Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pentagon Wants to Drink Our Milkshake

Via Matt Yglesias, this passage from a CQ report outlines Pentagon plans to claim the resources needed for new domestic spending out from under the next presidential administration:

Pentagon officials have prepared a new estimate for defense spending that is $450 billion more over the next five years than previously announced figures.

The new estimate, which the Pentagon plans to release shortly before President Bush leaves office, would serve as a marker for the new president and is meant to place pressure on him to either drastically increase the size of the defense budget or defend any reluctance to do so, according to several former senior budget officials who are close to the discussions. […]

"This is a political document," said one former senior budget official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "It sets up the new administration immediately to have to make a decision of how to deal with the perception that they are either cutting defense or adding to it."
This sets up a messy fight, particularly for a President Obama. But given the ineptitude of US military leadership in Iraq, the years of political gamesmanship that leadership has engaged in on behalf of Worst President Ever, and the world class financial screwing ordinary Americans are currently enjoying on behalf of their Wall Street betters, I'm not so sure the Joint Chiefs aren't overreaching here.