In 2001 Defense Sec Rumsfeld launched a campaign to shift Defense Dept, government functions to private contractors, because the private sector is more efficient.H/t to Shaun, where Terry Parkhurst comments
Here is a chart of US spending on "defense."
The money's gone to just about any place you can imagine. The United States has more aircraft carriers than any nation on earth - with China in hot pursuit.
While it's unlikely there'll ever be another battle like Midway again, the United States is now charged with keeping the sea lanes open for everyone - including, of course, China - as well as trying to ensure rapid response for whatever is deemed necessary by the president, with or without the approval of Congress.
It might only stop with a complete economic collapse of the United States government, as both the Republicans and Democrats don't want to cut the Defense budget, in part because both parties have constituents who benefit economically; and just as once no politician wanted to look "soft on communism," now none want to look "soft on terrorism."
The weaponry may change with wars, but the illusions remain the same.