The Korb Report: A Realistic Defense for America

Read the full Korb Report (pdf)

Without diminishing America’s ability to fight terrorists, America can safely trim $60 billion (15 percent) from President George W. Bush’s proposed fiscal year 2006 Pentagon budget, freeing up much-needed funding for America’s broader national security needs.

Here's where these savings would come from:

  • About $13 billion would be saved by reducing the nuclear arsenal to no more than 1,000 warheads, more than enough to maintain nuclear deterrence.
  • About $7 billion would be saved by cutting most of the National Missile Defense program, retaining only a basic research program to determine if this attractive idea, which has proven to be an utter failure in actual tests, could ever work in the real world.
  • About $26 billion would be saved by scaling back or stopping the research, development, and construction of weapons that are useless to combat modern threats. Many of the weapons involved, like the F/A-22 fighter jet and the Virginia Class Submarine, were designed to fight the defunct Soviet Union .
  • Another $9 billion would be saved by eliminating forces, including two active Air Force wings and one carrier group, which are not needed in the current geopolitical environment.
  • And about $5 billion would be saved if the giant Pentagon bureaucracy simply functioned in a more efficient manner.

If Congress and the president make these cuts, not only would they have more money to spend on other priorities, but they would also make our military stronger, allowing our soldiers to focus on the weapons, training, and tactics they need to do their jobs and defend our nation.

Read the full Korb Report (pdf)

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.


Lawrence J. Korb

Senior Fellow