Gordon Adams sees the defense cuts in Europe as a precursor to our own. Here's hoping:
US defense spending will be hit by a double tsunami in the next two years. One wave will be rising demand for the same kind of fiscal austerity the Europeans are facing. It will receive new impetus from a likely Republican victory in the November elections, bringing a new wave of small government conservatives into the Congress. Additional fuel will be poured on by post-election reports from the Bipartisan Policy Center's Debt Reduction Task Force (co-chaired by Dr. Alice Rivlin and Sen. Pete Domenici), due in mid-November, and the President's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (co-chaired by Sen. Alan Simpson and former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles), due in early December. All of these participants in the debate agree that deficit and debt control depend, both economically and politically, on putting all federal spending and revenues on the table.
The other tidal wave will be the end of the US deployment to Iraq, due next year, and the more-rapid-than-forecast US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
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