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A Very American Coup

January 23, 2010
William Astore and Tom Engelhardt

Here’s a bit of cheery news: Last week, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates met with the nation’s top defense company executives, including the CEOs of those mega-military-industrial combines Lockheed Martin and Boeing, and called for a “closer partnership.” He also made them a promise. He pledged, according to his spokesman, “to work with the White House to secure steady growth in the Pentagon’s budgets over time.”

Let’s put that pledge in context. Last week, President Obama did something common in the Bush years, something he swore never to do; he requested a supplemental $33 billion over and above the fiscal year 2011 defense budget, mainly for his Afghan surge. That sum, when appropriated by Congress, will bring the total official Pentagon budget to $708 billion dollars ($159 billion of which will be directly slated for Afghan and Iraq war costs). To put that sum in context, it’s close to what the rest of the world combined spends on military matters. And you can be guaranteed of one thing: this won’t be the last supplemental request of 2011.

The story continues …..

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