Bloomberg News

World Safer Today Than in Cold War, Defense Analysts Say

June 21, 2012

The world is safer today than it was four years ago, two defense analysts said today at a Bloomberg Government conference in Washington.

“The world’s plenty dangerous, but people who want to make the Cold War sound like the good old days are forgetting their history,” said Michael O’Hanlon, an analyst at the Brookings Institution. “On balance, the world of 2012 is a much safer place to live than the world in 1962 or 1972 or probably even 1982.”

Christopher Preble, a defense analyst at the Cato Institute, said military spending today is about equal to the level in the Reagan-era buildup of the 1980’s, when adjusted for inflation.

“We’re in a much stronger position today than we were 40 or 50 years ago,” Preble said.

Mackenzie Eaglen, a defense analyst at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, disputed that assessment, citing testimony from military service chiefs who have warned about growing dangers in an era of cyber warfare and terrorism.

A panel with the analysts opened the day-long Bloomberg Government conference at the Newseum in Washington designed to assess national-security risks and military spending.

To contact the reporter on this story: David Lerman in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Walcott at

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