Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Leon Panetta Confirmed As Secretary Of Defense


CIA Chief Leon Panetta was unanimously confirmed by the Senate today to be the new Secretary of defense. He'll take over July 1st, when Robert Gates steps down.

As with the CIA, Panetta has very little practical experience in defense matters, although he did serve a two year stint in the army as a second lieutenant who functioned primarily as an administrator and saw no combat.

What he's primarily there for, of course, has nothing to do with defense. He's there to implement the huge $400 billion budget cuts in defense demanded by President Obama. And as the former Clinton-era head of the Office of Management and Budget that oversaw similar cuts in our military that essentially squandered the peace dividend after the fall of the Soviet Union, he's quite well suited to the task.

Panetta also has the typical Clintonista view of the military, and is thought of by the Obama Administration as politically reliable and down for the agenda. And as an old DC hand, he knows a lot of the players and the Administration likely thinks he'll be able to sell the budget cuts for them to Congress.

Look for Panetta to cut military research and development, weapons programs and attack military pay and benefits.

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louielouie said...

i'm wondering.
who's the greater threat to the US national security?
leon panetta?
vladimir putin?

B.Poster said...

Vladunur Putin hands down. He has nuclear weapons. Leon Panetta does not.

Frankly we need huge spending cuts through out the government. The easiest place and least politcally costly place to cut is military spending. Go after the "low hanging fruit" first and go after other parts next. I'm shocked its taken them this long to get around to cutting military spending.

Now with that said the military has a huge beurcracy with fancy titlees who are well compensated and contribute little real value to our national defesne. It would be far better to cut there than to cut researcdh and development.

We're spending more money on defense than either Russia or China yet we lag behind both of them in military strenghth and military fighting capability. Simply spedding more money on this will not solve the probelm.

Ideally the big cuts to military spending would be followed by redepolying our forces to our borders. Without having to support far flund deployments it should save money and best of all by having our forces deployed to our borders we actually have a fightng chance to defend our country. Unforunately I don't expect the current leadership to do this.