Friday, February 27, 2009

Will President Obama Keep America Safe From Enemies, Foreign?

I will not weaponize space. I will slow our development of future combat systems
-Barack Obama as presidential aspirant in 2008

If only our enemies would do the same:
There's a reason defense is mentioned in the Constitution and health care is not. The greatest social service a government can provide for its people is to keep them alive and free.

Of course, Glenn Greenwald read things differently, earlier this month.

From the AP:

Slight increase sought for defense spending

Agency: Defense

2010 proposal: $533.7 billion

Change from 2009: 4 percent increase

War spending (addition to annual budget): $130 billion for 2010, $75.5 billion for 2009

Highlights: Obama wants only a modest increase in defense spending for 2010.

His proposal of at least $533.7 billion is only a 4 percent increase from estimated 2009 spending. Such a sizable sum shows the new administration plans to take a moderately conservative approach to the nation's defense.

But some weapon systems may take big cuts as officials and contractors decide how existing programs fit into that budget after adjustments for inflation.

Obama's request to Congress on Thursday also includes a separate $205.5 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan between now and fall 2010. More than a third of the war money _ $75.5 billion _ would be spent before October, when the new budget year begins.

Obama's senior defense advisers have warned that extraneous defense spending would be cut but said a detailed plan won't be released until April.

The administration said Thursday that big-ticket programs were risky and vowed to set "realistic requirements" for military priorities.

The administration said it also planned to increase the size of the Army and Marine Corps and increase salaries for service members by 2.9 percent. It also will try to improve care for wounded veterans.

While the rhetoric does not bode well for contractors developing pricey weapon systems, the 2010 budget plan still reserves a considerable amount for the military, including some $10 billion a month for combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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