Megan McArdle asks a very good question over at her blog at The Daily Beast: How Much Can We Cut Defense? (Hat tip to Instapundit.) Of course, answering that question requires us to first answer another question: what kind of military do we need?
As McArdle points out, there are good reasons for the United States to have a substantial military budget, and I for one am not in favor of cutting the military budget so extensively that the United States ceases to be the pre-eminent global military power. But given the fiscal and demographic realities of the country, as well as the challenges facing America's armed forces going forward, a serious re-think of both the amount of money the government spends on defense, and how that money gets spent, needs to happen. McArdle's piece is a good introduction to the kind of discussion that needs to occur more deeply in our polity.
And her first suggestion, reducing the military budget to 2007 levels, would be a very good first step.