Thursday, January 29, 2009

Obama's First Iraq/Afghanistan Supplemental War Spending - It's Coming!!!

The president has changed.
The balance in congress has become more entrenched.

The key points that did not change is that there are still the same level of troops in IRAQ and AFGHANISTAN.
The Defense Secretary has not changed.

For the past 6 years we have been treated to knock down, drag out fights twice a year with respect to SUPPLEMENTAL WAR SPENDING. On average these took place in March and September.

These were bills from $60 billion to $85 billion in size. The annual spending by the nation on these two wars has been about $165 billion per year.

We have seen two blockbuster $750 to $850 billion dollar "Economic Stimulus" bills pass through congress in less than 9 months. The opponents of the war spending were largely supporters of the stimulus bills and vice versa.

It will be interesting to hear the debates about this next round of war spending with the current arrangement in congress and the presidency.

I predict that Obama will register numbers in the $60 billion range but will refract anger by specifying troop withdraw commitments. Same money, different arguments around the periphery, different attack vectors used by the opposition to the war.

Obama Won't Cut Defense Spending Experts Say

Obama Nominees Signal End To Supplemental Spending Packages

In its public debut, the Obama defense team suggested they will "move away from" supplemental spending measures, overhaul the Pentagon's weapons procurement process, and pack the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review with policy decisions

There is "hope" that they will "change".
Reality is much different, however.

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