How many times in your lifetime have you lived through cutbacks and buildups in our military? If you are a senior member of our society, you have witnessed countless times the ups and downs in our military. Brace for another down period.

Steep budget cuts and the winding down of our involvement in the war in Afghanistan are the reasons for the coming down era. With conditions the way they are in the world, there surely will be another up period. The military is used to this situation.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the Pentagon is making plans for a new down era, even a move to limit the growth of military pay. Remember in the past, the many controversies over base closings and the decline in the buying of military equipment, including aircraft.

Hagel outlined a future focused on investments in space and cyber technologies, missile defense, and a strategy that assumes the world will not resolve challenges posed by terrorism and rogue countries that are heavily armed, such as North Korea.

Our problem has been that too often we have cut too heavily and that costs us more when we enter a military up period. In the past, the nation has been able to respond to military needs in a rather short period of time. However, why haven’t we learned from our past history in going through these up and down periods?