Back on December 4, 2009, in a post headlined The Welfare State and Military Spending, I commented on a Wall Street Journal editorial warning that "Over time, the welfare state will defeat the Pentagon here, as it has in Europe." I wrote then, "It's interesting to think about, if you agree with that conclusion, how to invest in it. Short defense contractors? The problem is that all it takes is one big 9/11-style terrorist attack on American soil to send defense spending headed in the other direction. Or a transformative politician like Ronald Reagan."
From the lead article in this morning's New York Times: "Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Monday that he would close a military command, restrict the use of outside contractors and reduce the number of generals and admirals across the armed forces as part of a broad effort to rein in Pentagon spending. ...Mr. Gates also called for a 10 percent annual reduction in spending on contractors who provide support services to the military, including money for intelligence-related contracts."