Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld criticizes plans to cut as much as $1.2 trillion from the U.S. military in the coming years, saying the defense budget is not the cause of America’s budget problems.
Cutting the defense budget “has been done after every major conflict in my lifetime,” he tells Newsmax in an exclusive interview.
“After World War II, after Vietnam, Korea, after the Cold War, and we always paid a penalty.
“People can say we paid a penalty to be sure but we survived. We are still around. I would caution that I don’t think we can make the same mistake again because the weapons, the lethality of weapons today, is vastly different than it was back at the end of World War II, or even the end of the Cold War.
“When the Bush administration came into office in 2001, our intelligence had been drawn down, our defense capabilities had been drawn down. There’s no way in the world this current administration would be able to do what they can do today had the Bush administration not significantly increased their special operations forces, their equipment, improved the intelligence capabilities of the United State of America and made those investments.
“It had to be done, the Bush administration did it and the Obama administration and the country and the world are benefiting from those capabilities.
“When I went to Washington, we were spending 10 percent of GDP on defense back in the Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson years. Today, we’re down to 4 percent, plus or minus, of GDP. The budget problems we face do not come from the defense establishment. They come from the entitlements, and that’s where we’re going to have to go if we’re going to maintain the economic strength of our country.”
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