450$ Billion Bailout needed for Pentagon 450$ Billion Bailout needed for Pentagon
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  1. #1

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    Default 450$ Billion Bailout needed for Pentagon

    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.

    Experts note that releasing such documents in the twilight of an administration is a well-worn tactic, and that incoming presidents often disregard such guidance in order to pursue their own priorities.

    And with the nation’s economy caught up in a global financial meltdown, it remains unclear whether either Sen. John McCain , R-Ariz., Sen. Barack Obama , D-Ill., or a Democratic Congress would support such large increases for defense next year.

    “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.”

    Dov Zakheim, the Pentagon’s top budget official from 2001 to 2004, who is not involved in the current discussions, agreed.

    “The thinking behind it is pretty straightforward,” Zakheim said. “They are setting a baseline for a new administration that then will have to defend cutting it.”

    The fiscal 2010 portion of the estimate includes a $57 billion increase, out of which $30 billion would go for a vaguely defined contingency fund and $14 billion would go for replacing or fixing existing equipment, called reset, and modernization, the former officials said.

    They added that those items reflect the Pentagon’s attempt to anticipate the end of huge supplemental war allotments that have hidden the costs of resetting and modernizing the nation’s war-torn force. Both presidential candidates have pledged to scale back supplemental war spending.

    The Pentagon comptroller’s office refused repeated requests for comment on the figures outlined by the former officials stating that it was premature to discuss future budgets because they were still being worked on.

  2. #2

    Better than AtW

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    Imperial overstretch - the fate of all great empires from the dawn of history.
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  3. #3

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    I once read a John Grisham book with a similar plot - typical pentagon manipulation.
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