Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Pentagon Runs Amok, Has Obama as their Wilful Puppet

Author: Dan Simpson, a former U.S. Ambassador in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
It is not possible to believe that it is coincidence that just as the Pentagon is being called upon to justify its immunity from the across-the-board budget freeze that President Barack Obama is declaring for the federal government, at least three provocative U.S. arms sales have been announced -- to Taiwan, Poland and four Persian Gulf states.
The announcements were clearly scheduled to provoke, respectively, China, Russia and Iran. Each will now bark loudly, and perhaps take retaliatory action. Their responses will, in turn, serve as justification by the Pentagon for the 7.1 percent increase in proposed defense spending, even as painful cuts are being administered in other fields.
The other beneficiaries of this move will be the defense contractors -- the happy band of manufacturers and trainers and their lobbyists -- into the ranks of which many senior military officers and Pentagon officials retire once their active duty days are done.
The timing is extraordinary, if one had any inclination to consider it to be coincidental. The other "coincidental" development was the failure -- again -- of the missile-defense system in a $150 million trial that took place Sunday. That system, a dog that has been around for years, cleverly conceived and presented as an umbrella over the United States and some of its allies against Iranian or North Korean missiles, has two basic problems. First, it is expensive. Second, it doesn't work, although those two flaws do not necessarily deter Pentagon planners or defense contractors.
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