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View Diary: Chuck Hagel to be nominated for secretary of defense (381 comments)

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  •  perhaps, the current situation makes that hard (4+ / 0-)
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    tb mare, kovie, poco, Quicklund

    I think Obama wants this fight in a year or two, but right now we just have to finish fighting the fights of the past four years.

    If nothing else, a 2014 SOTU that focuses on how to shift our military budget and structure to the new reality, and a challenge to supposedly spending concerned Republicans to put their money where their mouths are.

    •  So, your plan is to appease Republicans (1+ / 0-)
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      so that they will Follow Obama's lead.

      I think we tried that already. Doesn't work.

      Besides, they seem to hate Hagel to begin with.

      •  Your last sentence... (5+ / 0-)

        ...contradicts your first.  If they hate him, it's obviously not an attempt to appease anyone.

        "Nonsense!" said Alice, very loudly and decidedly, and the Queen was silent.

        by RIposte on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 02:42:47 PM PST

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      •  So your argument is to misstate your opponent's? (2+ / 0-)
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        Pluto, Quicklund

        No, the plan is to deal with the current cliffcrisisceilingdefaultrophe that I expect will take most or all of the legislative oxygen in 2013. However that works out, I have my policy preferences, but they are incidental to the overall point.

        Then, in 2014, you set the foundation for a restructuring and significant defunding of the DoD. Spoken about in the context of a new world where we need to cut spending. And when the GOP shows they are unwilling, it is yet another quiver in the "these assholes aren't serious about their jobs" quiver that Obama then hammers them with in the midterms (not that it does much good due to redistricting).

      •  No, rather, by creating and promoting a consensus (4+ / 0-)
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        OffTheHill, Pluto, poco, Quicklund

        that accepts that the military has to be restructured (read: scaled down) to meet the national security needs of the early 21st century (and if that results in significant cost savings, great, but obviously that wasn't the reason cough cough). This takes time, and the right strategy and people. I assume that Obama views Hagel, a military-friendly conservative Repub, as part of that.

        It's a strategy of gradual ideological encirclement.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 02:51:46 PM PST

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        •  well put (3+ / 0-)
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          Pluto, kovie, poco

          People seem not to realize the massive undertaking that a structural transformation of the defense budget will be. Nowhere are there more incumbents more capable of protecting their interests than at Defense.

          •  In the decline of a superpower (1+ / 0-)
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            ...that's not a pretty picture. And clearly we're talking about "defense" and not "military."

            Denial is a drug.

            by Pluto on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 03:08:12 PM PST

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          •  It's probably the most powerful lobby (0+ / 0-)

            except perhaps Wall St., and probably even more powerful since it's in every state and district via bases, contractors and service members, and owns most of congress. Plus, as much as Americans love capitalism, they love the military even more. And the military brass are extremely political and savvy. These are some serious political forces to go up against and Obama knows it.

            Thank god Petraeus is no longer a viable nominee. Gotta wonder if he wasn't outed precisely for this reason. Is Obama more Chicago than we realize?

            "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

            by kovie on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 03:11:20 PM PST

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    •  Yes, it does (3+ / 0-)
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      OffTheHill, Quicklund, poco

      This can't be done overnight. See my comment below. He has to create an ideological consensus around restructuring and scaling down the military to meet future needs before he can actually do this.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 02:53:32 PM PST

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    •  Obama can't wait too much longer (0+ / 0-)

      If he puts off going after the defense budget for much longer, then a speech on restructuring the military budget won't have any more long-term effect than Eisenhower's "military-industrial complex" speech.  

      I.e., if it comes at the very end of a two-term presidency, then it's just words.

      Please help to fight hunger with a donation to Feeding America.

      by MJB on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 03:01:36 PM PST

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      •  This is going to take several administrations (1+ / 0-)
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        The ground needs to be set for such a scaleback before it can happen. It took us 30 years to become hyper-militarized and it's going to take at least 10 to reverse that. Plus, there's economic impact to consider. Many of these defense firms will have to be converted to civilian projects and that takes time.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 03:14:17 PM PST

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