Jim Kouri
Lawmaker stands up to Obama and "arbitrary" national security budget cuts
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By Jim Kouri
June 4, 2011

National security experts yesterday breathed a sigh of relief over the defense funding levels agreed to in the U.S. House and praised the House Armed Services Committee and it's chairman Rep. Buck McKeon for his work.

When McKeon spoke before the Heritage Foundation, he outlined his vision for a robust defense force to meet current and future national security challenges. This vision, he pointed out, stands in contrast to the Obama Administration's proposal to cut $400 billion dollars from the defense budget over the next 12 years, while simultaneously expanding our military commitments around the world.

In an effort to report his administration was serious about reducing government spending, President Barack Obama is determined to make defense cuts before he faces voters in the 2012 election cycle, according to political strategist Mike Baker.

"Congressman McKeon appears to know his history: It was President Bill Clinton who practically gutted the U.S. military in the 1990s by reducing the number of Army divisions (from 18 to 10 divisions), as well as the number of warships, fighter planes, and other reductions in personnel, equipment and weapons systems," Baker said.

Clinton and his minions even had a term for it: The Peace Dividend.

Chairman McKeon has been open regarding his opposition to arbitrary dollar figures for defense cuts and he's stated that any cuts should be "seen in the lens of [the United States] national security strategy."

"The idea of a world without the benefit of preponderant American seapower may sound alarmist and farfetched. Unfortunately, those who follow military cutbacks and world affairs know that it isn't," McKeon noted.

"It's up to patriotic congressman to stop replacing national security programs and projects with Obamacare and government largesse that amounts to nothing more than vote-buying," warns former intelligence officer and police detective Mike Snopes.

Also, former CIA Director and Air Force General Michael Hayden wrote to the House Armed Services Chairman McKeon (R-Calif.), offering support and thanks for including an affirmation of the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) in this year's defense bill.

Hayden thanked Mr. McKeon in a letter and additionally outlined several critical reasons why the decade old AUMF needs to be clarified. Gen. Hayden reiterated the goal of the AUMF affirmation: codifying America's legal right to pursue and detain terrorists and empowering those charged with that duty.

Hayden pointed out what should be self-evident from the bill's language: The provision is nearly identical to the interpretation of the 2001 AUMF used by the Obama Administration, which U.S. courts have largely accepted. The military also relies on the same language when deciding whom it can lawfully target or detain.

"The original AUMF has been under constant legal attack as part of endless litigation related to detainee habeas corpus cases. Because of these ongoing challenges, the [Obama] Administration's interpretation may receive less favorable treatment in court if Congress refuses to affirm it," Hayden wrote.

© Jim Kouri

 

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Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police... (more)

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