On those rare occasions when two of our contributing editors hold diametrically opposite views, I am asked to come back and blend them. Here are my premises, followed by a selection of articles that represent both sides of the argument.
1. Neither Barack Obama nor Leon Panetta have a clue. They are posturing on the basis of domestic politics both because that is how they want to do things, and because there is no coherent credible intelligence to be had within the U.S. Government. To Obama's credit, he is holding fast on vetoing any bills seeking to overturn the hard-fought agreement to trigger automatic cuts in defense co-equal to cuts in entitlements.
2. It is not possible for the US Government to continue to borrow one trillion dollars a year and to continue to be so corrupt that both political parties agree on one thing and one thing only: that they both love the two-party monopoly privilege of continuing to loot the public treasury in order to enrich themselves at taxpayer expense.
3. The Pentagon is the most monstrously ineffective organization on the planet, exceeding the fraud, waste, and abuse of any or even all of the dictators by at least one order of magnitude. The Pentagon has no strategy, no serious operational campaign plan for any region, and is unable to design, build, deliver, provision, and fight a ship or complex aircraft with any semblance of integrity. The fact that the Department of State is an empty shell and that the Office of Management and Budget cannot spell “management” makes the Pentagon's incapacity all the more treacherous.
4. Nothing will change at the Pentagon until the general public goes on strike to demand the Electoral Reform Act of 2012 and to insist that its provisions be upheld. Absent an honest President and an honest Congress, the Pentagon will continue to remain the biggest slush fund for corruption in the US Government, joined by the Department of Homeland Security and the long-standing energy, health, and prison complexes.
5. Worse, while the Pentagon maneuvers to hype the China threat, it is also supporting an Israeli-led endeavor to start a regional war with Iran. This degree of irresponsibility is in my view impeachable treason. It betrays the public trust in every possible way–our civilian and uniformed “leaders” are in my judgment in direct violation of their Oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies domestic and foreign. They should be fired en masse along with every dual US-Israeli citizen holding clearances, and every former Wall Street executive now serving in the US Government. This is not rocket science. All it takes is INTEGRITY; cf Journal: Politics & Intelligence–Partners Only When Integrity is Central to Both as posted 13 October 2009.
Below the line are the relevant headlines with short comments.
The risks of military cutbacks by David Ignatius
Absolute crap. Pimp postures for his patrons.
Boehner: Mr. President, help stop the automatic cuts to Defense spending
Boehner is not stupid. He just lacks integrity and is desperate to keep his campaign contributions from corrupt earmarks (now hidden in the Defense Support Fund) going.
Pentagon Sides With White House Against Eliminating Automatic Cuts
Obama appears to be holding fast, in part because Wall Street (including his Goldman Sachs advisor for subverting national security in favor of Wall Street profits) is focusing on deficit reduction and holding the dollar against the Euro while they finish their looting. Panetta is waffling, he actually has no idea what to do and cannot find anyone with the combination of brains and balls able to spell it out for him.
A Little Straight Talk on National Defense (Mother Jones)
Bottom line: the worst the proposed cuts would do is BOOST Pentagon spending by less than planned.
Pentagon Maneuvers to Trump the Budget Sequester: The China “Threat” Rises Again
This is accurate. We saw this coming years ago, see for instance The Contested Commons [see first comment]
DefDog: Over-Stating China – Close Down PACOM + RECAP
Defense Science Board to DoD: Get Brain + RECAP
Marcus Aurelius: SecDef to McCain on Sequester + RECAP on DoD Fraud, Waste, & Abuse
Obama in a Strategic & Intellectual Vacuum
Reference: CJCS & Frog 6 Strategic Guidance Side-by-Side (Each is Six Pages)
Reference: Cutting the Defense Budget + RECAP
Reference: Frog 6 Guidance 2010-2020
Reference: Steele at Huffington Post Updated
Search: four classes of threats
Search: smart nation intelligence reform electoral reform national security reform
USA National Military Strategy 2011 + RECAP
Winslow Wheeler: Military Spending versus Competence
Women of Washington–The Lunacy Continues