The Public Square

Robert Naiman on the Congressional Super Committee for debt reduction


Hi. I'm Robert Naiman, Policy Director of Just Foreign Policy, which works to reform U.S. foreign policy so that it reflects the values and interests of the majority of Americans.

A Congressional "Super Committee" has been created to produce a plan by Thanksgiving to reduce projected government debt by $1.2 trillion over the next ten years. This Super Committee has a historic opportunity to cut projected military spending.

Many bipartisan groups of experts - including the majority of the President's bipartisan deficit commission - have a called for a trillion dollar cut in the projected "base" (non-war) Pentagon budget over ten years. That would return annual Pentagon spending to its 2007 level - still more than what we spent on the military during the Cold War. Given the cuts in projected military spending that the President and Congress have already agreed, a trillion dollar cut in projected military spending over ten years would meet half of the Super Committee's goal.

In addition, the Super Committee can find another $200 billion in savings - 1/6 of the Super Committee's debt reduction goal - by withdrawing our troops from Iraq and Afghanistan as currently scheduled rather than allowing the Pentagon to establish permanent military garrisons in these countries, which would continue these wars indefinitely.

East Central Illinois Representative Tim Johnson has been a leader in Congress in working to end the wars. We urge Representative Johnson to use this opportunity to press his colleagues to include ending the wars as part of the deal to reduce the government debt.

You can learn more about this historic opportunity to cut projected military spending by visiting our website,