This website is no longer actively maintained
Some material and features may be unavailable

The Pentagon: Hard times, hard choices

If the bipartisan congressional super committee fails to reach a deal, the Pentagon budget will automatically be cut by 500 billion dollars over ten years. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, a longtime Democratic congressman,  called the potential cuts “very dangerous.”

But some insist big Pentagon cuts are long overdue. To hear that side of the argument, we recently brought together three military experts, all of whom have been strongly critical of the way the Pentagon spends money. Winslow Wheeler has advised Democrats and Republicans on national security issues for more than three decades. Military reformer Pierre Sprey worked in the Pentagon for 20 years and has helped develop air force warplanes, including the F-16.  Andrew Bacevich is an author and military scholar. He graduated from West Point and served in Vietnam. Former longtime NBC Pentagon correspondent Fred Francis guides the discussion.

Watch the rest of the segments from this episode.


  • dave frasier

    To be able to reduce DOD spending the USA should stop
    paying jews to murder muslims.

    The USA crusading in Iraq has been an unnecessary
    disaster. (but lying to the voters is not treason)

    Stop making enemies then not so many wars.


    We have managed to turn back the clock 2000 years so we
    can continue the insanity of weak-minded religious idiots killing weak-minded
    religious idiots. (crusades 1095; biblical Israel, blood sacrifices in the
    temple 2000 years ago).


    The insanity of this religious stupidity must stop for
    the humanity to progress beyond our current state.

    You can discuss all the problems but until you address
    the root cause nothing will really ever change.


    The other area of concern, china; we can thank Nixon and Kissinger.
    If the US would stop buying crap and everything else from China their economy
    might collapse and we would not have to fire a shot to weaken or maybe defeat


    Dead lock in DC; religious right, religion is written
    down so it can’t compromise or change it must be true to its stupid history.


    I like to stretch the insanity of the fantasy world of
    religious stupidity to fit most problems.


    Please stop pouring my tax dollars down the rat hole of Israel.


    I have not heard anyone mention “industrial military
    complex” for many moons.

    They might be in bed with the religious right; protect
    the holy city at all cost.

    Yes someone is listening but is this the listener you
    really wanted?

  • Anonymous

    Fine program until we hit Donnelly. Who pays his salary? Five more minutes of your truly expert panel would have been more enlightening than his twaddle.

  • Adam2

    Why was Tmomas donallly allowed to speak by himself?
    Btw- we can afford it and entitlements. We are doing it now.

  • Monocloquendias

    As a Republican,I watch this episode and thought to myself “I guess Eisenhower wasn’t lying about such a state of war were the people who protect will begin to be the very perpetrators of this kind of complex”. God help us.

  • Olaf Brescia

    I reject the notion that our defense budget is not supposed to
    be an issue because as a percentage of GDP it is not very much. We are still talking
    about real (and obscene) sums of money here…and the defense contractors (and proponents
    and lobbyist) know it. I can not think of three more well informed individuals
    than Winslow Wheeler, Pierre Sprey and Andrew J. Bacevich. We need to listen
    carefully as a Nation…to what they have to say. 


    - Olaf Brescia