Standing alone

Standing alone

There was something wrong in defense Washington this week – beyond all the other things that are normally wrong.

Congress’ hearings on the fiscal 2013 budget submission took on a baldly pro forma quality, a going-through-the-motions rigidity. Part of the reason could be that some defense advocates have chosen to keep to their basic attack profile from last year, even though conditions on the ground have changed. Part of the reason could be that an actual budget, with actual numbers, made the seriousness of the spending situation actually sink in, where once it was a distant threat.

And the third, possibly biggest reason, could be that after a decade in the center ring of the circus, defense is definitely out of the spotlight. Its champions are realizing that if they’re “heading right off a cliff,” as House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon said Thursday, no one could come to their rescue.


First: Before, during and after last year’s debt ceiling, “super committee” and sequestration farce, you heard it often enough to vomit: The U.S. needs to assess all the world’s endless threats, then write a “strategy” for handling them, then draft a budget accordingly. It was a talking point handed down from none other than former Secretary Gates.

Between then and now, that process happened. By its own lights, DoD spent months on it. Nobody is in love with the result, but Secretary Panetta, Joint Chiefs chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey and the service chiefs went to the Hill this week ready to defend the “strategy” they and President Obama unveiled last month at the Pentagon.

This forced critics, including Arizona Sen. John McCain and Virginia Rep. Randy Forbes, to make a decision. Would they accept the premise of the “pivot” to the Western Pacific and criticize it on its own terms, or would they just avoid the hedgerow skirmishing altogether? They skipped it, arguing this week that last year’s entire exercise was just budget-driven, and what DoD really needs is to do a full assessment of yadda yadda yadda ….

This argument doesn’t seem to have much bite anymore. Nobody went nuts for January’s “strategic guidance,” but it was the product of what strategerians said they wanted. Of course, what they actually want is a piece of paper that says “more, more, ever more” — but that would be impolitic.

The problem is that defense advocates already neutered a DoD document that didn’t support enough spending when they “reviewed” the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review. It’s hard to imagine the same trick working twice, especially given the service chiefs’ willingness to get behind what they’ve developed. Marine Commandant Gen. Jim Amos on Thursday jumped at the chance to talk up the whole process, before McKeon gently cut him off.

At very least, the “what we need is a strategy” leitmotif creates déjà vu, which contributed to this week’s weird tenor. It brought back Gates’ own impatience when he thought people were abusing it – a year ago, he all but rolled his eyes when California Rep. Duncan Hunter wanted to know what a DoD budget would look like if it legitimately accounted for every threat and requirement.

“I have no idea what it would cost,” Gates said.  “Nobody lives in that world … I am telling you, you are never going to get to zero threat. You could spend $2 trillion and you’d never get to zero threat.”

Second: Although most lawmakers kept to their standard script – “Mr Secretary, you still love the Virginia-class submarine, right?” “Congressman, if the Virginia-class submarine were a person and not a submarine, my wife and I would adopt one as our child” – their leaders foreshadowed a deep worry about the guillotine.

McKeon and the HASC’s top Democrat, Rep. Adam Smith of Washington, both said they feared Congress would not seriously try to deal with sequestration until the end of the year, if it ever does. In fact, McKeon said he wasn’t sure whether Congress would even pass a budget, given the election year difficulties – instead, it might be forced to return yet again to a continuing resolution, another thing DoD hates.

Defense witnesses have a talking point: “We’re really bad at predicting future conflicts,” which is why the U.S. needs to keep a “balanced” force. McKeon offered his own version: We in Congress do not have a good track record in accomplishing things such as undoing sequestration.

That’s why he and McCain are pitching legislation that would void the first year by culling the federal workforce, under the implicit hope that a Republican president and Republican Congress could then fully undo sequestration in 2013.

But Obama has said he’d veto such a bill and Panetta does not support it either. In a hearing Thursday before the House Appropriations Committee’s Defense subcommittee, Virginia Democrat Rep. Jim Moran asked the secretary about McKeon’s bill without naming it. Moran, whose Northern Virginia district is chock full of federal workers, asked whether losing DoD civilians wouldn’t end up hurting the department, given the loss of their acquisition and management expertise. Panetta agreed.

Panetta’s stock answer is that is he holding out for a comprehensive, bipartisan solution that reduces the deficit by enough to de-trigger January’s sequestration. But it was clear all week that nobody, including him, is very optimistic about that actually happening.

