Obama Calls for ‘Civilian Force’ as Large as the Military

Says Military 'Overburdened' and He Needs Another Nation Building Force

Speaking today at a town hall meeting, President Obama declared that the military was “overburdened’ by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, say that is among the reasons for his record military budgets as he contends with growing deficits.

Of course, the president’s solution to this is not to scale down those wars. Rather, he is proposing to build a “civilian expeditionary force” that is as large as the military and can be deployed abroad for nation-building duties.

Absent from President Obama’s call was any explanation of the legal basis for this and perhaps more importantly, how he intends to pay for another military-sized institution when the $700 billion plus annual military budget is already choking the budget.

But in fact the administration has been talking for awhile about dramatically increasing the State Department’s budget to put it roughly on par with the military. Though this would ostensibly be a “civilian” force, the State Department is already looking at acquiring its own military hardware to create its own “combat force” dependent on military contractors.

So having grown the military to a size unprecedented in human history and had its mission grow to include a failed campaign of nation building, the administration may wind up trying to create another, equally large force to take over this nation building campaign, only to find its mission grown to include combat.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.