When President Obama unveils his 2015 spending proposal in March, it is expected to be the first in more than a decade to shift defense spending off its post-9/11 war footing.
…and replace it with a flying robot called the Global Hawk:
Lockheed Martin’s U-2 spy plane was originally designed to fly at the edge of space, above Soviet radar and fighter jets, to surveil Russia during the Cold War. One was famously shot down over the Soviet Union in 1960 and its pilot, Francis Gary Powers, captured, leading to an early diplomatic contretemps in the proxy conflict. The plane would prove its usefulness in virtually every American conflict since that time, despite improvements in satellite reconnaissance and attempts to replace it with newer technology—at least, reportedly, until now.
US defense spending in 2014 is currently projected by the Congressional Budget Office to come in around $604 billion, which could mean it is spending less than its 10 nearest peers—but only by a little.