Third: Missouri Rep. Todd Akin identified the “elephant in the room” in the Navy’s hearing on Thursday: “I don’t sense a commitment from everyone here on the Hill” about undoing sequestration, he said.

He too was hearing all the echoes: The “strategy” stuff, all the dire warnings about sequestration, everything – everyone involved knows it by heart. Inside the family, everyone agrees. But outside the Armed Services Committees, many Republicans and Democrats have evidently stopped caring about defense — if they ever did — just as few voters do.

If most lawmakers shrug about sequestration because DoD’s budget isn’t what brings home their bacon, or because they endorse less spending no matter what, that could be a serious problem for the Pentagon and its Hill allies. Defense advocates realized this week they’ve been calling for help from inside a locked room, and there’s no way to know if anyone is coming to their aid.

Members rhetorically grabbed Panetta by his lapels and said, You’ve got to tell the world!

“The word ‘sequestration’ puts people to sleep,” said South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson. “You’ve got to be our Paul Revere.” You’ve got to get the word out about how dangerous this is, he urged.

Georgia’s Republican Rep. Austin Scott told Panetta and Dempsey he wanted them on Fox News and CNN – “Well, I watch Fox, but CNN’s a Georgia company,” Scott added – warning about sequestration.

The silver lining for the Pentagon, lawmakers and the defense industry is that Congress does have a year in which to work out a deal. And the flip side of the coin nobody talks about is that Congress could just retroactively undo sequestration, although Panetta and lawmakers warned that the threat of it is already casting a “shadow” over the industry.

Even so, this may have been the week in which the full implications of today’s defense situation finally sunk in.

Join the Conversation

It is a divided congress, but the GOP does not want to acknowledge that without tax compromise sequestration is going to occur. Way to go, GOP, facilitating unilateral disarmament. By the way, I have not seen much prodding from Buck McKeon of his GOP colleagues regarding abandonning the no new taxes pledge. The GOP is losing its defense supporters and it will cost them the house. There is no free lunch and freedom is never free.

In Obama’s budget the military get a real cut but the rest of the budget as a whole gets more money to spend than it did the year before. The military is getting smaller and could reduce its forces in some places considerable but cutting the military budget will not solve the budgetary problems even if the entire budget of the military was eliminated. To solve the budget the spending for ALL items must be reduced to no more than that will be spent in the 2012 budget. Then the complete tax code will also need to be reworked. With about 50% of the working people not paying any income taxes means that they have no skin in this tax affair. This also means that any more spending in the social areas will only mean that they may be able to get fore form the government. So the change in the income tax code should make it so everybody has to feel it when taxes are increased. That way the politicians will not be able to use taxes and entitlements to buy votes which cannot be denied. The “rich” will need to feel it and the not so “rich” will also need to. At the same time the tax code and entitlement should not stop someone who is willing to do the work to get rich.

It’s amazing how fast republican defense supporters become ardent socialists as soon as the economic realities are presented to them.

>At very least, the “what we need is a strategy”

People say the Pentagon does not have a strategy
They are wrong. The Pentagon does have a strategy;
it is: “Don’t interrupt the money flow, add to it.”
—Col. John R. Boyd

Why tax when you can simply stop spending in other areas? The Democrats have howled about partisanship while protecting their pet programs long enough.…..

Sorry but more cuts are coming blame both sides in congress. the main problem is they are wasting way too much money. With sequestration coming or a smaller but large budget cut coming it has to to stop wasting money on useless programs like ICC or JLTV.

Good grief you are a broken record. A compromise on sequestration does not solve anything. If spending is not brought under control defense will be in the same position it’; just be put off for a few years.

In addition you probably should go to Real Clear Politics for the election composite tracking because not only is the GOP in no danger of losing the House, it is very likely they will re-take the Senate.

That’s not actually true that Obama’s military budget has actual cuts. Obama has increased military spending the last 3 years. Republicans have been howling about Obama gutting the Defense community but in reality he has actually focused our Defense Department a lot more then anyone is willing to give him credit for.

You need to have both. Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have wanted to cut their sacred cows. Democrats with social security, medicare and medicaid and Republicans with defense spending. Both need to be cut and you need to get rid of the Bush tax cuts. Only then will you have a balanced budget.

I guess the bet is on. I predict a Republican President and a democratic house and Senate and expiration of all the Bush tax cuts.

