The Defense Budget and the War in Iraq
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The Iraq war has intensified this year's debate on increasing the Pentagon's budget, which the President calls necessary for the war on terror. Is the military spending more and getting less for the money? What are the trade-offs? What's the impact on the economy? Meantime, Democrats are beginning their public investigation into the conduct of the war and occupation.
Paul Bremer Grilled on Capitol Hill ()
As promised, Democrats are beginning their public investigation into the conduct of the Iraq war and occupation. The first witness is Paul Bremer, who led the Coalition Provisional Authority. California Democrat Henry Waxman is chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Philip Shenon, of the New York Times, has details.
- Philip Shenon: Investigative and Washington Correspondent for the New York Times
Will Senate Hold Iraq Debate? ()
Since last November's election, there's been a steady buildup toward Senate debate on the war in Iraq. Members of both parties were talking tough about mismanagement and opposition to the President's troop increase. Last night, there finally was a debate, but as we hear from Karen Tumulty of Time magazine, the subject was the debate itself which didn't happen.
The Defense Budget Keeps Growing ()
The much-anticipated Senate debate on Iraq remains a non-starter as Democrats and Republicans squabble over the ground rules. Meantime, the Bush Administration is asking Congress to increase defense spending to near record levels, with the Pentagon ready to ask for still more. As proposed by the President, the 2008 defense budget would be 20% of all federal spending, with a total of $623 billion--8% more than this year, including $142 billion for the war in Iraq. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls it "a huge number." The military agrees it'll take years to catch up with repair and replacement of basic equipment, but it still wants new, hugely expensive high-tech systems. The US already is spending more than the rest of the world combined on preparing for warfare. Does it get what it pays for? What are the tradeoffs in domestic services and alleviation of global problems?
- Julian Barnes: Pentagon Reporter, Los Angeles Times, @julianbarnes
- Winslow Wheeler: Director of the Straus Military Reform Project, Center for Defense Information
- Dan Goure: Vice President, Lexington Institute
- Ben Cohen: president of Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities
- Stephen Moore: board member and economics writer for the Wall Street Journal
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