Saturday, August 18, 2012

Good Questions

Walter Pincus, who gets into the federal budget better than any reporter I know, reports today on the US Navy's Special Forces budget request.  The request funds "wet" and "dry" operations using underwater and shallow water combat submersibles.  Also included is $1.3 for a Mobile Landing Platform in 2015, to be followed by the  Afloat Forward Staging Base for which no amount is specified.  It's a mind-boggling array of technology all needed to, as stated in the budget's forward, " and sustain tailored capabilities appropriate for counterterrorism (sic) and irregular warfare.” 

It's also part of the Navy staying in the game.  The Army and Air Force have a Special Operations Command, which means the Navy will need to do same.  No branch of service wants to miss out on the current war.  Recall that even the US Coast Guard served in Vietnam.  War is a time of opportunity for the military, especially for the military bureaucracy; rank, budget and prestige grow during war time.  "Counterterrorism" is the name of the game and the Navy wants to keep its hand in.

Pincus asks the right questions:
How are all these Special Forces capabilities in all the services being integrated? How many overlap? How many are needed, and how many can this country afford?
 I would add only a follow up to the how many are needed:  Why? 

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Take a Walk

The Appalachian Trail celebrates its 75th anniversary today.  As good a reason as any to go for a walk.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Good Choice

For once, I can say something good about Mitt Romney.  I appreciate Romney selecting Paul Ryan as his running mate.  Ryan has articulated a clear vision of America.  It's not a vision I agree with but now that it has been officially introduced into the presidential campaign, Ryan's vision (and all of the economic changes that go with the vision) may actually  prompt some real discussion of the role of the federal government in 21st century America. 

Highlighting Ryan's "Path to Prosperity" only says that Romney is a "More of The Same" candidate.  Ryan's budget plans continue the concentration of wealth in America that began with Saint Ronald the Reagan and has continued ever since.  All the tax cuts, deregulation and military spending that was supposed to create prosperity for all gave great profit to some at the expense of many. 

Mitt Romney hopes we will be stupid enough to believe that fairy tale once again. 

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