Sequestration is just the start, if America increases the percentage of it’s budget that goes to defense it will end up like the soviet union with an economic collapse. Instead we need to reduce spending by 80% to make America competitive with everyone else — probably more as we need to catch up. That is simply the economic reality that will drive the next 20 to 30 years of defense cuts.

The military’s primary role as one of the few remaining ways that working class Americans can enter the middle class is simply going to vanish.

You’ve pretty much got it backwards by all data. The election is pretty much Obama’s to lose I think and all the data points to the GOP controlling both chambers.
http://​www​.realclearpolitics​.com/​e​p​o​l​l​s​/​2​0​1​2​/​s​ena
http://​www​.realclearpolitics​.com/​e​p​o​l​l​s​/​2​0​1​2​/​h​ous

Hardly needs to be that draconian. The govt need only cap spending at present levels for about 4 years-ish, revenue would catch up to outlays by then. A commitment to cap increases at something less than forecast growth and the deficit would start to come down. It wouldn’t drop very quickly, but the US reducing deficits would be a real boost to the economy. I think businesses would be a little more inclined to start making some long term decisions when they see the govt gets its own long term act together.

The two major problems are something that simple requires enormous compromise by both sides, and a lot of very unpleasant decisions would need to be made about entitlements that neither side wants to do.

We have 8 months to find out and one of us will be wrong.

I’m no Obama fan but this is a point worth reinforcing because I don’t think many get the details in these things. The ‘cuts’ announced by Panetta, the 487 or 478 billion, whatever it was, were in reality reductions in projected growth levels. Instead of growing the defense budget at the unsustainable level it had been of like 9% annually, it will now only grow like 2 or 3% annually. So it’s still growing, it just is growing at a rate we can afford as opposed to one we can’t.

ROTFLMAO! All of those are the “SIMPLE” answers that everybody outside of the beltway know. Snug up the spending (just not on my pet programs) and hold or increase the income (just make sure it comes out of someone else’s pocket!).

Its not so easy in private life to increase the income, but …. . it can be done. Its not so easy to be a bit more frugal in private life, but it can be done! Unfortunately, some things cant really be cut. For example, if you have a choice between buying a new car and not buying food, most normal, sane, and RESPONSIBLE people will select the groceries. In DC, most are more than willing to not just buy the car, and pay for the food, but also make it a Lamborgini and lobster since all they have to do is increase the taxes!

FIRST, clean up the waste in ALL government programs, and that means ALL of the waste, even the earmarked wastes! Second, prioritize ALL of the spending. IF, for example, if its absolutely necessary to defend the country, so be it, no matter what the party in power might be, if not.… it moves down the list. Once the list is prioritized, draw the line. Unnecessary spending, AND that requires some very hard decisions on the part of our elected representatives, goes the way of the lobster bisque and the Italian sports car UNTIL the economy improves and luxuries can actually be afforded . Taxes are raised to cover the absolutely necessary spending and start gnawing on the national debt. Sound simple? It is!

As for that prioritization, perhaps if EACH elected representative had to prioritize the budget line items and PUBLISH his/her list as well as their position on taxes! Who knows, a little harsh “day light” into the priorities of our elected officials might go a long way to determining the outcome of the next election and provide a very necessary “incentive” to our elected officials’ accountability to their constituents! :-)

by the way, if you read the Op-ed by William Cohen in the NYT from 3 months ago, you will see that despite his GOP membership he also pushes for budget compromise by proposing tax increases and spending cuts in order to avoid sequestration now. What happens long-term budgetwise, is a separate issue. It is the never no new taxes pledge which is going to sink the GOP.

The political process is a as close to broken as I’ve ever seen it (60 years & counting). As long as Congress people get to pick the voters via gerrymandering (i.e., redistricting) things will NOT get better. The odds are that sequestration is going to happen. DOD can keep its head-in-the-sand approach and pretend that there is enough intellectual honesty and moral courage in the Congress for legislators to compromise “for the good of the Nation”, but they are going to be seriously disappointed. Perhaps another half trillion less in fodder for the beast is a good idea?

By the way, your Tweets on the hearings on The Hill are excellent. Thanks for the great reporting.

