, Politifact, the argument was given its lowest truth-o-meter rating: “pants on fire.”