CATHERINE LUTZ, Catherine_Lutz at brown.edu
Editor of the book The Bases of Empire: The Struggle Against U.S. Military Posts. Lutz said today: “Despite alarms sent up by politicians looking only at Pentagon press releases or their military industry backers’ interests, the new proposal for Department of Defense base budget reductions over the next five years represents only a 4 percent decline in real, or inflation-adjusted, terms, according to the Project on Defense Alternatives. And the Pentagon’s budget will remain far larger than it was ten years ago. On top of this, all of these calculations exclude, as they should not, billions in funding for the current wars.” Lutz is a department chair at Brown University and co-director of the “Costs of War” study done there.
BEAU GROSSCUP, bgrosscup at csuchico.edu
Grosscup is author of several books on terrorism including Strategic Terror: The Politics and Ethics of Aerial Bombardment. He is professor of international relations at California State University in Chico. He said today: “This ‘slimmed down’ plan continues the trend to rely increasingly on fighting the two wars with technology (drones) and ‘precision’ strategic bombing. The budget reductions are also aimed at reductions in the budget increases, not actual reductions in military spending.”
ALICE SLATER, aslater at rcn.com
Slater is the New York Director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and is on the coordinating committee of Abolition 2000, a disarmament coalition. She said today: “It seems that we are moving to a more mechanized war-fighting posture cutting out military forces below the previously planned cuts from 570,000 to 520,000 to an Army of 490,000 troops. However we will be increasing our reliance on drone attacks, that have now been used by Obama in several countries — Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen. A New America Foundation study on U.S. drone strikes from 2004 to 2011 in northern Pakistan concluded the strikes killed between 1,680 and 2,634 alleged militants and civilians in targeted assassinations without benefit of evidence, trial or knowledge of the charges. Even the Nazis were given a trial at Nuremberg by the United States.
“Interestingly, Obama refused to go along with Panetta’s proposal to cut the American carrier fleet in the Pacific, no doubt because of our newly announced policy by Clinton of gunboat diplomacy in the Pacific, building a new military alliance ‘as durable and as consistent with American interests and values as the web we have built across the Atlantic.’ On a recent trip to Australia, Obama opened a new military base there that will grow to 2,500 troops and promised that ‘we will allocate the resources necessary to maintain our strong military presence in this region.’ A Pentagon report warned Congress that China was increasing its naval power and investing in high-tech weaponry to extend its reach in the Pacific and beyond. What did we expect? And now having provoked China to beef up its military assets the warmongers in the U.S. can frighten the public into supporting the next wild burgeoning arms race in the Pacific and what appears to be the threat of endless war.”