Reality check. Why would anyone expect the politicians to make the right move when the spend-every-dollar-in-the-treasury-and-then-some-fighting-fictitous-threats generals and admirals won’t? The Pentagon won’t blink. But neither will they win this one. Time for that internal contingency plan and cut defense by 50% slowly over the next five years or else it will come as a one-time adjustment. Talk about reverse shock-and-awe!

When you think about it, the military took the bait and invaded Afghanistan (basically twice, 2001 and 2009/10) and Iraq. Forced the country across the financial “tipping point” and helped signal the end of the American Empire. I guess Al-Qeida won after all.

The stuctural problems go much deeper than just government debt. Just solving one of the symptoms will not arrest decline

Al Queada are indeed well on their way to achieving all their objectives.

Cut military spending by 80% and do nothing else? Care to think of any other ways for the United States to commit suicide?

Do inform us how gutting military and defense spending “makes us competitive”? Seems to make us less competitive by gutting high tech industry.

yep, they are still there, they drained our treasury and most importantly they de-balled our military-and all around win for them I’d say

we’re looking more and more like the Roman Empire did it it’s last days, a demoralized and worn down military, a depleted treasure, and a very corrupt and incompetent government, and most importantly-a populace that doesn’t give a s h i t

Al Qaeda didn’t “de-ball” our military, we’re doing that ourselves. For their part the military has done an outstanding job fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, but this nation doesn’t have the will for decades worth of nation building, and that has indeed drained our treasury.

At least we don’t have the barbarians at the gates yet, but when they show up I’m sure they will still find the same incompetent, corrupt politicians, clueless left-wing protesters, and everything else.

Ahem… when the FBI arrests a terrorist in a DC parking structure on his way to bomb the US Capitol Building, you say that the barbarians are NOT at the gate? It sounds to me as if they are well on their way up one of the seven hills!

As for the FBI takedown.… BRAVO ZULU, my friends. Keep up the good work even if sometimes it does seem a bit futile. All of the rest of us appreciate it!

I’m not sure where you’re going with this. That “terrorist” had inert bombs and non-functional firearms. Guess where he got them. Now, I’m glad he’s locked up and all, people like that could hurt somebody… but “barbarians at the gates” doesn’t seem like a very apt metaphor.

Drunk drivers wipe out more people in this country every few months than AQ has in 10+ years. Let’s keep some perspective, please.

The thing with defense contractors is that they don’t care whether you win or lose just as long as you fight the war.

Frankly, I consider terrorism to be a state of the mind. This sad little person THOUGHT that he was going to be killing a bunch of Americans in their own Capital Building. The fact that he lacked the actual physical means (by whatever reason) is totally immaterial, he THOUGHT that he was going to succeed! Luckily, the FBI already “had his number” and was waiting at the gate to intercept him on his way to become a “martyr” for his twisted cause.

As for my use of the term “barbarian” for one who would have gladly have used explosives and automatic weapons to kill Americans in a suicide attack on a symbol of our country, that may have been a bit harsh for tender ears and politically sensitive philosophies.… so sad.… . too bad! :-) A good “T” is a dead “T”, and a close second place is one firmly under the control of the FBI and in a place where he will NEVER hurt another human being. :-)

It’s not “barbarian” I’m objecting to, it’s the phrase “barbarians at the gates” which is evocative of Rome being overrun and destroyed. We are not in any sense facing an existential threat from morons like Amine el-Khalifi. I’m sick of being told I have to live in fear of people like that.

But we’re not actually disagreeing about terrorism, either. This is article is about what this country spends on defense per annum, and how the dumb-dumbs in Washington have finally cornered themselves by constantly trying to one-up each other. If this nonsense doesn’t prove to everyone they are unfit to represent us, nothing will.

Just remember that the barbarians that sacked Rome would have been little more than nuisances on the borders of the empire unless Rome had rotted from the inside out. Here, when they show up in the air over manhattan and on the streets of DC.… I’m not saying that we should live in fear of these terrorists (to do so would be to concede their victory!), I do say that we should fear the rot that they sense so acutely.Sent from my iPhone

Sir, if the rot gets that bad, it won’t to be some few random Muslim jihadis that sack DC. We’re not going to find the solution to our rot “out there.”

Blivet! Go away!

I see that you DO get my point! :-)The real sacking of Rome began, and proceeded from within, the barbarians only got the leftovers. We have to oppose the jihadis, but we cant just ignore the sacking that occurs with each give-away and newfound inalienable but unfunded entitlement. Its a sacking that manifests itself in each penny of waste and dollar of corruption, and its compounded each time we allow self-serving avarice to be rewarded by advances up through the bureaucracies of the government and its suppliers.

