Thursday, January 26, 2012

More on the US Military's Threat to American Democracy

Via Ezra Klein's daily Wonkbook (which links to this WSJ report - unfortunately, I'm not a subscriber) comes a brief report on the Pentagon's proposed budget.  I wrote a few weeks ago about the dangers of an American military that will be operating increasingly under the radar and in a manner increasingly  opaque as far as Congressional oversight - and public accountabilty - are concerned.  Here's what Klein notes:

The Pentagon will roll out its budget today, report Adam Entous, Julian Barnes, and Siobhan Gorman: "The Pentagon plans to expand its global network of drones and special-operations bases in a fundamental realignment meant to project U.S. power even as it cuts back conventional forces. The plan, to be unveiled by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Thursday and in budget documents next month, calls for a 30% increase in the U.S. fleet of armed unmanned aircraft in the coming years, defense officials said. It also foresees the deployment of more special-operations teams at a growing number of small 'lily pad' bases across the globe where they can mentor local allies and launch missions...Defense officials said the U.S. Army plans to eliminate at least eight brigades while reducing the size of the active duty Army from 570,000 to 490,000, cuts that are likely to hit armored and heavy infantry units the hardest. But drone and special-operations deployments would continue to grow as they have in recent years."

The Founding Fathers could never have imagined the extent to which global relations and military technology were to be transformed in the almost quarter of a millennium since 1776.  Nonetheless, I find it difficult to believe that they would have approved.

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