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    letters | washington, nation braces for cuts

    Time of austerity calls for Pentagon to reset priorities

    The editorial Sequester or not, Pentagon must face fiscal reality, too” (Feb. 22) was spot on in its demand that the Pentagon take on greater budget accountability.

    Pentagon spending is out of hand, laden with waste and without any real check on budget growth. Of course funding is necessary to keep Americans safe and our country strong, but this allocated money needs to be used wisely.

    As Congress seeks an alternative to the automatic sequester cuts, the Pentagon should reevaluate spending in light of strategic needs. For example, we could eliminate unnecessary purchases of tanks and extravagant aircraft programs, or shrink the Cold War-sized nuclear arsenal, which is slated to cost us about $640 billion over the next decade. Instead, as the editorial rightly identified, changing threats in today’s world, such as terrorism and cyber security, should be Pentagon spending priorities.


    Most important, we need to make investments to strengthen our economy with programs to benefit American families and create sustainable jobs. We especially need to focus on reintegrating returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan into the civilian workforce.

    Hannah Wheeler