“When you think about it, the military took the bait and invaded Afghanistan (basically twice, 2001 and 2009/10) and Iraq. Forced the country across the financial “tipping point” and helped signal the end of the American Empire”

I guess that nobody taught you that the US military does not “take bait and invade” ANYONE. The military follows the orders that come from the elected civilian led chain of command and if you took a tiny bit of time to do research, you’d see that Congress supported the invasion. Its actually on the record for all to see!

Standing alone as this is what the situation that the US is in as the countries in NATO are cutting their defense budgets so it’ll be the US would will need to undertake the burden of protecting everyone as I hope the President whether it’s Obama or someone else will tell NATO where they can go and withdraw from NATO.

Keep the nukes and a reliable delivery system and let the idiots in Congress chop away… but tell them when the sh*t hits the fan as a result of our inability to stop the monsters of the world, the response will be nuclear! Maybe that will sober them up… maybe.

we still have too many people pleasing bases over seas. need to shut some of them down ie camp darby community. certain depots over seas need to shut down; leg horn depot. consolidate more army/AF bases over seas. we do need to bring jobs back to usa and companies need to lower salaries on these jobs and pay like walmart. yes bringing the jobs back but we need to get into adjusting salaries wit full health benefits. other countries if a conflict breaks out, we have time to see the stuation and study it before we rescue that area. but we need to bring technology and jobs home. we are going to build up other nation that they team up on us an it can be dangerous.

Lets see reduce the budget to defend this country. Maybe a few more billions for Illegal Immigration,little more for Wellfare programs,tax returns for illegals,SSI for people that come to America and stay, money for Aid to those countries that hate us. Are we so screwed up in this country that we let the idiots in Congress sell this country out for a vote. We even give money and guns to the drug cartel but want to cut our Defense Budget. ITS TIME TO STAND UP AMERICA AND TAKE THIS COUNTRY BACK FROM THE SOCIALIST. All you veterans make your voice be heard.

James is right on track! Add planning for the next engagements and write a strategy. How many engagements or crisis and where? How many will be a true crisis and how many will be manufactured to spread our troops thin. It is time to stand up and take our country back and stop all the “feel good” programs that are draining our economy dry. One of the primary duties of our government is to protect American Citizens. So far the governments record of protecting us from the South of the border threat is dismal.

Defense, and the huge non-military establishment that feeds off it, has never built a reputation as a good steward of its owners’ money — the owners, of course, being the citizen taxpayers. Now, with the Tea Party and isolationists in the ascendency in the Republican Party and old Democratic Party friends (with big DoD spending in their districts) defeated, is it any wonder the budget is under attack? If generals are always fighting the last war, the DoD is fighting the last budget battles and not the next ones.

Troops, listen to James and Gary! After every major war, the socialists on both sides of the aisle immediately reduce the capability (size, equipment, $, etc.) until we are again unable to meet the next threat without the delay of months and months of build up. We will shortly be just a big fat target again unless you vote conservative. Read this carefully — not Democrat, not Republican but conservative! Elect people who will cut the vote-garnering social give-aways.

This can all be solved by a tax increase. With a 5% tax increase. The lowest 47% of all Americans pay no taxes at all, another 9% pay less than 5%. Thats 56% of the nation. Now I’m willing to exempt the lowest 5% from taxes, but if the next 51% have to pay a minimum of 5% then Budget crisis solved. Also many who make more than this bottom half actually pay nothing also thru various deductions/programs, and many Corporations(GE with $5.7Billion in profit and ZERO taxes) pay none at all. So If everyone and all Corps have to pay the new minimum of 5%. The other side of this is to end all government tax incentive for Chevy Volts, New windows and all the other product the government pimps up and let all products stand on there own in the market. Oh yes we still have lots of cuts to make. Defense included. Then we can work on a College Football playoff.

The Navy ships are going out half manned now with cuts they have thrown in now not to mention the multiple other cuts that have been going on for the about 3 years. Please don’t state your opinion unless you REALLY know where you speak!!!

DITTO!!!

