WHOEVER WINS, WE LOSE AGAINST PENTAGON SPENDING
Wired - Last week, a key congressman predicted that the mega-expensive Wall Street bailout would naturally force the government to cut back defense spending. Well, not if the Pentagon has anything to do with it.
The Defense Department "wants an increase of $57 billion in fiscal 2010, about 13.5 percent more than this year's budget of $514.3 billion," according to Bloomberg News.
Military spending has skyrocketed since fiscal 2000 -- up 43 percent, before the hundreds of billions for the wars in
Wall Street Journal - A top national-security adviser to Barack Obama said he expects military spending during a Democratic administration wouldn't drop, a key concern for a defense industry that is accustomed to growing Pentagon budgets and anxious about potential cutbacks. . .
Richard Danzig, a U.S. Navy secretary during the Clinton administration and a leading contender to be the secretary of Defense in an Obama administration, said he doesn't "see defense spending declining in the first years of an Obama administration. There are a set of demands there that are very severe, very important to our national well-being." . . .
Washington Post - The Defense Department will pay private U.S. contractors in Iraq up to $300 million over the next three years to produce news stories, entertainment programs and public service advertisements for the Iraqi media in an effort to "engage and inspire" the local population to support U.S. objectives and the Iraqi government. The new contracts -- awarded last week to four companies -- will expand and consolidate what the U.S. military calls "information - psychological operations" in Iraq far into the future, even as violence appears to be abating and U.S. troops have begun drawing down. . .
One official described how part of the program works: "There's a video piece produced by a contractor . . . showing a family being attacked by a group of bad guys, and their daughter being taken off. The message is: You've got to stand up against the enemy." The professionally produced vignette, he said, "is offered for airing on various [television] stations in