Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Put The G.I.Joe Back In The Box

Pentagon's Defense Business Board tells Obama that dramatic cuts in military spending are needed

Pentagon insiders and defense budget specialists say the Pentagon has been on a largely unchecked spending spree since 2001 that will prove politically difficult to curtail but nevertheless must be reined in.

"The forces arrayed against terminating defense programs are today so powerful that if you try to do that it will be like the British Army at the Somme in World War I," said Winslow Wheeler, director of the Straus Military Reform Project at the liberal Center for Defense Information in Washington. "You will just get mowed down by the defense industry and military services' machine guns."

"Since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, funding has grown for both the annual defense budget and emergency spending for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The latest Pentagon budget, for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1, is an estimated $512 billion, not including more than $800 billion in additional war spending that has been allotted since 2001.

"But a series of forces are now at play that make such large expenditures untenable, according to the Defense Business Board, the Pentagon oversight group, which includes about 20 private sector executives appointed by the secretary of defense."

This series of forces is, essentially, the incredibly long string of bad checks the government has kited on the winds of war and other hot air: we be BROKE.

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