With the winding down of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States now has an opportunity to implement real defense reforms without having a serious impact on immediate battlefield needs.
As Republicans will have to concede more substantively on high-end tax increases, the administration will have to concede more here, especially on entitlements and almost certainly on business tax increases too.
With some fresh wind at its back, the Obama administration now also has the historic opportunity, beyond re-balancing national strength and power, to transition the meaning of national service and the sacrifice by changing Veterans Day to National Service Day.
The large body of available evidence tells us that the economic and employment effects of military spending cuts are not relevant for policy choices, will not be significant in any event, and a reduction in defense outlays in fact may yield substantial benefits to the economy over the long run.
While all Americans must be called to sacrifice in these tough times, and while certain reforms in the system are called for, let us remember the sacrifices that are already inherent in a military career.
Amid reports that President Obama and House Republicans may be zeroing in on a budget deal that could cut as much as $700 billion from the Pentagon over the next decade, the "spend now, ask questions later" crowd is poised to make a political counterattack.