UPDATED: It’s Official. Hagel Orders Strategy Review Done By May 31. Will Underpin QDR

WASHINGTON: A meeting last Wednesday between the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and his five colleagues from the services and the National Guard, followed by a Thursday meeting between CJCS Gen. Martin Dempsey and the new defense secretary, Chuck Hagel. They discussed our national military strategy.

The signs are all there to indicate an important — if not major — shift in our strategy in light of sequestration. And now we have these comments from Dempsey today at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

As I stand here, I don’t yet know how much our defense strategy will change, but I predict it will. We’ll need to relook our assumptions. We’ll need to adjust our ambitions to match our abilities. That means doing less, but not doing it less well.

UPDATE Less than two hours after Dempsey spoke at CSIS, DoD Press Secretary George Little issued this statement:

“Last week, Secretary Hagel directed senior leaders to conduct a review to examine the choices that underlie the Department of Defense’s strategy, force posture, investments, and institutional management – including all past assumptions, systems, and practices. This Strategic Choices and Management Review will define the major decisions that must be made in the decade ahead to preserve and adapt our defense strategy, our force, and our institutions under a range of future budgetary scenarios,” Little said.

The new strategy will “frame the Secretary’s guidance for the Fiscal Year 2015 budget and will ultimately be the foundation for the Quadrennial Defense Review due to Congress in February 2014.”

Deputy Secretary Ash Carter, Dempsey and the Joint Chiefs will conduct the review, which is to be completed by May 31.

UPDATE Ends
In his speech, Demspey noted he and the four service chiefs “all served during two previous draw downs” so they have some experience. But this drawdown is different.

“This will be the first with an All-Volunteer Force. There’s no mass demobilization. We didn’t just modernize – our equipment is older. And, there’s no peace dividend. [Eds. Note: Some on Hill from both sides need to take note of this.] We are going to have to find opportunity in the midst of crisis,” he said, noting how important Congress is to making this a rational and predictable event, especially in the face of sequestration, the mindless mandatory budget cuts passed by Congress and approved by President Obama.

Dempsey made clear what he needs from the Hill, aside from a defense appropriations bill and relief of some sort from sequestration.

“If we can get the reforms to pay and compensation we do need … and if we can get rid of the weapons and infrastructure we don’t need … then, we can begin to restore the versatility of the Joint Force at an affordable and sustainable cost,” he said. Can the Hill gather the gumption to change how much troops get paid and what medical benefits they receive? How about base closures? Cutting a weapons program is never easy, though I think Bob Gates created a pretty decent model for Hagel and Dempsey to follow.

Complicating all of this, Dempsey said is that “power is shifting below and beyond the state.” Relations are shifting “government and the governed. New social contracts are being negotiated in the streets. We are witnessing the birth of citizenship is many parts of the Middle East. At the same time, advanced technologies are proliferating down and out. Middleweight militaries now have ballistic missiles. Cyber has reached a point where bits and bytes can be as destructive as bullets and bombs. Our homeland is not the sanctuary it once was. Unlike that famous story of the fisherman in Arabian Nights, we will not be putting this genie back in the bottle,” Dempsey said at CSIS today. But it’s clear from the meetings he’s held in the last week that change is coming to our present U.S. strategy, crafted slightly more than one year ago.

One thing to bear in mind as all this is discussed. While Dempsey’s predecessor, Mike Mullen, said that the deficit posed the “most significant threat” to our national security, the current chairman’s language is quite a bit softer. “Deficit reduction is a national security imperative,” he said today, repeating earlier statements that recast the budget as important, but not top of the list.

At the end of his prepared remarks, perhaps realizing just how negative much of his speech may have been, Dempsey offered the audience the “assurance” that he and the Joint Chiefs and the rest of the Pentagon leadership “will lead you through this.” Let’s hope he gets the help he needs from Capitol Hill. Just as he was leaving, he said it again, making a pointed reference to our allies, whom he knows were listening: “We will lead our way through this.”

His best line of the day: Dempsey wants to send Dennis Rodman to Iran to fix things in the region.

Comments

  • Aurora

    “If we can get the reforms to pay and compensation we do need … ”

    What reforms? Can someone enlighten, please? What’s in the public domain?

    Approximately half of DOD’s budget is in personnel related expenses. Unfortunately, changes have to be made. Do they really have the political will and intestinal fortitude to carry the ball past the goal line? I’m skeptical. Most likely, they’ll gut the force rather than reform pay and benefits.

    • SirWilhelm

      We can always let our troops get welfare and food stamps. And next year, there’ll be Obamacare. That seems to be the default government option today, And don’t worry, as long as Obama is in power, you can be sure there’ll be no spending cuts for entitlements. Look at how well Russia and China are doing these days, their economies are working so well, they are both able to build up their militaries, yet, we have to cut ours? I guess when they take us over, they can explain how that works, with the help of the guy that’s making it happen, their friend, Obama. Remember, he said he’d have more flexibility after he was re-elected, and this is what he meant, isn’t it?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Samuels/1680736697 Mark Samuels

        An E-3 with 2 years of service, with a GED earns almost $40,000 yearly, not including housing allowance if married, not exactly c hump change considering the degree of education.

