The Post’s portrait of defense spending in the Oct. 6 editorial “Paying for our wars” left out a few key facts. The post-Sept. 11, 2001, surge brought Pentagon spending, adjusted for inflation, to its highest level since World War II. Despite the budget “slashing” since 2010, as the editorial described it, Pentagon spending remains higher than all but a couple of years in that period. And it is higher than the defense budgets of the next 11 top-spending countries combined.

In 2011, the Commission on Wartime Contracting estimated the waste created by the Pentagon’s post-9/11 blank check at somewhere between $31 billion and $60 billion. That was the year Congress established its 10-year plan to retrieve the blank check and set some limits.

As we make choices in the future, abandoning defense budget discipline must not be one of them.

Miriam Pemberton, Silver Spring

The writer is a research fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.

The United States needs to address the Islamic State threat, even though wars are costly — in terms of casualties and dollars. The war on the Islamic State could cost the United States billions. I have heard no discussion of how we will pay for this.

Our senators and representatives appear willing to authorize the war. But will this be another war paid for with budget cuts — taking food from poor children, stripping elderly Americans of hard-earned benefits or denying medical care to our veterans?

A war worth fighting is a war worth paying for. Our elected officials are quite brave when it comes to sending troops off to war. But it appears that they lack the courage to tell the American people how they plan to fund it.

Louis Modliszewski , Warrenton, Va.