Pentagon spending tankThe Post is concerned that President Obama said the Pentagon should not get special treatment in future budget negotiations [“Defense in decline,” editorial, Aug. 4]. It’s doubtful that the president is unaware of his core responsibility to provide for the common defense. But that enduring responsibility rests in a historical context.

Throughout this century, the Pentagon’s share of the budget has grown as the non-defense portion has shrunk. As we end two wars, the president thinks this widening disparity should end. Republicans in Congress want to make it more extreme by excusing the Pentagon from sequestration while squeezing harder on the non-defense side of the budget. The president opposes them. Which side of history is The Post on?

Miriam Pemberton is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.

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