Last month, when the Treasury Department reported that the fiscal year 2018 deficit was a staggering $779 billion, President Trump made an announcement. Before meeting with his cabinet, the president said he would be asking every secretary to trim five percent, “if not more,” from his or her budget. Nor would he exempt the Department of Defense.

Here’s hoping Trump changes his mind. Cutting the resources available to the Pentagon is a bad idea. A new report from the bipartisan National Defense Strategy Commission underscores just how bad.

“Providing for the Common Defense” is the consensus of a dozen national security experts, including Jack Keane, Senator Jon Kyl, Eric Edelman, Gary Roughead, Michael Morell, Anne Patterson, and Roger Zakheim. These are sober people. Experienced people. They are not given to exaggeration. Yet their conclusions are alarming. “The security and well-being of the United States are at greater risk than at any time in decades,” they write. “America’s military superiority—the hard-power backbone of its global influence and national security—has eroded to a dangerous degree.”

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