About Those Defense Cuts

A reality check:

Adjusted for inflation, the United States spent at most $580 billion a year on defense at the height of the Cold War. In the 2011 fiscal year, the Pentagon's baseline budget is $549 billion, with another $159 billion allotted for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, for a total of $708 billion. That total figure drops slightly to $670 billion in the 2012 budget proposal.

Obama's $400 billion reduction would have started with the 2013 fiscal year, but the debt deal begins with the 2014 budget, effectively delaying the pain for the Pentagon by a year. Still, some defense hawks in Congress were worried that even the relatively modest cuts could go too far.