DoD photo

Defense Secretary Harold Brown

“I would cut ground forces to resolutely avoid land wars in the Eurasian continent…I would probably cut the size of the tactical air force somewhat. I think the F-35 buy really needs to be pared back substantially, partially because we are going to have to operate from a longer distance -- certainly from the Pacific, and other places in the world, as well – in the case of the Pacific because our forward bases are going to be increasingly vulnerable to Chinese capabilities…I would stop building carriers because I think they are going to be more vulnerable. I would encourage the Chinese to build a lot of carriers [with a wink, to a Chinese official].”
— Harold Brown, defense secretary from 1977 to 1981 under President Jimmy Carter, when asked at a Center for National Policy luncheon Tuesday how he would cut today’s Pentagon budget.
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