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Is Obama preparing to cut the defense budget?

Ace says he saw it on Fox News, but at this hour, there’s nothing about it on the FNC website. The best source Ace could find is the pay-per-view site InsideDefense.com NewsStand, the services of which I haven’t paid to view. But there’s been considerable speculation that Obama will make cuts in defense. In fact, he has promised to do so. If he intends to make good on his campaign rhetoric, then it’s just a question of when the cuts will come.

In this video clip from an ad candidate Obama made for a left wing interest group, he clearly stated his intentions to cut “tens of billions of dollars” in wasteful spending, cut investments in “unproven” missile defense systems, “slow” the development of future combat systems, and abstain from developing new nuclear weapons. All this, of course, was promised in addition to saving the $9 billion a month Obama said the U.S. was spending in Iraq, a war which he pledged to end. But candidate Obama also promised to increase the size of our ground forces and provide them with first-rate gear. Bret Stephens explored this apparent dichotomy in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.

RS contributer Brian Faughnan, in an analysis posted on The Weekly Standard’s blog, examined the effect of cutting $300 Billion in what White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel described as defense “cost overruns” that the administration “will be addressing.”

Gordon Lubold, however, in a Christian Science Monitor opinion piece, says “experts” predict that it is unlikely that Obama would cut defense spending, at least in the first year or two of his term.

It’s possible that the Fox report Ace saw was simply a mention of the InsideDefense.com article. If that’s the case, then an 11% Pentagon cut remains a single-source story which has not been confirmed. Still, if Obama keeps his word on the defense cuts he promised prior to the election, then those who place a priority on national security will have legitimate grounds for complaint.

- JP

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