        • Roy

          Try again. Even with the new raise, an E3 over 2 makes 1900 per month. That is a far cry from 40K.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Samuels/1680736697 Mark Samuels

            Also wrong, depending on years of service, your figure is at two years, and most E-3 personnel have 3/4 years in grade, or 2400 – 2800 monthly, still to high of pay for the education, especially when housing and meals are added into the equation, thus closer to the $40k yearly.. When I served 72-78, an E-3, me in this case made $212 monthly and $54 monthly combat pay.

          • http://www.facebook.com/gary.ward.585112 Gary Ward

            Wrong, $1,900 per month is tops for an E-3.

          • ex military wife.

            I do imagine that is just base pay and does not include the medical care, meals if in barracks, sep rats if married, housing allowance and medical care for dependents if married and the yearly clothing allowance, not to mention COLA depending on where they are stationed. I could go on but what is the use…….. I will say that I would gladly take the 1900 you claim as it is double my SS check….

          • http://www.facebook.com/ron.ledford.7 Ron Ledford

            I served from 76 to 06 . I still have Sons (4) serving to date…I have NO clue where you get you figures. I suggest you get the pay scales from DOD ( they are available online) and then refigure..Because Sir YOU are mistaken…

          • http://www.facebook.com/richard.g.becker Richard G Becker

            I guess 12 x 1900 = 40,000.New Odumbo math now taught.Right Mark?Another PHD.wasted.

        • SirWilhelm

          And the average salary of a government employee is DC is $120,000 yearly, and they don’t lay their lives on the line every day, do they? The DC area is now the richest area of the country, because everyone there is in government living on tax dollars, because the government is now the biggest spender in the world. And the Democrats finally passed a budget with another $1 trillion in taxes, not including the taxes that Obamare is still kicking in. The government knows how to spend all our change, and we’re the chumps.

        • SirWilhelm

          You missed my point, Defense is the only budget item that Obama has cut.

      • http://www.facebook.com/rosemary.wiedman Rosemary Wiedman

        yep,but these idiot voted him in anyway,we have no misseile defence what so ever but the other keep bulding to kill usa and we are like sitting duck shame for them pulling them down,

      • http://www.facebook.com/richard.g.becker Richard G Becker

        O YEAH.Bushs fault.

    • tony

      If it was left up to Senator McCain all the money would go to defense. The defense contractors are one of the largest lobbying groups in the White House which I think says it all (KICKBACKS)

  • eeeeeman

    The star wars era is now upon us, with infrared weapons and guidance systems for protection here and beyond. More for less, or is that less for more?

  • SirWilhelm

    With this adminstration, to do nothing, is always an option. Just ask the four dead guys in Benghazi, or the survivors. Oh wait, you can’t ask them. Of course, the dead can’t speak, but no one’s been able to talk to the survivors, or know how many there are, or their names, yet, the White House says they weren’t told to keep quiet? Despite the date being the anniversary of 9/11, no units were ready to respond, no reinforcements were forthcoming, and four Americans died. Will sequestration be the excuse for more of the same?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Samuels/1680736697 Mark Samuels

      Ask the dead civilians from the original 9/11 and the on going dead military, from the Bush administration failure to release Intel about terror groups crashing airliners into buildings.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shawn-Patterson/663066491 Shawn Patterson

        Bush, really? After nearly half a decade of the media-generated cartoon character, and pathological LIAR, Barry Obama?

        You are part of what is truly wrong in America today,.

        • Juana

          By now we should know that Bush will never be able to explain anything as when this becomes a dictatorship, by next year perhaps, the Liar in Chief will still be blaming Bush. Who knew that Bush was everywhere? If Bush were to die today he would still be blamed in perpetuity by the Liar in Chief. As you know, the incompetent/Liar in Chief accepts no responsibility as nothing is his fault. Yes, that is exactly what is wrong with this country.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Samuels/1680736697 Mark Samuels

          Really, this brain dead Vet served from 72 – 78 defending your right to make foolish comments. Benghazi is long over, as is the original 9/11 but if you want to rehash history, Bush is fair game. So get a lif e commie loser.

          • http://www.facebook.com/ron.ledford.7 Ron Ledford

            Well I served 31 years and I assure you I am NOT a Commie. But I do think its wrong not to stand up an take responsibility for what happens on your watch..Was Bush an idiot ? Probably But that does not leave Obama free to avoid the blame that comes with Command and you know it if you really served…The Buck Stops here….Ring a bell ?

