Recently, yet another ridiculous blogpost about defense spending was published on the Net, this time, on the “Danger Room” blog. The blogpost claims (by approvingly quoting an extremely-leftist propagandist from the “progressive” group calling itself “National Security Network”) that defense spending cuts are inevitable and that Gates tried to warn the DOD about them, reconcile the DOD with that prospect, and prepare the DOD for defense cuts, but the DOD wouldn’t listen, continues to refuse to listen, and remains unprepared for them.
Here’s the quote in full:
“Panetta inherits what Heather Hurlburt of the progressive National Security Network calls “two and a half wars” — Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya — and a massive bureaucracy that both doesn’t know him and considers Gates a hard act to follow. Obama has said that the Pentagon needs to reexamine its global responsibilities so it can trim its half-trillion annual budget by $400 billion over the next twelve years, far more than Gates’ “efficiencies initiative” sought to cut.
“He’ll never live up to what building wants or has come to expect,” Hurlburt says of Panetta. “Gates tried to prepare them that this is coming, and cushion the building for what’s coming, but that’s not tenable. It’s an unenviable task.””
So for Hurlburt and Ackerman the DOD is merely a building, rather than an institution whose responsibility is to defend America (this, by itself, is not surprising – leftists never cared about the task of defending the US) and the publicly stated requirements of the DOD are merely “what the building wants or has come to expect.”
As for the lie that defense cuts are inevitable – they are not. They will be enacted only if Congressional Republicans agree to them, i.e. only if they again slavishly defer to Obama on defense. That’s what they did in 2009, when they were the minority, but they are now the majority and have more supporters of a strong defense among their ranks than they did in 2009. They DON’T have to agree to any defense cuts – they can block them, now that they dominate the House. Further defense cuts will only occur if Republicans slavishly agree to them. Yet, Danger Room itself has admitted that HASC Chairman Howard McKeon has stated he vehemently opposes further defense cuts.
Even if they do occur, Gates has indeed prepared the DOD well for them – he’s made massive cuts to defense spending and defense programs over the last 2 years, has dramatically reduced the DOD’s expectations, and has instilled a culture of savings in the DOD.
So all of Hurlburt’s and Ackerman’s claims are blatant lies.
UPDATE: Looks like I’m not the only one critical of the “Danger Room”, Spencer Ackerman, and his ridiculous posts. Says Eric Erickson:
“For the past 48 hours, lefties have been falling all over themselves and contorting themselves in knots to downplay enhanced interrogations and the role waterboarding might have played in getting Bin Laden.
One of the most humorous contortions came from Spencer Ackerman, a lefty hack who has taken one of my favorite blogs and destroyed it with mindless nonsense and leftwing talking points that grossly distort and distract from the awesomeness that had been Wired’s Danger Room blog.
To Ackerman, waterboarding had nothing to do with getting Bin Laden. Never mind that his post conflicts with his premise — it is standard leftist trope that waterboarding can never, ever get anything useful and should never be done because it is torture.”
Well, first of all, waterboarding DID allow the CIA-SEAL team to kill OBL, as Panetta himself has admitted, and secondly, it is not torture. It doesn’t kill, doesn’t injure, and doesn’t leave a mark.