Jim, I agree with you about the urgency of national defense. But let me point out a real sticking point in the notion of a high-tech military requiring less equipment and fewer troops.
Example: You’ve got a modern fighter-bomber that can practically fly itself, has stealth capability, super-fast, carries and uses a tremendous variety of computer-aided weapons systems, can punch at the weight of entire squadron of F-15 Tomcats. Wonderful. But when you lose one, and it does happen, you’ve lost the punching weight of that entire squadrom of Tomcats. On a per-plane-loss basis, you’d be better off with the squadron of Tomcats.
Extremely effective small weapons systems with lots of well-trained troops to use them — now that makes sense in the current war-fighting environment.
And here’s an aside on a strategic issue, only half-facetious: If Pakistan falls to the Islamic radicals, as is now being discussed very seriously, at least we’d have a country (and a military establishment) to bomb, and could do so forthwith.