          • T

            I do not think Benghazi is LONG over. It has not been a year, and we still do not know everything that happened because of temporary amnesia?
            Not to mention the LIE that was told to get off the subject. I think the Dems and Repubs are on the same side. The attacks on TV are just for show.

          • jackie

            the demented want to go back to GWB but, not back to Bengazi….hahahaha….how is that for idiocy? just shows what lunacy is

          • jackie

            AND CLINTON’S FAILURES IN THAT RESPSECT…NOT FAIR GAME, RIGHT…LOL a few here: 1993 – The first World Trade Center bombing 1995 – Attempted crashing of plane on White House
            1995 – Oklahoma City bombing 1996 – Khobar Towers bombing – Saudi Arabia 1998 – U.S. Embassy bombings Kenya/Tanzania 2000 – USS Cole Bombing – Yemen = can’t type more slowly so you could grasp though..duh

        • http://www.facebook.com/carl.lafoon Carl Lafoon

          You are truly a sick person. We are in Iraq because of President Bush’s weakness concerning Vice-President Cheney. Cheney got us into the Iraq War and every informed American knows that to be true.

          • cabo79

            You both sound like fools.

          • JACKIE

            you are the uninformed….and know you were perfectly all right with the rapes daily by sadaam’s sons, and the killings of the Kuwait people…he had mass graves all over Iraq….and that never bothered you….now we have a new reason…thought it was oil? but, since we never took any oil from Iraq, now it is Cheney….you shoudl be half as smart as GWB and Cheney….are in their little finger….but, you would have to come up to moron on the IQ testing…from where you are now why don’t u ask Congress why it voted for Iraq war…oh right, you didn’t know that only Congress can declare war….you thought the President had the power, how sick are you….and you call others uninformed…THE CONGRESS DECLARED THE WAR IN IRAQ….BLAME YOUR CONGRESSMEN/WOMEN

        • LtDan

          One finger pointing out and 9 pointing back at you hate mongerers.

      • Rick Cooper

        you are just plain wrong and truly nuts.

      • t

        I say investigate EVERY politician. We are still in Iraq with a sub contract military, I have heard we have as many as 17,000 people still there. Why else would we still keep hearing about the death tolls and bombs? It is obvious it had nothing to do with the U.S. being there. Dem or Rpub, they are all the same.

      • SirWilhelm

        If you have a case against Bush, take it to court, otherwise, this is about what Obama is responsible for on 9/11/2012. Even if Bush was responsible on the first 9/11, it doesn’t excuse what happened under Obama’s watch.

    • The_White_Rabbit

      It seems you have no concern for the fifty plus Americans that died in Embassy attacks under Bush. Try to focus that at Bengazi, they were NOT on embassy grounds during the attack.

      • dj

        They were definitely on Embassy grounds. A consulate is considered Embassy grounds. Trust me. As someone who spent 3 years at a foreign embassy, you are incorrect in your statement. They should have been afforded every security benefit of a full on Embassy. In fact, our CAR was considered American territory, as was our home that was 4 miles from the Embassy.

        • jackie

          don’t bother to tell the truth or use logic, the libs don’t understand it at all

        • The_White_Rabbit

          So you are saying your car and your home had a full contingent of security personnel as the main embassy grounds did?

      • deadbeatpresident

        bush is GONE, now the spot light is on that DEADBEAT in the WH now, justifying anything on bush is POINTLESS!!

      • Rick Cooper

        you are just plain wrong.

      • CHITA

        LIKE HILLARY SAID 4 DEAD AND WHAT DIFFERENCE DOSE IT MAKE .

        LIKE HUSSEIN SAID ON HEALTH CARE , IT’S ALL PAID UP , LIP SERVICE BY HUSSEIN , JUST A GOOD CON MEN TALK AND CON YOU .

      • jackie

        the Ambasador in Bengazi ASKED FOR HELP…HE WAS DENIED….GWB never denied help to anyone in anything….he was never privy, as clinton was, BEFORE ATTACK AND REFUSED TO OFFER ANY HELP = you can’t stop something when u know nothing about it…you can when you know all about it and still do nothing…

    • http://www.facebook.com/donnie.lisle Donnie Lisle

      Another one of the dwindling republicans that can’t see the forest thru the trees. I do love you though like an ostrich sticking his head in the sand, don,t you see your party falling apart around you. It’s because this country is changing for the better and the republican policies that helped a few and left the masses behind have failed, hopefully for the last time. How does it feel to be irrelevant..

      • SirWilhelm

        How does it feel to be someone who can’t have an intelligent conversation? That can only name call, and deride their opposition? You’re the one that’s irrelevant, with nothing to contribute to the conversation.

    • GTS31bumbee

      Let’s ask Paul Ryan – the beginning was his committee cuttingsecurity funding to the State Department budget. With over 375 embassies and trade missions to protect you are wide open around the world on 9/11. Try understanding that ! !

