Admiral Mike Mullen, head of the joint chiefs of staff told military leaders the United States armed forces must remain out of the political arena. We live at a time when Republicans are set to draw the military into their weird ideas concerning who is or who is not a true American. Mullen emphasized “today we are trusted” and the American people have “a great deal of confidence in us.” However, looming on the horizon are men like the embittered Senator John McCain who is ready to wave the flag in order to foster anti-gay attitudes. Secretary of Defense Gates has announced there will be cuts in the military budget, and it can be expected that McCain and other Republicans will soon attack President Obama for weakening the armed forces. Reality is our defense(or, should we say, war) budget is greater than all the military budgets in the world. It is bloated and costly. The military must be redesigned to fight wars of the 21st century, and cease believing we need ten aircraft carriers in order to deal with insurgents hiding in the mountains.
We can expect Republicans to oppose any reduction in the military budget. Of course, Republicans have no problem reducing unemployment benefits or aid to dependent children. A twenty percent reduction in the military budget will result in saving $1.5 trillion over the coming decade.