Budget Crunch Forces U.S. Military to Choose Which Form of Defense to Pursue; This-War-Itis vs. Next-War-Itis
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For years, the military has been roiled by a heated internal debate over what kind of wars it should prepare to fight.
One faction, led by a host of senior officers, favors buying state-of-the-art weapons systems that would be useful in a traditional conflict with a nation like Russia or China. The other side, which includes Defense Secretary Robert Gates, believes the military should prepare for grinding insurgencies that closely resemble the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The dispute has long been largely academic, since the soaring defense budgets in the years since the September 2001 terror attacks left plenty of money for each side’s main priorities.
That is beginning to change, a casualty of the widening global financial crisis.