Re: “The dagger of ‘budget sequestration’ dangles over the throat of defense’ (Robert J. Samuelson column, 3-6).
Digesting Samuelson’s weekly morsels requires much attrition; they constitute a biopsy of the neo-con soul for us to inspect.
His backdrop is sound; $2.1 trillion in budgetary reductions for 2012-2021 were passed in debt-ceiling negotiations. Of those reductions, $1.2 trillion were considered “painful” and renegotiable by congressional “super-committee” until a 2013 “sequestration mechanism.”
But Samuelson cannot resist the tried-and-true propaganda of fear-mongering, blaming our president for “devastating cuts” which “dangle over the throat of defense.”
Defense spending consumes roughly $700 billion of our annual budget – nearly half of global military spending.
“As we look beyond the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan … we’ll be able to ensure our security with smaller conventional ground forces,” President Obama said.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta concurred: “The U.S. joint force will be smaller and leaner, but its great strength will be that it is more agile, flexible, ready to deploy, innovative and technologically advanced,” adding that “The plan is aligned to strategic priorities we have identified to keep America safe and maintain the strongest military in the world.”
These statements are corroborated by foreign policy successes in Pakistan against Osama bin Laden; in Libya against Moammar Gadhafi; and by exercising discretion in Egypt.
While Obama achieves historic nuclear treaties with both Russia and North Korea, Samuelson cries foul that the budget unfairly hurts Republicans. He warns of “dreadful consequences” of “chaos” and “confusion.”
In reality, Obama plays chess, while the GOP plays checkers.