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The crisis in Ukraine reminds us that the future is unpredictable, that wars routinely involve miscalculation and that brute force — boots on the ground, bombs in the air — counts. None of these obvious lessons seems to have made much impression in Washington, where the Obama administration and Congress continue their policy of defunding defense and reducing America’s military power.

The administration’s new 2015 budget projections show how sharply the Pentagon shrinks. In nominal dollars (unadjusted for inflation), defense spending stays flat between 2013 and 2024. It’s $626 billion in 2013 and $630 billion in 2024. Adjusted for inflation and population growth, it drops by a quarter.

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