There’s a lot of speculation about where defense spending is headed in the aftermath of the worst pandemic in a century, most of it negative. But the truth of the matter is that we have no idea where military outlays will stand a few years from today. Strategic surprises like Sputnik or 9-11 happen every 5-6 years, often shifting the vector of defense. Election outcomes change political priorities. Fluctuations in interest rates can have a big impact on what the government is able to afford. Technological breakthroughs can suddenly create new dangers, or new opportunities. And then there’s the more immediate challenge that we don’t know how long the coronavirus crisis will last, or what its economic impact might be. This makes predicting future levels of military outlays a fool’s errand. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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