      • LtDan

        Let’s get past this irrelevant prattling about Benghazi. What about the hundreds of thousands killed and maimed in the cheneybush wars and torture. Come on how about a little perspective. Benghazi was an attack by angry disgruntled men and poor security – due mostly to the repugs budget cuts. End of story. Let’s now improve security and worry about all of our troops in harms way for optional oil and Israeli wars.

        • jackie

          are you intelligent enough to know the president cannot declare war, only the Congress has those powers….the congress under GWB chose to vote to go into Iraq…why not get informed…and stop sounding moronic…John kerry, in a video said the danger to America was imminent…and ted kennedy said we needed to go in…so did bill clinton….but, it is PRESIDENT Bush’s fault…mind boggling how demented some are in their knowledge of facts….

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jack-Everett/1031257371 Jack Everett

            So what makes you think either party is supporting you lol.

        • jackie

          she just continued in the tradition of her husband….and guess an Ambassador’s death means nothing to a lib, since hillary said…SO WHAT?

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jack-Everett/1031257371 Jack Everett

            If the death is so important why did you defund his security?

      • bzlotski

        Sufficient assets were available and waiting at nearby military bases. The problem was an inept administration that failed to act when given ample warning of the impending fall of the Benghazi Embassy.
        I seem to remember orders by most likely, Obama, to stand down when urgent requests for help were received by the State Department. After all, it was more important for word not to get out that Obama’s claims of Al-Qaeda on the run were not true, and he certainly didn’t want the truth to damage his chances for reelection, now did he?

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jack-Everett/1031257371 Jack Everett

          How much does it pay to be a Koch Nazi sucker?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jack-Everett/1031257371 Jack Everett

        These ass hats never let facts get in the way they just trip over them and go boppin down the road.

      • http://twitter.com/williampote3 William Pote III

        Recall that there had not actually been a budget passed in 4 years… Paul Ryan’s budget “cuts” were and are simply proposals, and nothing actually had been defunded or passed into law. You are correct in that we need more security funding in “hot spots” around the world at our embassies, case in point. But you are incorrect to say that Paul Ryan’s budget cut anything since there is no budget, only continuing resolutions.

      • SirWilhelm

        I understand the security budget had nothing to do with happened in Benghazi. The facility in Benghazi was not an embassy, or a consulate. It was a secret facility, so secret, we did not officially notify the Libyan government about it. If it was in anyone’s budget, it was probably the CIA’s. You should be wondering what the ambassador was doing there on the eve of 9/11, with very little security, that was so important, and so secret, they still haven’t told us the reason?

    • Ambudz

      How about the 4,500 guys that 42 and Cheney KILLED?

      • http://www.facebook.com/richard.g.becker Richard G Becker

        WOW.Do you know which one killed more?Do you know any one of the 4500 they killed? Pls describe how they were killed.Shot,stabed,hung,run over,since you seem to know so much? I bet is was 4501 and a half.

      • SirWilhelm

        When are you going to stop living in the past? This is Obama’s 2ND term! Even he has stopped blaming Bush and Cheney!

    • bzlotski

      If Nixon was forced to resign because of a Watergate break-in, where no one died, Obama should be impeached for his state department’s inaction resulting in the death of four brave Americans.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jack-Everett/1031257371 Jack Everett

      With your previous fascist administration doing nothing but murdering over a million innocent people for profit was always an option. Just ask the Iraqi mothers that berried their babies and then were murdered by your lover Bush, oh yeah you can’t ask dead people can you.

      • SirWilhelm

        Fascists are Socialists. The previous administration was supposed to be conservative, which would be to the right. Nazis were Fascists, right? Well, Nazi stands for National SOCIALIST Party. Socialism is a kind of Marxism, in other words, Leftism. They fought for power with Communists, but then, the Soviet Union fought China along their border, which indicates the Left does fight amongst themselves.

        Bush is no longer in power, in fact, Obama is now succeeding his own first term, and Benghazi occurred before the election, so, it is all on him. If you want to continue to go after Bush, try the courts, see if they’ll listen to you.

        In a message dated 3/20/2013 9:53:46 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, notifications@disqus.net writes:

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bobby-Marta/100000371287362 Bobby Marta

    Add this to your guide lines Demsey concerning your ‘ambitions to match our abilities,’ when we leave all our materials and equipment in these overseas countries, rebuild their homelands, and sell off what is left to the next rebel country in their little war games.
    Spend billions upon billions for all these G I Joe ventures and still playing big brother and still act like the International Police of the world. That is a total waste, not even counting the thousands of lifes of our men and women you ass holes lose in these ventures.

