That's the question I asked the other day on NPR's "Morning Edition." Want to know my response? Very well then, here's the transcript. (And, in case it is confusing, yes I also did an interview with the same outfit about my new book.)
More thoughts on the subject: I don't understand Governor Romney's insistence that we need to move to spending 4 percent of GDP on defense. I mean, at the height of the British Empire, the British spending on defense was between 2 and 3 percent of national income. Nor was the size of the Royal Navy key to maintaining the Empire: It went from about 80 ready ships of the line in 1817 to 58 in 1835, Paul Kennedy tells us in his wonderful Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery.
Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008.