Here's a tidbit from John McCain's balanced budget "plan":
Balance the budget requires slowing outlay growth to 2.4 percent. The roughly $470 billion dollars (by 2013) in slower spending growth come from reduced deployments abroad ($150 billion; consistent with success in Iraq/Afghanistan that permits deployments to be cut by half — hopefully more)
James Kvaal and Robert Gordon note that this only adds up if you assume a total withdrawal. For one thing, "U.S. spending in Iraq and Afghanistan totaled $171 billion in 2007, according to the Congressional Budget Office – and that includes money for Iraqi security forces, foreign aid, and veterans benefits." Similarly, "According to CBO, rapidly reducing the number of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to 30,000 would save only $55 billion in 2013" and "Obama’s own, more aggressive plan to withdraw forces from Iraq will save only $90 billion a year, according to his campaign."
To obtain the sort of savings McCain is counting on, in other words, would require a much more aggressive withdrawal plan than the one he opposes as too aggressive.
U.S. Army photo by Spc. Alan Moos