Even if the Pentagon saves $950 billion by 2012, it will not endanger the supremacy of the U.S.
The desire for the U.S. to shrink to normal size under the burden of its debts must be very pronounced. Since the outbreak of the financial crisis, every gram suggesting American loss of power is placed on the gold scale with joy. And so it is not surprising that instant experts interpret the announced cuts in the U.S. defense budget as an unmistakable sign of the huge superpower’s rapid loss of importance.
The Pentagon must save up to $950 billion in the next ten years. This is an impressive sum, but one must put it into perspective. Last year, the U.S. buttered its armed forces with $698 billion. Its percentage of military expenditures, world-wide, proudly amounted to 43 percent. China, which has the second-largest defense budget, paid out six times less, namely $119 billion.
The Americans have such a large military advantage that still more savings would be necessary to come close to losing their status as the top superpower. The budget cuts will, of course, not be completely without political consequences. In the future, the U.S. government will think twice before starting expensive wars and will perhaps also close one or more military bases. But for the time being, the loss of power will remain only relative and not absolute.