  • wjabbe

    Everyone should recall what a great job the Pentagon Generals did anticipating the first “9/11″ and defending the homeland while it was under attack by third world terrorists if indeed that was the case. Much of the government report of that incident is still a carefully guarded secret. When a government operates iln secret, just like Nazi, Germany, how can the public make any intelligent decisions or recommendations? Secrecy is the enemy of the truth. Evidently all we learned from Nazi, Germany is how to copy them.
    Sequestration is trivial compared to the total bloated multi billion dollar Pentagon budget. The military industrial complex former 5 star general Eisenhower warned about is alive and well thanks to our corrupt Congress and Presidents of both political parties. Our own government lied to the public about reasons for base closures.
    Some things never change. As two time medal of honor recipient and Marine Major General Smedley Butler so eloquently stated before WWII, “War is a Racket”. “Al Capone operated in three districts of Chicago, I operated in three Continents.”

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Samuels/1680736697 Mark Samuels

      The military industrial complex runs our country. Take the new F35 fighter jet, contracts exist in 49 States for its construction, thus any cuts must get the approval of members of Congress & Senate from those States, which we all know is impossible, given the no cuts in my backyard mentality.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shawn-Patterson/663066491 Shawn Patterson

      It was not the Pentagon’s job to “anticipate the first 9/11″.

      You have no credibility.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Samuels/1680736697 Mark Samuels

        Yest it was the NSA is part of the military, and they hold some resposibillity for the lose. Go enlist, and learn how the military and security operates, its all one and the same.

        • ycplum

          NSA is part of the Department of Defense, however, it is ony responsible for intelligence gathering and protection of our communication systems. Intelligence processing belongs to another agency.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ron.ledford.7 Ron Ledford

        Oh but he does…IF its not the Responsibility of the PROFESSIONAL Soldiers , Sailors , Airmen and Marines to antipate threats why do we have them…Its called Force Protection and protecting America is the BIGGEST Force there is. ALL the seperate Branchs of the Military have Intelligence Troops and the schools Program has been training Leaders since 1977 to face the threat that Islam poses to the US… THAT means that ALL of the Politiciand in Power have had the knowledge that it was coming…POLITICAL Correctness dictated that it be ignored oe at least not addressed…you know dont say anything it might cost me votes? It is indeed the Pentagons job to anticipate threats to the Nation…Go research Joint Forces Command…It is the Responsibility of the ELECTED Leaders to STOP being Republican and Democrats and START being Leaders …PERIOD…

  • justraisethetaxes

    The new secretary has to fix it or WHAT? Get a new Secretary?… take him to court?… Just forget about it if he can’t do it?.. Blame Bush??..This is a legit question!

  • Juana

    With Hagel at the helm we might as well turn over our military to the Taliban, it would be less painful. He is a traitor of the first caliber, but then so is Obama. His latest appointment, Tomas Perez is just another pawn bent on destroying America from the inside. It appears to be working!!! God Help us!!!

  • BrianW517@aol.com

    His best line of the day: Dempsey wants to send Dennis Rodman to Iran to fix things in the region!! REALLY!?! I think PeeWee Herman could do a better job than Dennis Rodman.???

    • http://defense.aol.com/ Colin Clark

      It’s a joke! Truly! Everyone in the audience laughed. Dempsey enjoys tossing jokes AND he loves to sing at some events. He’s human.

  • dj

    Bring everyone home from Afghanistan. You can save billions right there. No brainer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Moschetti/100002848817404 Tony Moschetti

    I guess this is the final nail in the coffin of Obama’s promised, “FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE of the United States of America.”
    We will be no more powerful, no more wealthy than any of the other 190 nations in the world, another of his stated goals. Never in the histroy of our country has any president tried to make us weaker and less wealthy. At least, until now, none had succeeded.
    And it happened right in front of our eyes, in the open. I guess it’s true that we get the “leadership” we deserve.

  • duyaljc

    All Dempsey cares about is a comfortable retirement.

  • tviannitti@aol.com

    Cut the bs bring all the US Troops home from abroad! Take them out of Korea, Okinawa, Germany & Italy. Leave Iraq & Afghanistan. Secure the Amerfican borders

    • http://www.facebook.com/richard.g.becker Richard G Becker

      Sounds great to me.But do not forget the other 120+ countries we have our nose in.

  • Quantoc309

    Sequester. Obama’s new go to blame for his miserable failures,

  • canthelpit

    just another way of saying the united states under obama and hagel leadership will not be protecting us the way we are accustomed to. it will be easier for our enemies to destroy our country, which is what they want.

  • rafael griezmann

    We should cut the Pentagon in half. It has been a enormous corruption boondoggle for ages. The $5 TRILLION that they have simply “lost” in recent years suffices to pay our debts and ensure social security, medicaid, …. for decades.

    The Pentagon’s Black Hole
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/winslow-t-wheeler/the-pentagons-black-hole_b_350507.html

    But that is just the beginning. We also have to clean out our corrupt oligarchy that runs foreign wars for their own benefit and the benefit of foreign countries and uses “patriotism” as a cover-up for their own corruption. Their “corporate media” is another of the cleaning our that we have to do – especially the parts that are controlled by foreign countries (Disney/ABC).

