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Letter: Spend less on military hardware; more on cybersecurity | Letters to the editor

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Regarding Rep. Vicky Hartzler’s guest column “President Biden’s budget fails St. Louis and our F-18 fleet. Here’s how.” (June 22): Many politicians equate security and defense with how much we spend on our military. Evidentially, President Joe Biden agrees with those views, as his administration’s defense spending request for fiscal 2022 is $715 billion, larger than Donald Trump’s last defense budget.

In Biden’s defense budget, just $10.4 billion is allocated to cybersecurity, identified as a threat by many. However, this isn’t as much of a labor-intensive task as other portions of our defense budget and therefore doesn’t serve as much as a jobs creator. So it doesn’t receive as much attention. Arguments over what really constitutes security are absent in today’s discussion on defense.

However, some politicians are willing to speak some truth. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, called the budget request “a starting point,” adding that in-depth, bipartisan hearings will be held to hash out the proposal’s details because “taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for programs or systems that are wasteful or ineffective.”

We could invest more in cybersecurity and spend much less on military hardware and be safer. However, we’re not receiving any leadership from Biden or many others. When does a true discussion on security start?

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