Probably a stupid question, but why can we not have a treaty like START to reduce the size of standing armies? Obviously programs like the JSF cost a lot of money, but maintaining a standing army is expensive and compels the rest of the world to increase its forces as well.
Do we need eleven CVBG's?
I think a rational argument can be made that we can safely decrease the size of our military and increase the size of our robotic forces (ooooh does that sound spooky) to something that allows us to maintain a just-the-safer-side-of-parity with the rest of the world.
But nobody is saying one thing that seems to be glaringly obvious: the military is a huge source of jobs for people. This is one of the reasons insurgencies work: they employ people. If we start reducing the number of people-in-uniforms, we reduce the number of people they rely on (let's say there's even a 25:1 relationship there; we still lose thousands of jobs when we start reducing the number of troops by 40-50k). Additionally, the military has been a sort of job-of-last-resort for the poor. This is not a value judgment, rather just acknowledging a fact that's stated all the time. One major complaint from philosophers against the military is one may not want to fight in the military, but one is obligated to when one needs to earn a wage. As such, a disproportionate ratio of low- and middle-class people populate the military.
So a cut in the military would result in a loss of jobs for a segment of society that most needs jobs. What is most responsible here is finding a place to put those people that isn't in a uniformed, standing army. Perhaps something more akin to conscription, where people do their two years, gain skills, move into industry, and can be called up to service (this should sound familiar to anyone who pays attention to militaries in the rest of the world).
Perhaps the thing to do right now is get the enlisted folks trained up on how to actually fight wars and then transition them to civilian employment developing robotic replacements, from which they can pivot to other technical fields.