    Iraq War among World’s Worst Events
    http://warisacrime.org/sites/afterdowningstreet.org/files/iraq.pdf

    10th Anniversary Of Iraq War: U.S. Still Hasn’t Learned Its Lessons

    I am not quite sure most Americans have come to grips with what has been to done to Iraq by the U.S. government. Numbers alone don’t quite capture it, but they help. Not counting the 500,000 Iraqi children killed by the sanctions, over one million Iraqis have been killed. Millions of refugees, widows and orphans were created. Over 5,000 American soldiers died, including nearly 100,000 casualties. Iraq is now littered with uranium-tipped shells and debris, toxic pollution that has caused increases in infant mortality, cancer, and birth defects in Fallujah.

    $3 trillion were spent, billions more shoveled around, lost and unaccounted for. The human and monetary toll of the war is truly staggering.

    The Iraq war was also a perfect example of the lies, propaganda, and corporatism that are a predictable result of large military establishments and an imperial foreign policy.

    After 9/11, the Pentagon meticulously saturated the airwaves with former employees that were intertwined in the military-industrial-complex….. http://www.policymic.com/articles/29919/10th-anniversary-of-iraq-war-u-s-still-hasn-t-learned-its-lessons

    Bush May Be Gone, But “Psychosis” of U.S. Foreign Policy Prevails
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article34336.htm

  • Jim Pylman

    The sequester is obama’s , and his alone.

    He agreed to this months ago to avoid going over the cliff.

    • Ambudz

      If I remember correctly congress and the President signed off on this mess.

      • http://www.facebook.com/richard.g.becker Richard G Becker

        Odumbo signs nothing,knows,sees and hears nothing.Its Bushs fault don’t you know.

  • JosipBrozDobarSkroz

    Focus on making the US a secure fortress and let other countries handle their own affairs

  • 14USA

    It is becoming clearer with each passing day that Hagel is merely the hand puppet of Obama that will be used to dismantle our ability to protect ourselves. Obama’s hatred for our military men and women is obvious to everyone. Of course, his supporters, the media and his hand picked cabinet will deny this. Regardless, America’s future is at stake, the very lives of our children, grand children hang in the balance. The question is, “When will Americans wake up to what is happening”? It’s time that we have a Million Man march on Washington to let all of those who we entrusted to protect us that they are not doing their job. It’s time for the President to get a simple message “Do you job, put politics aside, be a President of all the people not just your supporters or else step down”. There’s enough dirt out there on this President to enact another Nixon depature, someone needs to do the right thing and step forward with the truth about numerous unlawful occurences. Let’s hope that happens soon

  • rafael griezmann

    The Bush/Obama “fights” are just political theater run by our “media” to keep Americans dumb, divided and easy to fleece/abuse by our corupt oligarchy. There is very little difference between them. Both are/were puppets. The corruption in our “democracy” is now truly astounding.

    The Quiet Coup
    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/05/the-quiet-coup/307364/

    The Untouchables: How the Obama administration protected Wall Street from prosecutions
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/23/untouchables-wall-street-prosecutions-obama
    http://www.voltairenet.org/article158792.html
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article24236.htm

    The Rule Of Law Is Dead In America
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article34340.htm

    The Shame of America’s Gulag
    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_shame_of_americas_gulag_20130317/

    US Civil War: Is It Possible?
    http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2013/03/18/us-civil-war-is-it-possible.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/roberta.rosenfeld.5 Roberta Rosenfeld

    here’s a simple strategy. Pull ALL our troops back to the USA. Create two very highly trained and very well equipped forces of about 200,000 troops each. Place one on the east coast and one one the west coast. Any threat approaches our shores-obliterate it.Other than that ,chill out. We could save 3 to 4 hundred billion a year with no casualties.

  • JADE

    tHIS FECKLESS PRESIDENT WHO IS NOW SCAMBLING TO IMPLIMENT MISSLE DEFENSE AFTER HE STOPPED IT FOUR YEARS AGO AND NOW WE WONT BE READY FOR 4 MORE YEARS AT DOUBLE THE COST..WHAT A STUPID LEADER

  • squidgod

    It’s always easy to tell when an AOL-D article gets linked to by right-wing blogs.

  • cabo79

    “the mindless mandatory budget cuts passed by Congress” It had to be mindless (blameless) or many Congressmen would be out of a JOB. Term Limits Only hope.

  • johnny chance

    There is enough blame to go around….just where would you like to start…..

  • William Graham

    Lots of people still believe that Obama is not a US citizen… If that were true, then ALL of the people who ran against him Democrat or Republican are NON-Americans who did not go to court to prove he was ineligible for the job. For you non-believer why did NO-0ne actually file a legal challenger. DUH they all knew he was a legal US citizen.

