President Bush’s proposed defense budget for next year – an
inflation-adjusted $515 billion – stands as the most dollars ponied
up for the Pentagon since World War II. At first glance, that seems
out of whack. How can it cost almost as much to chase after Osama
bin Laden as it did to beat both Hitler and Tojo?

But what’s out of whack isn’t the spending, it’s the comparison.
We’re talking apples-to-oranges.

Comparing the cost of today’s military to what America spent to
equip and deploy GIs against the Nazis is like comparing today’s
home entertainment center – plasma-screen, surround-sound HDTV with
PlayStation 3 and Wii – to Harry Truman’s Philco radio. Sure,
today’s system costs a lot more. But look what you’re getting.

The high-tech gadgets that amplify the power of our military
aren’t just bells and whistles to brag about. Both “smart” weapons
and battlefield medical advances,…



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