Friday, April 10, 2009

Obama: Congress Must Act Now To Boost The Military Budget – Wants Afghanistan Increase In Troop Level to 60,000

On ThursdayBarack Obama asked Congress to increase the Defense Budget by an additional 83.4 billion; which brings the total 2009 military budget to approximately $150 billion dollars, down from 188 billion in 2008.

Obama plans to increase troop levels in Afghanistan from 38,000 to 60,000 and give the Pentagon requested funds to overall increase the overall armed forces to 547,000 plus active duty personnel.
John Boehner, Republican House Leader, indicated that the GOP members would support the request, although he placed a caveat on that announcement – Democrats are historically prone to manage war efforts and funding; in effect hamstringing military efforts through the use of timelines.

The most interesting aspect of this particular request to Congress will be the reaction of those Democrats who supported Obama as an anti-war candidate, including the House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi released the following statement after receiving Obama’s request:

“Pelosi said Congress would carefully review Obama's request and "engage in a dialogue with the administration on appropriate benchmarks to measure the success of our investments."


In this simple statement, one can surmise that: “Carefully Review” does not meet the President’s request for quick and speedy cooperation, and may also include earmarks which he specifically indicated should not be attached to this particular bill. Additionally, the “diaglogue with the administration on appropriate benchmarks”, would indicate the usual timelines and other restrictions common with the leftist in the Party ultimately forcing the GOP to back off of support for the bill.

Within the past month, North Korea launched a long-range missile, which drew the strongest criticism within the current administration from Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. In addition, the drug cartels and violence on the U.S. and Mexico border has reached critical proportions – the State Department issued a travel alert. Just this week, Somali Pirates ( Who are not officially linked to terrorists) hijacked an American Flagged Ship, and are currently holding the Captain Hostage. Obama has remained quiet on the subject, while Hillary Clinton is releasing statements and keeping the press informed. In the case of the 3AM phone call, directly following, Obama contacted his staff, while Clinton made the calls to U.N. Security Council During the primary challenges, Clinton warned there would be days like this, giving rise to speculation that the President may lack ability to deal with the world violence that has increased since January.

Perhaps, that may be part of the reason, this anti-war Candidate – Obama, suddenly finds it necessary to take a rather hawkish stance through the increase military funding. The questions now remain; will Pelosi cooperate with both the President and the GOP in crafting a bill that will be earmark and restriction free? Will Obama begin to speak out strongly on the attacks on American interests and the threats from nations such as North Korea, or will Clinton continue to prove to be the “strong arm” of the administration? Finally, with the Presidents “strongly approves” continue its downard spiral - currently dwindling to a mere 34 percent.

A side note:
Obama’s approvals may only decrease, as the President plans to push for very controversial immigration reform, in hand with the Senate , which on Thursday introduced legislation that would grand conditional citizen ship to illegal immigrants. Currently, 74% polled (crossing party lines) are in favor of increased border security.

1 comment:

Chuck said...

I find this interesting on a couple of levels.

-Obama is using special funding to do this, something he voted against and campaigned against, no hypocrisy there

-This will be a big test for Obama and the Dem Congress on earmarks. These bills are tempting targets for earmark additions because it is political suicide for most members to vote against because they are then voting against the troops. We then get a situation were members are forced to vote for things they often would not.

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