AOL Defense: Romney’s Defense Proposals — More Troops, Bigger Navy — ‘Mostly Bluster’
Truman Project President Rachel Kleinfeld writes in AOL Defense:
While the politicization of four American deaths in Libya has some of the media distracted, those of us who care about defense need to look past the hype. The “he-said, she-said” accusations on the Libyan tragedy are obscuring major differences between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama on defense spending and strategy.
President Obama’s goals are pretty clear. His main focus is ensuring that we have a strong economy to maintain American strength, so he is trying to keep non-stimulus spending down. He sees our future threats lying in Asia, and wants to rebalance more resources there. And he wants to invest in new energy sources so we move away from oil, and stop being dragged into endless Middle Eastern conflicts.
That means his plan actually expands defense spending overall, which will rise with the rate of inflation. But Obama will be cutting the rate of growth we’ve been on during the post 9/11 era, taking out $487 billion in projected spending. Troop strength would go from 1.42 million to 1.32 million – while drones and other people-saving equipment would likely expand. It’s a typical no-drama Obama plan, one that focuses on the important (China, the economy) instead of the urgent (anything in the Middle East), and makes no lobbying group happy – a tough sell for a politician.
Governor Romney, meanwhile, wants to spend 4 percent of America’s GDP on the Pentagon – but he doesn’t seem to know why. The number would be the same regardless of America’s economic state or what our enemies are doing.