    Now, with the wars… point is Bush started the wars with NO taxes to Pay for the wars. That is where our primary debt came from…. Just a fact. He knew if he raised taxes to pay for the war, no one would want the war. Now the “cry babies” can attack Obama for things that began before he was elected.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dot.alwine Ditzydot

    If the DOD limited their spending to the defense of this country, they would have the money they need to actually defend this country. We don’t need to study robots as childrens playmates or whether a man with a gun looks more manly and hundreds of other similar stupid stuies by any department, but especially not the DOD.

  • WChown

    You know, I read through the comments below and everyone has an opinion about what was, what is and what should be. It is not unlike exactly what happens on the hill daily between OUR elected representatives, OUR President and his cabinett. But guess what; all the rhetoric doesn’t change anything and in the meantime, the world watches US as we slowly debilitate into an abyss, which is exactly where half the world would like to see us disappear. When you are in the ring, you never let your guard down, or you are going to get hit. If we continue to do things that posture us as letting our guard down, we are going to get hit. How many “wars” can we engage in at the sametime? How can we adequately fund our defense in that many wars? What is the value placed on a single set of boots on the ground? Are we in wars to preserve democracy, help other countries survive, defend our country against attacks from foreign soils, maintain our wealth, maintain our religious freedoms? What is the agenda and what is it worth? Who gets the final vote? Are they prepared to make that decision?

  • Bob

    Obama is changing the USA to a second rate nation> Morons voted this fate for us all!

    • Irish Lass

      Third world country is more like it. Onloy then will he be happy and the mrs. will be proud of the country. None so blind as those that will not see.

  • patriot

    Why is Home Land security buying up thousands of tanks, billion of bullets and drones to fly over our population? Our Government is worried that we want to return back to our US Constitution

  • patriot

    Does anyone out there trust our Politicians in Washington to do anything right? They have destroyed my and everyone that I know’s trust and confident in them. They have declared war on all of us who desire to remain free from Tyranny. They label us as Domestic Terrorist. They want us to roll over and play dead while they run this great country and it’s people into the ground

  • patriot

    Obama seems to find plenty of money for him and Michelle to vacation all over the world at the cost of over 2 billion dollars in his first term but cant’t find the money to open the white house tours..
    Sick, Sick political hack

  • I knew it

    Is anyone really surprised at this? I had already figured it was just a matter of time until the weasels went to work and hurt our country still further. As I seei it, without a strong, equiped and ready military, we will be oh so open to invasion. A good bit of the world already laughs at our so called leaders and makes jokes about us. Soon we will be the third world country and the rest of the world will crap on us.

  • bluesguy

    Hagel is a moron,,he has no clue to what he’s doing. But we know who put him there,,the great liar in chief.

  • patriot

    This is what happens when we allow our Government to highjack the American Constitution and replace it with nothing but whatever feels good at the time.

  • patriot

    I wish we had one Politican in Washington who Loved and upheld the United States Constitution. Most, if not all, of our National Leaders wipe their azzez with the Constiution.
    Shame on us for allowing this to happen.

  • http://www.facebook.com/frederick.mahr Frederick Mahr

    Just more Obama misdirection and BS!

  • rcau5910@aol.com

    Why in the world does everyone keep harping on this inept presidents inability to lead, and why former President Bush did this or that so nobama can keep on leaning on it. The ignorant sheeple voted him into office and we have to live with him and his cronies for the . next 4 years. If we are concerned about being attacked, keep your weapons clean, load up and wait for them to drop in. We have so much traffic in this country, they’ll probably drop in the middle of it and be killed before they hit the ground. Really, all we have to do is find a decent, knowledgable, down to earth, patriotic, God fearing, above board Republican and vote him/her into office. The liberals can all line up at San Diego Harbor and take a boat to their prefered communist or socialist countries. I am not a rich man; however, I would donate as much as possible for tickets. there is no need for them to be here because they will be the first to throw their hands up when the enemy arrives.

  • Ambudz

    Juana, are you a Texan also? The only WMD’s in Iraq are the ones we put in there.

  • Dr. Patrick Rodgers

    The Department of Defense (DOD) is still operating in the Stone Age where armies lined up across from each other on the battlefield. Add to that, control by the Military Industrial Complex of all levels of government and you get a feel for the billions of dollars pouring into their pockets without regard to National Security. Good for the new Secretary of Defense who is at least thinking about the problem. Of course, with the parochiol Joint Chiiefs conducting the study, you can be sure the Special Interests will be accomodated. What is really needed is for an “Independent Group” to re-define our 21st Century National Defense Mission, develop a long term Strategic Plan and reinvent the various military branches around this plan. Get rid of the overlapping missions, duplication of efforts, different and antiquated logistic systems, contract cost overuns, streamline and reduce the number of staff, especially at the top and lastly, military people being held accountable for managing their areas of responsibility. Let’s face it folks, we could easliy cut the DOD Budget by one-third and America’s National Defense would not be impacted one iota. Unfortunately, our government is too far down the toilet for responsible actions to ever be implemented. Good luck to the new Secretary of Defense in whatever efforts he undertakes.

