“It is clear that sequestration would risk hollowing out our force and reducing its military options available to the nation. We would go from being unquestionably powerful everywhere, to being less visible globally, and presenting less of an overmatch to our adversaries. And that would translate into a different deterrent calculus and potentially therefore increase the likelihood of conflict.”

— Army General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in testimony on Capitol Hill Wednesday. Cliff Notes‘ version: the more we spend, the less likely war will be. But that’s been true forever. The challenge is setting the budget at the point where spending anything more makes war less likely, but isn’t worth the added cost.

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