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Want to improve US national security? Cut the defense budget.

Reining in irresponsible defense spending will combat the most significant threat to our national security: the debt.

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Speaking last week at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast with journalists, Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, remarked that he hoped to avoid “massive cuts” in defense, which “would be dangerous now, given the national security requirements that we have.” Yet cutting the baseline defense budget, which is now even higher than it was at the height of the Reagan buildup, may ironically be one of the best tools we have to meet our national security needs.

Adm. Mullen’s remark fails to acknowledge a central truth about national security: No country can buy perfect security no matter how much it spends, and any attempt to do so will eventually reach the point of severely diminishing returns.

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