As he formally retired from the Army today with a 17-gun salute, Gen. David Petraeus, whom the New York Times accurately described as “the most influential general of his generation,” warned that talk of reducing U.S. military spending created the risk the U.S. would have a “hollowed-out Army.”
Would it be rude to point out at such a moment that the United States spends more on military hardware and personnel than the rest of the world combined. Not just far more than any other nation, but more than all the other nations of the world combined (a category that inclues, of course, many stalwart U.S. allies). But if the whole rest of the world decided to gang up on us, we would still have at least the dollar advantage, the most advanced equipment, the best-trained fighters and the larger nuclear arsenal and, by a ridiculous margin, the most expansive network of foreign bases.
Petraeus, by the way, wasn’t really retiring. Just switching to head of the CIA.