NYT: Victory for Obama Over Military Lobby
by QTG, Thu Oct 29, 2009 at 05:52:40 AM EDT
Star Wars? Quite the contrary, in fact.
Effective and sensible leadership? Yes We Can.
Our Democratic President, along with his Defense Secretary and formidable White House staff, have pulled off a major accomplishment and can claim victory over the Industrial Military Complex. The people who follow such things say this is surprising. I, on the other hand, think it's just plain awesome!
By CHRISTOPHER DREW
Published: October 28, 2009
When the Obama administration proposed canceling a host of expensive weapons systems last spring, some of the military industry's allies in Congress assumed, as they had in the past, that they would have the final say.
Congressional lapdogs and revolving door aspirants, many who are seasoned geezers used to getting their way (and subsequent big $$$ from lobbyists), had a bit of schooling, it would seem, from the new kids up the street...
Military analysts said Mr. Gates, a holdover from the Bush administration, also aimed at the most bloated programs. And Senator John McCain of Arizona, the former Republican presidential candidate, who has criticized the Pentagon's cost overruns, provided Mr. Obama with political cover to make the cuts without being seen as soft on the military.
"They probably get an `A' from the standpoint of their success on their major initiatives," said Fred Downey, a former Senate aide who is now vice president for national security at the Aerospace Industries Association. "They probably got all of them but one or maybe two, and that's an extraordinarily high score."
I'll give you minute for that to sink in.
Still, even White House officials say they were surprised at how far they got in reshaping the weapons programs.
"In terms of sort of bringing fiscal responsibility to Washington and changing the way the place works, you couldn't have picked a more challenging area than the defense budget," said Rob Nabors, the deputy director of the White House's Office of Management and Budget.
Good work, Mr. President. Keep it coming.