Cut down for a better military
Re: John Bolton’s Commentary piece in the Aug. 22 edition titled “Why tea party should resist defense cuts” (page 37), I admire the contributions made by Mr. Bolton in defense policy and foreign policy, but his opposition to cuts in the defense budget, I am afraid, reflects the current, outmoded World War II military view of war. It is said the military always fights the last war and I would add sometimes not as well. Given the advances in technology, it has been troubling to observe the slow response of the Defense Department to solve the problem of protecting coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan from IEDs.
Mr. Bolton appears to assume that future wars will continue to require large land armies and navies to achieve military success. The nature of war is changing as the war on terrorism instructs us. The Department of Defense has, in fact, invested some of its resources in modernizing its approach to future conflicts. Advances in the application of drones, robotics and computer-generated military and naval intelligence should reduce the dependence on the substantial manpower requirements of large armies and navies, allowing the U.S. to adjust to new forms of warfare at lower costs. The development of advanced technologies should easily make available the proposed $600 billion savings over 10 years. Joseph E. Murray Salem, Oregon