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Political Scientist Michael Desch Discusses Proposed U.S. Military Cuts

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The Obama administration’s recent announcement of military force reductions—particularly the downsizing of ground forces—not only will meet resistance from the iron triangle of the military-defense industry congressional complex, but also will offer a clear target for aspiring Republican presidential nominees, according to University of Notre Dame Political Science Chair Michael Desch.

“Republicans will strive to outdo each other in painting the President as soft on defense,” says Desch, a professor of political science specializing in national defense policy and international security.

“This will be difficult for them to do, however, given President Obama’s important successes in the war on terrorism. He, rather than President George W. Bush, got Osama bin Ladin—and most reasonable people understand that for the sake of the health of our domestic economy, something had to give,” Desch says.

Desch also points out that because the most likely strategic rival will be China, “the focus on modernization of naval and air forces makes good strategic sense.”

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