In a wonky piece for National Review, former Senator Jim Talent urges the Obama administration to defy political pressure and seek a double-digit budget increase for the Department of Defense.
Talent argues that because of underfunding under the previous two administrations, much of the military's equipment is "rusted, old, unreliable or worn out."
"How can the administration possibly claim Keynesian justification for throwing money at every government agency except the military? No one could credibly argue that doubling the budget of the Department of Energy creates jobs, but buying ships or planes built by American workers in American industry does not," writes Talent.
"The failures of his predecessors have left him no choice but to seek a double-digit increase in the defense budget and use the money to modernize America’s military inventory. On this issue at least, Barack Obama must for his own sake find a way to act like Ronald Reagan. Otherwise, his foreign policy is finished," he concludes.
Overall Defense Secretary Robert Gates is proposing roughly a 4 percent hike in 2010 defense spending to about $534 billion dollars. Some analysts say Gates is just trying to "slow the rate of growth."