Over the next decade — if the current-law sequester cuts and spending caps hold — US defense spending will fall to EU-like levels. That is certainly too low if the US is to remain a global military superpower as opposed to becoming a “regional hegemon” in the words of my friends at the Heritage Foundation. …

OK, we don’t want that. But that will be then. This is now. And given budget realities, the sequester should immediately force Obama’s Pentagon, argues AEI’s Mackenzie Eaglen, “to confront the primary drivers of imbalanced defense spending, including military and civilian bureaucratic overhead, excess infrastructure, and runaway compensation costs.” …

Eaglen offers several recommendations:

1. When trying to slash excess overhead and infrastructure, Pentagon leaders should aim to shrink the bureaucracy while preserving core military capabilities. To do this, they need to begin collecting better information internally. The Pentagon does not currently assess the most affordable mix of military, civilian and contractors in its employment.