POLITICS
03/08/2014 11:13 am ET Updated Mar 08, 2014

The People Who Think We Don't Spend Enough On Defense Are Dead Wrong, Say Experts

Mark Wilson via Getty Images

Those who think we don't spend enough on defense are dead wrong, according to a new poll.

In conjunction with Foreign Policy, the Snap Poll of the Teaching, Research, and International Policy (TRIP) Project at the College of William & Mary released a survey Friday showing what 909 international scholars think about the Obama administration's 2015 defense spending plan, among other topics.

The poll found that, when it comes to defense spending, 27 percent believe the proposal would enhance U.S. security, while another 53 percent see it having no effect.

Those opinions mark a stark contrast from criticism leveled by some Republicans. On Wednesday, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) lashed out at Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel for presenting a budget that "constrains us in a way that's unprecedented."

"I must say your timing is exquisite," McCain said. "Coming over here with a budget when the world is probably more unsettled since the end of World War II. The invasion of Crimea, Iran negotiations collapsed, China more aggressive in the South China Sea, North Korea fired more missiles in the last few days, Syria turning into a regional conflict."

Under the proposed $496 billion defense spending plan that was sent to Congress Tuesday, the U.S. military would be reduced from 490,000 active-duty soldiers to 440,000-450,000 over the next five years. That would mark the military's smallest force since 1940, when the Army had 267,000 active duty troops leading into World War II tensions. The spending amount is unchanged from the 2014 total, the AP added.

"Although the future force will be smaller, it will be ready, capable and able to project power over great distances," Hagel wrote in a strategy review introduction released Tuesday.

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