The cost of Hurricane Katrina continues to mount and federal regulators are looking to trim military spending to make up some of the difference. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, says the bloated defense budget could be cut in several key areas without reducing America’s strength and readiness. Grassley says there are “weapons systems that probably are not in line for what we need for modern and changing warfare, particularly going from a world war and worldwide war strategy to one that’s more regionally located.”
Grassley, a Republican, says developing technology is now enabling remote-controlled tanks and warplanes to do some of a soldier’s dirty, more dangerous work. Grassley says there needs to be a greater emphasis on far-reaching, non-manned fighting equipment, like the robotic aircraft drones that are being used successfully in Iraq and Afghanistan.
While he would hesitate to cut defense spending while U.S. forces are so widely and heavily deployed in active duty missions at home and overseas, Grassley says there’s no mistake, too much is being spent on the military. He says as soon as the war in Iraq is over, “we need to really concentrate on getting the defense budget back to more of a peacetime amount of money that was spent during the late 1980s and early 1990s. I believe that can be done and still do the regional prosecuting of a war on terrorism.”