The Best Defense

The defense budget implosion (VI): An exchange between McCain and the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs

For your defense budget files, from yesterday's Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing for Gen. Dempsey:

SEN. MCCAIN: Which brings me again full circle. We have announced cuts without a commensurate assessment of the impact of those cuts. And in your view, a -- what would an 800- (billion dollar) to trillion-dollar cut in defense spending over the next 10 years do to our readiness, General?

GEN. DEMPSEY:  Senator, I haven't been asked to look at that number, but I have looked -- and we are looking at 400 (billion dollars) -- and I would react in this way. Based on the difficulty of achieving the $400 billion cut, I believe 800 (billion dollars) would be extraordinarily difficult and very high-risk.

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