Although there are important elements I disagree with — in some cases strenuously — US Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor (Ret.) has written an important piece on the fundamental changes and massive budget reductions that are needed to improve America's ability to survive into the future.
Macgregor gets the three essentials right, I believe:
1) the threat America faces is now massively reduced; its future character may very well not be what conventional wisdom expects, and Americans need to fundamentally change how we interact with the rest of the world,
2) before any changes are effected in the size, character and funding of our armed forces, a comprehensive audit must be successfully and immediately completed to understand how we spend our money, and funding should be withheld unless and until that is done, and
3) massive changes are needed in our armed forces and their leadership, organization, staffing, weapons, and more.
Macgregor's two part article, “Lean Mean Fighting Machine” and “A Radical Plan for Cutting the Defense Budget and Reconfiguring the Military.” Both are published by Foreign Policy; I believe they merit your thorough reading and consideration.
Phi Beta Iota: The US Marine Corps understood all this in 1989, and sought to change the defense paradigm from worst case to most likely in 1992; then Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney and his subordinates were not at all interested. Right-sizing defense–and the whole of government–is not that difficult, provided that one has absolute integrity rooted in real-world truthful intelligence. That cannot be said of the US Government today.