The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Smitty’s Verdict: I Blame The National Security Act Of 1947

Posted on | June 1, 2011 | 15 Comments

by Smitty (via Insty)

Props to SECDEF Gates. He has done an outstanding job. But I don’t think his analysis went far enough.

Gates spoke of “institutional obstacles in the Pentagon — cultural, procedural, ideological — to getting done what needed to get done” and the need for “fundamentally reshaping the priorities of the Pentagon.”
He insisted that the defense budget “is not the cause of this country’s fiscal woes,” but conceded that “as a matter of simple arithmetic and political reality,” defense cuts “must be at least part of the solution.”

The situation at the Pentagon is the Iron Triangle meets the Iron Law.

The United States is still, nominally, the hegemon, of the Western world for forty years and the full monty for the last twenty.

While not specifically disagreeing with any points the SECDEF has made, one wonders what substantially different course he proffers. If the U.S. is not the hegemon, then who? The full Ron Paul approach seems abrupt, but what alternative makes sense?

A line drawn from the National Security Act, through the War Powers Resolution of 1973, through two Gulf Wars, to the latest saber rattling in Libya traces an unhappy arc.

In his memoir “From the Shadows,” written after he left the CIA directorship in 1993, Gates likened the U.S. national security apparatus to a giant ship that changes course only with great difficulty and much less sharply from one administration to another than suggested by political rhetoric.

The good news about the DoD is that the national defense is clearly a Constitutional task. Yet, the U.S. government appears to be collapsing into an imperial federal government.

The 2012 candidate who deals most honestly with the situation and articulates an alternative path that sees the U.S. gradually unwinding its foreign entanglements will be a potent candidate, indeed.

What am I saying? Don’t we all figure that the game of globalized musical chairs is going to have a sudden, ‘unexpected’, disastrous turn Real Soon Now?

And on that cheery note, I’m off.


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