To James, James, and Gary, EUREKA!! People, it’s about taking back our life and country!! It is time to get back to who we use to be and get some spine. Let’s take care of our business, defend our country, and take care of those who are truly needed and elderly HERE and not give away 1 billion dollars a year to the fine folk like Pakistan who hid the scum of the earth like Bid Laden from us. I know I’m tired of having the word SUCKER tattoed to my backside. And by the way, what the world is going on with us not doing business with our neighbor Canada and dealing with China??!! and Congress sings “BORN STUUPIDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

I agree with James in regards to the socialists or progressives in both parties and the role they play in these things.

I have also been paying attention to our Armed Forces and National Security since the Gulf War began in 1989.

I enlisted into the Marine Corps near the end of large scale ground combat in the Gulf, expecting to go there myself. The Marine Corps is THE MOST FRUGAL AMERICAN BRANCH OF SERVICE.

My fellow Marines and I took part in the clean up and did all of the other things we were asked to do. We were used as firemen, riot police, security guards, and construction workers– all the while when we enlisted for infantry and explosive ordinance work.

As a whole, the Marine, Soldier, Seaman, and Airman on a basic level are neglected when it comes to a DOD Budget.
Congressmen and Senators are quick to support purchases that have no merit or serve as “solutions looking for a problem” and waste funds that are desperately needed in other places. In my time they spent ridiculous amounts of critical funds on “emergency” medication that ended up not only unneeded, but loaded with side affects that negated any real value the medication could have had.
They spent money on Camouflage Uniform improvements that were not needed and uniform pieces that were obsolete and removed from our gear inspection lists in short order. (The same has happened in recent years again)
I also had the depressing privilege to have been the test bed of some fantastic equipment that was never adopted and some of the worst equipment that had been adopted before testing had occurred.

I agree with James in regards to the socialists or progressives in both parties and the role they play in these things.

I have also been paying attention to our Armed Forces and National Security since the Gulf War began in 1989.

I enlisted into the Marine Corps near the end of large scale ground combat in the Gulf, expecting to go there myself. The Marine Corps is THE MOST FRUGAL AMERICAN BRANCH OF SERVICE.

My fellow Marines and I took part in the clean up and did all of the other things we were asked to do. We were used as firemen, riot police, security guards, and construction workers– all the while when we enlisted for infantry and explosive ordinance work.

As a whole, the Marine, Soldier, Seaman, and Airman on a basic level are neglected when it comes to a DOD Budget.
Congressmen and Senators are quick to support purchases that have no merit or serve as “solutions looking for a problem” and waste funds that are desperately needed in other places. In my time they spent ridiculous amounts of critical funds on “emergency” medication that ended up not only unneeded, but loaded with side affects that negated any real value the medication could have had.
They spent money on Camouflage Uniform improvements that were not needed and uniform pieces that were obsolete and removed from our gear inspection lists in short order. (The same has happened in recent years again)
I also had the depressing privilege to have been the test bed of some fantastic equipment that was never adopted and some of the worst equipment that had been adopted before testing had occurred.

This is crazy, yes there is a lot of wasteful spending in the Defense budget. But instead of cutting, we need some real leadership that will move that money to areas where it is badly needed. Once again, this is equivalent to your local mayor and city council spending your taxpayer money like it’s water, then telling you they are going to cut the police and fire dept to the bone. The Fed Govt is MANDATED to maintain our military, they are NOT mandated to be a nanny state with all of these entitlements. They are NOT mandated to maintain the defense of Europe, Japan, Korea, etc., especially since they can take care of themselves. The people that should be worried about losing their jobs should be the President and Congress.

Get a job. If you absolutely positively HAVE to play war and shoot at other people, do it online in a video game. You can play all sorts of shoot em up games or blow em up vehicle games online with thousands of other people 24 hours per day. There is no longer an excuse to keep a military. Get a ****** job, ********.

The military is supposed to be ensuring the DEFENSE of our country. The opposite has been accomplished with our criminal OFFENSE spread out around the world. We have a duty as citizens of america to follow the money made by these wars and take it back from the companies and criminals who are hoarding it.

http://​constitution​.org/​p​o​w​r​i​g​h​t​.​htm
This fairly well declares what Powers constitutionally were delegated (and prohibited from) the State and Federal Governments.

However, the Nation has changed since then… Education affects the Nation just as much as intrastate Commerce… I wonder if there is a way to get a National Educational System that works… how does Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA)/Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools(DoDESS) stack up against local school systems? How do you create a reliable metric for something that is geared to train children to be responsible, competent, entrepreneurial, and trustworthy adults?

