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    By  necessity,  President Obama has had to spend $787 billion on a stimulus package to rescue the American economy from the current recession/depression. In doing so, he has also indicated a sense of fiscal responsibility by requiring that we find the means to pay for this tremendous expenditure. The President has stated flatly that this financial burden should not rest on the shoulders of his or our children. Some means had to be found to balance the huge stimulus package with savings or tax cuts. Since tax cuts were out except for the very wealthy, savings had to do it.

   The obvious savings  - the low-hanging fruit of savings - would come from the gold-plated weapon systems that by any reasonable measure do not serve American security  needs. This category of wasteful military systems was designed decades ago to fight Russia on the plains of Europe and have become obsolete in purpose and function.

   Outstanding  examples of wasteful military spending are the F-22 fighter plane, the Zumwalt class of destroyer ships,  the  non-functioning, mis-named missile defense system and nuclear arms, to name a few.

    That's where the battle begins.

    Every  one of these costly military expenditures have their rabid defenders both in and out of Congress. They know that they can't justify these military projects on the basis of national defense, so they resort to their standard fall-back position: protecting jobs. Especially during this economic downturn, they say, jobs have got to be preserved.

    The fact is that with the stimulus package in place, this is just the right time to convert unnecessary and wasteful military plants to civilian use. Despite the cry that no time is the right time to convert, now the money from the stimulus package is available to ease the transition. With Obama in office, we now have the money, the will and the military necessity to update our military forces to fight the battles of today, not yesterday.  

    The need to provide our military with the weapons and supplies necessary to fight guerrilla forces in the mountains of Afghanistan is critical. As an example of military misappropriation,   the U.S. Navy is larger than the next 13 navies combined, and Afghanistan is land-locked. Political and job considerations must give way to the needs of our fighting men and women; hugely expensive, out-dated weapon systems must be replaced with the weapons, supplies and training needed to fight in the mountains of Afghanistan.

   President Obama has indicated that he is ready to reduce this unnecessary spending on obsolete weapon systems and his Secretary of  Defense, Robert Gates, is admirably suited to do just that. Gates is a Cold War veteran and has had years in military intelligence. He has the depth of experience to dispel the warnings that doing away with these outmoded weapon systems would leave us vulnerable to military threats from other countries. In the current issue of  Foreign Affairs magazine, Gates has indicated that the U.S. military still has the military power to deter aggression from any quarter.

   Prepare for battle. The military-industrial complex has the money - drained from government contracts - and the ear of Congress to protect their turf. The corrupt triangle that pushes money from Pentagon spending to defense contractors to the campaign coffers of  political incumbents is powerful and well entrenched. President Obama has stated the need for change and savings in our military procurement - the battle is on.  

Originally posted to Nospinicus on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 02:49 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  you keeled my fadder.... (5+ / 0-)

    prepare to die!

    •  asdf (4+ / 0-)

      You only think I guessed wrong! That's what's so funny! I switched glasses when your back was turned! Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well-known is this: never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha...

      There was an earthquake! A terrible flood! Locusts! It wasn't my fault I swear to God!

      by FXDCI on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 02:59:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've heard a lot of people defend the F-22 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    linkage, dewley notid, wideout179

    Even people on here. It's not just the defense contractors, most Americans are addicted to the glory of military power and want to preserve the large gap between the US and any potential rivals. Obama himself is in support of increasing the number of soldiers in uniform. Until the US gives up its militarist ambitions, no real savings are possible, you just keep pouring the money from one boondoggle into the next, from Iraq to Afghanistan and back again.

    Law is a light which in different countries attracts to it different species of blind insects. Nietzsche

    by Marcion on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 02:54:44 PM PDT

  •  Military Industrial and Congress Complex (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trashablanca

    Ike's famous quote was edited from the original to leave out congress. But, with 3 components it makes much more sense, as only congress can actually spend money.
    I don't know if the triangle of power can be fought now, as you mention, any cutting of defense programs will cost jobs in the short term at least.
    The only way to transistion away is to freeze defense spending increases and have a mandatory 10% per year reduction to starve the beast. How long the 10% reductions should go on is a decision that others will have to make. Since much of where the money goes is a secret we don't know what can really be cut.

    Greeetings! Bipedal carbon based life forms.

    by pithaughn on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 02:55:51 PM PDT

  •  Don't expect the military budget to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Admiral Santa, trashablanca, soms

    decrease.

    We might need it to eliminate some of debt.

    It's Saint Paddy's day, that must be why we are all so peaceful

    I'll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there's evidence of any thinking going on inside it.~Terry Pratchett [-4.88. -6.97]

    by LaFeminista on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 02:57:36 PM PDT

  •  hopefully Obama will succeed enough (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    soms

    to push this country so far to the left that the only way for a Republican to get elected into office is for them to act like Eisenhower. That would be great considering the fact that it was Eisenhower who warned us of the military industrial complex.

  •  And here is the way to fight-- Bigtime: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dewley notid, Nospinicus

    White House may seek to bypass filibuster rule in Senate
    WASHINGTON — A top White House official threatened Tuesday to use a congressional rule to force some controversial proposals through the Senate by eliminating the Republicans' power to block legislation.

    Peter Orszag, the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, said the Obama administration would prefer not to use the budget "reconciliation" process that allows measures to pass the Senate on simple majority votes.

    Orszag said he wouldn't rule it out, however. The legislative tactic is being considered to push through Obama's global warming and health care programs, and perhaps his proposals to raise taxes on the wealthy.
    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/...

    "We'd like to avoid it if possible," Orszag told reporters at a luncheon in Washington. "But we're not taking it off the table."

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