FROM Robert Hale
Defense Spending and the Federal Deficit A familiar scenario is developing this year on Capitol Hill. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has advised President Obama to veto a spending bill that includes the C-17 Cargo plane and an alternative engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Those are two projects the Pentagon says it doesn't need, and Gates has warned that the soaring deficit is about to shrink the "gusher" of money that has poured forth since September 11, 2001.
Defense Spending, Military Needs and the Federal Deficit Ever since Dwight Eisenhower warned about "the military-industrial complex," there have been complaints about bloated Pentagon spending. Defense Secretary Robert Gates complains that Congress is, once again, pushing job-creating projects the Pentagon doesn’t want, including a spending bill that includes the C-17 Cargo plane and an alternative engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. But critics say Gates has his own recipe for new spending, a Quadrennial Defense Review that calls for ambitious new missions America can’t afford. If Iraq and Afghanistan wind down as expected, will defense spending increase anyway? What about getting the deficit under control?
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
White House flip flops: NATO, Syria and China In less than 100 days, President Trump has contradicted himself on a host of foreign policy issues — Syria, NATO, China and Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Is it a strength — or a weakness — for the United States when the world of power politics never knows what to expect?
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."