By lex, on April 14th, 2011
Confused about what your military is doing in Libya?
You have your reasons**:
American warplanes have bombed three ground targets in Libya since the Obama administration announced this month that the United States was shifting to a support role in the NATO-led air campaign, the Pentagon acknowledged.
Marine Col. Dave Lapan, a Pentagon spokesman, said Wednesday that U.S. fighter jets have attacked Libyan air defense sites to support the no-fly zone imposed last month under a United Nations mandate to deter attacks against civilians by forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi.
Administration officials previously said the U.S. had halted strike sorties on April 4, several days after turning over command of the air campaign to the NATO alliance, and that attacks on Libyan tanks and other ground units would be handled by Britain, France and other allies.
But the limited U.S. role has grown increasingly controversial.
The air strikes were controversial, so we said that we weren’t doing them. Then the fact that we weren’t doing them became controversial, so we admitted that we were. And now comes Alan Kuperman in the op-ed pages of the Boston Globe to tell us that our president rushed to war in the Arab Middle East on “false pretenses.”
We’ve been lied to. Where is Media Benjamin and the Code Pink girls? Whither the stilt puppets and bongo drums?
Cooling their heels, is where, because, deep in their hearts? They know he’s right on national defense. Which in this case means “left,” to the tune of slashing yet another $400 billion in defense spending over the next 12 years. Without, of course, compromising national security. Because of all the inherent waste that he just knows is in there. Military spending being inherently wasteful, and wouldn’t it be swell if the Pentagon had to do a bake sale when they wanted to buy a new bomber?
Speaking of wasteful spending, in his latest greatest speech ever, the president counter-poses his own long range budget plan against Republican Congressman Paul Ryan’s proposal. Rather than fundamentally reform unaffordable and rapidly mushrooming entitlement spending accounts like Medicare and Medicaid, he’ll save money through targeting “waste” in the system, while allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire.
You don’t need to have an advanced degree in economics to be able to see which cuts will be real, and which illusory. You cut $400 billion from the military, and by golly they’ll find you $400 billion in savings, because unlike so-called “mandatory” spending accounts, the Pentagon can’t spend what they don’t have. They will do it either by hollowing out the force, or by eliminating the kind of “niche” capability sets so evidently lacking in NATO’s Libya mission. And if the politicians don’t like hearing about hollow forces and reduced capabilities from DoD leadership, heads can be chopped off until a suitably compliant bureaucracy emerges.
** 10-20-2018 Original link gone; replacement found – Ed.