President Obama held a high-profile press conference at the Pentagon briefing room today to dot the I’s and cross the T’s on his “new global military strategy,” which officials last night called a “realistic vision” that would cut tens of thousands of ground troops from the active combat roles.
The announcement came wrapped in the same language as every other “new” strategy for military spending announced during the Clinton, Bush and Obama Administrations, that of moving beyond “outdated Cold War-era systems” with increases in spending on pricey warplanes and battleships.
During the talk Obama focused repeatedly on “smaller conventional ground forces,” while trying to reassure that the changes wouldn’t impact America’s global military hegemony, giving all the indications that this is an actual cut.
Which, of course, it isn’t. The “new” vision is actually an increase in spending going forward, centering on dramatic increases in spending for warplanes, with an eye toward more Libya-style wars – President Obama even cited Libya in his speech.
The official spin remains that Libya was a runaway success with zero civilian casualties, a position that they have maintained in the face of evidence of significant numbers of civilian casualties and acting outraged at calls for investigations into those deaths. Libya, for its part, continues to drift inexorably toward another civil war, potentially even deadlier than the one the US insinuated itself into.
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