President Obama’s proposal for defense spending actually involves reductions. If you look at all closely, though, they ain’t much.
“The Pentagon’s proposed reductions in its spending plans are far too low,” according to William Hartung, a veteran defense analyst at the Washington-based Center for International Policy.
“If the administration were to follow up on its own rhetoric on smaller conventional forces, getting rid of outdated Cold War-era systems, and reduce our nuclear forces, it could double its proposed cuts in Pentagon spending to one trillion dollars over the next decade. That would be a real down payment on reductions that need to be made to have a significant impact on reducing future deficits,” he said.
“This is an extremely modest build-down,” said Miriam Pemberton of the Institute for Policy Studies, who noted that the anticipated 2013 Pentagon budget that Obama will request in his State of the Union Address to Congress later this month will amount to only four percent less than the previous five-year average.
Of course a lot of people, many with deep vested interests in this matter, have a different, far less reality-based, take. But even there, there are wheels within wheels.
The two leading Republican candidates for president, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, immediately denounced Obama’s proposal and reiterated their calls for significant increases in defense spending over the next 10 years.
But the issue divides the Republican Party between two kinds of hawks: defense hawks and budget hawks. A few Republicans, such as Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, have called for even deeper cuts in defense spending than Obama has dared propose. And even Arizona Sen. John McCain, who lost the presidential election to Obama in 2008, has said he accepts the premise that defense spending must be trimmed; McCain said he would study the president’s plan “carefully and thoroughly” before issuing any critique.
Everyone knows that we’ll all be speaking Chinese, Arabic, or whatever – something other than “God’s language,” anyway – if we fall behind in the “clash of civilizations.”
Note, in the above, Iran. Every GOP presidential candidate except Ron Paul has pimped war with that country, during the campaign. Not that corporate media has given that potentially disastrous fact, appropriate attention.
Since the dawn of civilization itself, those obsessed with power have used militaristic fearmongering as a means of obtaining, retaining, and extending control. We’re just seeing the same old thing, in much of the response to Obama’s extremely cautious proposal, and in contemporary politics in general.