You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe


opinion | Linda Bilmes

Boots on the budget

Personnel costs need to be part of the equation for military cuts

The sweeping changes to the US military announced recently by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel are the most public recognition yet of the painful financial legacy left by Iraq and Afghanistan. The wartime culture of “endless money” as his predecessor Robert Gates dubbed it, with its endless “emergency” funding from Congress, is finally over.

Hagel proposes to cut the size of the armed forces, overhaul the military retirement system, mothball expensive traditional weapons such as the A-10 attack aircraft, and shutter some military installations around the world. Instead, the Pentagon plans to expand “special operations” forces and invest in higher-tech weaponry. All this is part of a strategy to stabilize the military budget, which has expanded by over $1.4 trillion since 2001.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week