Through good times and bad, regardless of what’s actually happening in the world, one thing is certain: In the long run, the Pentagon budget won’t go down.
It’s not that the budget has never been reduced. At pivotal moments, like the end of World War II as well as the war’s end in Korea and Vietnam, there were indeed temporary downturns, as there was after the Cold War. More recently, the Budget Control Act of 2011 threw a monkey wrench into the Pentagon’s plans for funding that would go ever onward and upward by putting a cap on the money Congress could pony up for it. The remarkable thing, though, is not that such moments have occurred, but how modest and short-lived they’ve proved to be.