    • Dr. Patrick Rodgers

      Can’t just blame this Administration, because Barack Obama is just another in a long line of puppets on a string to the Military Industrial Complex and World Power Brokers who suck Trillions of tax dollars out of our pockets (Those of us who still pay them). It matters not who is in power, don’t kid yourself felow Americans, the President and Congress don’t work for us. They serve their friends and are all in the pockets of the “Power Elite.” Your tax dollars at work my friends.

  • Brian

    Hey stupid? Could you save a little money by bringing our boys home a year early instead of getting frustrated over where to get money for ongoing operations in the future? What an oxymoron that NO ONE in the government seems to get.

  • http://www.facebook.com/richard.bonnet.10 Richard Bonnet

    All I heard was a ” Bunch of Glittering Generalities “

  • will

    One thing is certain: when the cuts occur the military suppliers and contractors who suck off the federal treasury, better known as corporate welfare, will howl and cry and accuse the administration of being unpatriotic and risking our security. In fact it is all about their dependency on federal spending.

  • Luce Laddle

    Are they aware that it is because of them that there is no money?

  • http://twitter.com/gsixwolf GWoelfel

    Take note there are neo Conservative postings here instead of making comments on their conservative sites. No one at the conservative sites to rile up or listen to them so they come here thinking…..whoops…conservatives don’t THINK.

  • Nocell

    Well taking away the education benefits promised young men who have JUST enlisted so they COULD eventually go to college, that’s just NOT the way to go about doing things….Once again, soldiers are f*ked over!…(sorry, theres just no polite way of saying it)…

  • coolhandluke84

    i feel safer aLready………..NOT

  • T

    Getting Old, The sequestration was still an increase in spending. Maybe they geniuses could figure out a way to spend less of more. One of the problems we have is they think they are entitled to raise their over spending every year. Buy votes seems to be the primary goal. All for power.

    And when a Republican is in office it is the same story, screw things up and blame the other party.

    Obama shuts down the White house for tours, and wants to cancel the Easter egg roll.

    Yet he found 1 million in funds to play Golf one time? C’mon. The Administration spends 100s of millions a year in vacation and luxury perks. I do not care who they are or what party, politicians are all the same. And if you think your party is innocent, your part of the problem. Politics is a family business. And we are duped with the same rhetoric ever term.
    They just pass it on to relatives. Bush’s, Obamas, Clintons, Kennedy’s. and So on. We have an oligarchy on our hands.

  • lyleo

    Put it this way, Two Faced Karzaii wants U.S. & Nato troops out of one province while dictating to the US Commander to come up with a security Plan. MY PLAN, Get the hell out and bring all U.S. & Nato troops home by Thanks Giving. Our glorious leaders don’t want to ship all the equipment home so BLOW IT UP and Leave it. They did it at the end of WWII in the Pacific due to cost and budget debts. Don’t leave any thing high tech, a few jeeps and revetments on the key base’s, Other wise, get out and get out now. They don’t like us, they don’t want us, and for da** sure don’t sent them any money. We are sequestered to crap here at home and all the nutty State Department wants to do is give give give to Pakistan, Egypt, and all the other U.S. hating countries on the pretense they need aid to insure non-proliferation of terrorist. Wake and smell the roses boy’s and girl’s, they have already spread out like a cancer and laugh at us every time we send them a check. They don’t buy food, clothes or housing, they just keep buying bullets and bombs to use on US US US.

  • sam

    “Deficit reduction is now a national security imperative.” That is a direct quote from the article above. So . . in order to reduce the deficit his administration expanded so blithely, President Obama and the Congress are now empowered by the U.S. Constitution to impose any measures upon the American people which they consider necessary, and the American people have no legal recourse except to comply.

  • Me_Mongo

    These clowns are going to start WW3. You get what you vote for.

  • jackie

    you want to go back ‘to the future’? start with Bengazi’s culprit’s husband…How come the libs never mention the string of terrorist bombings that effected U.S. interests, property and persons during Bill Clinton’s administration. Shall we list a few here: 1993 – The first World Trade Center bombing 1995 – Attempted crashing of plane on White House
    1995 – Oklahoma City bombing 1996 – Khobar Towers bombing – Saudi Arabia 1998 – U.S. Embassy bombings Kenya/Tanzania 2000 – USS Cole Bombing – Yemen

  • hhdaddy

    No exceptions to the Sequestration without more tax revenue from the super wealthy and corporations and closure of tax loop-holes. Period, done and done!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jack-Everett/1031257371 Jack Everett

    It’s about time the military supported getting rid of weapons tey don’t need and have said they do not want just because republican war mongers want to play porky pig with their states.

    Bring our troops home and the equipment with them and stop the war mongering that is destroying us. If McCain wants more war let him hold a bake sale to fund it and then go fight it himself.