I continue to worry that the wrong cuts will be made in the Pentagon’s budget—that too many of the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan will be lost just as those of Vietnam were. Pentagon generals like to think big and emphasize preparation for major wars with all the big-ticket items loved by military contractors and their lobbyists. I was not reassured to read recently that the Senate Armed Services Committee cut the budget of a program aimed at preventing casualties from improvised explosive devices (IEDs). These roadside bombs were responsible for 62.8 percent of the soldiers killed in Iraq.

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Charles Peters is the founding editor of the Washington Monthly.