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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Gates Seeks Sharp Turn In Spending

Bravo, Mr. Secretary, bravo! Gates has effectively put Congress and the military industrial complex on notice by calling for many of the exact things I have advocated for on this blog for almost a year. Dana Milbank says it best in his article "Pentagon Chief Calls for Cuts; Congress Opens Fire" when talking about the F-22:

The F-22 Raptor fighter can cruise at speeds greater than Mach 1.5 without afterburners. It is virtually invisible to enemies, carries two 1,000-pound missiles and can turn on a dime.

But there is one foe the F-22 was not designed to defeat: Defense Secretary Bob Gates.
By pitching a pared down defense budget, Gates has put the pressure on Congress to approve his recommendations. Gates can argue that he is supporting the troops in combat now, not the defense industry always looking for big government contracts promising to leap ahead over generations of military technology. More MRAPs are needed now and Gates is asking for them. More destroyers, F-22s, and FCS equipment is not needed now, and Gates is axing them. How about that? The U.S. is already spending more than the next top 25 countries' spending on defense combined. Finally, we have a defense secretary who understands that this is a problem.

This budget can also lead to more acceptance of the military in society. Today many veterans go from one insular organization, the military, to another, the defense contracting industry. Because of this budget, perhaps instead of leaving the military and going to work for a defense contractor, good military officers will again be a force in corporate America, just as they were after World War II. They can serve our country in corporate America. Today's corporate America needs military officers with the work ethic and morals to improve industries that have little to do with the military (e.g. automobile industry, financial services industry, etc.). How about a lieutenant general retires and becomes an executive at General Motors, rather than an executive at L-3? Shocking.

Thank you, Mr. Gates. Bravo! Share

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