FROM Richard Aboulafia
The Wars of the Future and the Wars of the Past As we talk about his year's Pentagon budget, remember this: the US spends more on the military services, their arms and equipment than the rest of the world's nations combined. And the spending may well go up, despite cuts in some high-profile programs in what Secretary Robert Gates calls a “ reform budget .”
Gates Calls for a Major Overhaul in Defense Spending Yesterday was supposed to be "bloody Monday" for the defense industry, but its stocks rallied as Defense Secretary Gates outlined his latest budget . The US spends more on the military services, arms and equipment than the rest of the world's nations combined. Despite cuts in high-profile projects, Pentagon spending may go up, because, as one analyst said, "For everything they took away, they added something else." The debate will be about conventional warfare versus counterinsurgencies like those in Iraq and Afghanistan, and about jobs in congressional districts. Image: Marine Gen. James Cartwright (R), vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, answers a question during yesterday's press conference with Defense Secretary Gates. DoD photo: Cherie Cullen
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.