With the costs of being a litigious society, the Cost of Health Care is Skyrocketing, and this is causing issues in all states.

Isolationism is a bad thing… but then again we can no longer be the worlds Police Force, and We have neither the right nor the obligation to Build nations for others, especially those that have a significant chance of turning on us once we have Rebuilt Them… There is too much energy blasting past us on a per-second basis to be worried about energy collected by plants and dinosaurs gelogic eras ago. All that we need to do is go out and grab it… and Keep the extra-planetary power-collection systems nationalized and sell the beamed output to the Power Companies. If we did, i wonder if there would be any need for taxes.

Social Liberal (w/Personal Responsibility)
Religious Liberal (w/Personal Responsibility)
Fiscal Conservative
Technology and Knowledge over all

I am so sorry, Obama haters, but he was the president that gave the go ahead on the Bin Laden mission.

DoD has always provided great jobs and great training. America should not underestimate the importance of that role in our country to train and keep our brain power and our technological expertise. With many of our jobs going overseas I hope Congress will be very careful here. We could lose much more than we already have lost. Dod provides jobs in every state and cutting them will exacerbate the unemployment rates across the USA, impact tax collections for every state, and I believe, really start our decline.

Right on, Bro !

It was not his decision, he was the one who took the credit.

You won’t have a balanced budget until you get all the Democrates out of congress. Obama and the Democrates just raised the US budget ceiling again, they don’t want a balance budget ammendment. Democrates just want to make everyone have to have health insurance even if they can’t afford it. Why didn’t the supercommittee work things out, because it was easier for the politicial devide to stay in place and let sequestration take place

I guess no one understand what a balance is. we can not do away with the militery so we have to spend money for its up keeps,and at the same time we have to bolster up the nations sagging legs.How do we do that ?cut spending with china because we spend way too much money with them bring back two third of the manufactory here so that the poor Americans can get woork.the militery have a lot of old trucks cars ships and other metals laying around set up a plant where these old vechicle come in and get strip down iorn gets melted glass resmelted rubber and other things get process.These can then be used to make new things at the same time producing jobs. all those m16 assult rifle and other wepons that the militery sells back door melt them down.Dont just leve them for the necrotic minded people to make a profit off them. just my views.

Wes — I read all the posts here and couldn’t find any sign of an Obama hater. Would you be so kind as to explain what you mean why you say “Obama hater”? I cannot see how pointing out a man’s failures means you hate him. I don’t hate him. He’s just in over his head and needs to admit it and get out of the way. I have dear friend who is an attorney who has a great reputation and is widely (including the US Supreme Court) respected. However, he is now 83 years old and cannot serve his clients effectively. While I love him and I respect him, he does not belong in a court room. Obama does not belong in the White House.

Hooo-rah!

AGREE, AGREE, AGREE!!!!

Key is to have the ability to interdict the enemies ability for a second non conventional strike capability. Son of Stuxnet. Now the PLA are spending a lot on anti-satellite capabilities, but they will need those to deliver the uplink code to activate the SOS. What Stuxnet did to Bushehr could have caused Chernobyl the SOS can do to nuclear reactors on vessels Kursk Chernobyl under the sea. If they destroy the satellites that cannot activate the activation code to shutdown the reactor cooling system, the reactor management systems says it all ok, but it not, it tells you the reactor is safely shutdown but it is not. Look at Stuxnet and then the activation code the Iranian missile explosion. That is the future, that is where the money should go, cyberwarfare. Look at the drone in Iran, taking control of the enemies UUV and firing torpedo’s back at the mothership. The processors are not powerful enough to change the encryption codes, in time, so build faster more powerful processors, then they build them and it goes on. The US can legislation to allow the US to shutdown the net in case of a cyber attack, so the PLA are doing use a favor if they target the satellites to a certain degree. The more advanced we get the more problems we make for ourselves for humanity, it is a Pandora’s box, and it is like economic warfare, psy-ops even if there is a treaty how do you know the enemy is not involved in cyberwarfare, nuclear missile you can see, chemical weapons you can see. A cyberwarfare treaty is not the same. Anti-satellite warfare leads to pre-deployed satellites in space, in higher orbits, with laser self defense, that become operational once one goes down on the grid, it’s wakes up, its rockets fire and it positions itself, autonomously. So we weaponize space. Because they have to be preemptively destroyed.

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