Friday, January 06, 2012

Bending the Arc

President Obama made another bold move on Thursday by announcing a plan to reconfigure the mission of the U.S. military, to downscale, and to slow the increase in the Pentagon budget. 

As Rep. Barney Frank said, this is important more for the change in direction than the extent of the changes.  President Obama made the point that all the Bushwars swelled the military budget and the national debt, and such expenditures aren't sustainable.   

 Romney on the other hand has announced a neocon wet dream of a foreign policy, with threats to expand American military hegemony--while proposing a tax system that has been vetted to show that it will decrease federal revenues at the same time as he proposes to further increase military spending.

President Obama made the announcement at the Pentagon, surrounded by defense department and military leaders.  Though he will be viciously attacked by warmongering GOPers, and some Dems and others will criticize him for not going farther or for taking so long, the presence of those officials testifies to the long process behind the scenes that made this announcement possible.  And once the ship of the huge U.S. military commits to a turn, it turns and keeps turning.

President Obama announced a military budget priority that has seldom if ever received emphasis before:

"We’re also going to keep faith with those who serve, by making sure our troops have the equipment and capabilities they need to succeed, and by prioritizing efforts that focus on wounded warriors, mental health and the well-being of our military families. And as our newest veterans rejoin civilian life, we’ll keep working to give our veterans the care, the benefits and job opportunities that they deserve and that they have earned."

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