There are at least four reasons why David S. Broder should have included defense spending in his July 15 op-ed column, "Glimmers of hope on the budget crisis."

First, the baseline defense budget (not including war costs) has grown in inflation-adjusted terms for 13 straight years. Between fiscal 1998 and 2011, it rose from $271 billion to $580 billion, an increase of 114 percent (63 percent in inflation-adjusted terms), and the U.S. share of global military spending jumped from one-third to one-half.

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Lawrence J. Korb

Senior Fellow