Debate Club

Are Cuts to the Defense Budget Necessary?

Are Cuts to the Defense Budget Necessary?

Politicians on both sides can agree that the United States debt, which has surpassed $15 trillion, is far too large. What they disagree on is how best to cut the federal budget and address the deficit crisis. One point of contention is the defense budget. Some argue that it has become too large and bloated in recent years, especially as the United States is no longer being challenged by any superpower as it was by Soviet Russia during the Cold War. Others contend the United States still faces a major threat with terrorism and the rise of radical Islam. They say that for the sake of national security, cuts should come from elsewhere in the national budget. There may not be a choice in the matter—if the deficit reduction “super committee” fails to come up with a plan that cuts $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years, $1.2 trillion will be cut across the board, split between defense and non-defense budgets. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned that such cuts would be “disastrous” and “devastating.” Here is the Debate Club’s take whether the defense budget should be cut.


The Arguments

#1
87 Pts
Cutting Military Spending Does Not Mean Cutting Defense

Yes – Cutting Military Spending Does Not Mean Cutting Defense

Ron Paul U.S. Representative and Republican Candidate for President

#2
49 Pts
Cutting Back on Defense Spending Will Make the World Safer

Yes – Cutting Back on Defense Spending Will Make the World Safer

Patrick Takahashi Director Emeritus at the University of Hawaii

#3
27 Pts
Cuts to Defense Budget Might Be Inevitable, but Pentagon Knows Best

Yes – Cuts to Defense Budget Might Be Inevitable, but Pentagon Knows Best

Travis Sharp Bacevich Fellow at the Center for a New American Security

#4
12 Pts
Reasonable Ways to Cut Defense Budget

Yes – Reasonable Ways to Cut Defense Budget

Lawrence J. Korb Former Assistant Secretary of Defense

#5
-2 Pts
Deficit Is Greatest Security Threat

Yes – Deficit Is Greatest Security Threat

Kori Schake Bradley Professor of International Security Studies at the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.

#6
-4 Pts
Defense Spending Not to Blame for Deficit

No – Defense Spending Not to Blame for Deficit

Doug Berenson Director of the Defense & Aerospace Group at Avascent Group

#7
-6 Pts
It Is Time for Discipline, Defense

Yes – It Is Time for Discipline, Defense

Gordon Adams Professor at American University

#8
-23 Pts
Cutting Defense Spending Is Short-sighted

No – Cutting Defense Spending Is Short-sighted

J. Randy Forbes U.S. Representative and Chairman of the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee

#9
-31 Pts
Military Already Underfunded, Thanks to Obama

No – Military Already Underfunded, Thanks to Obama

Mackenzie Eaglen Fellow at the Heritage Foundation


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