Andrew Ferguson of the Weekly Standard summed up the neoconservative case against cutting U.S. defense spending in a February 21 article entitled “The Stockman Temptation.” In Ferguson’s article, he recollected that President Reagan’s Budget Director David Stockman had told Reagan back in the early 1980s that he must cut the defense budget in order to balance the budget. “Defense is not a budget issue,” Reagan responded. “You spend what you need.”
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Congress on March 2 that the American government was losing an information war around the world as foreign media entities continue their rise to power, explaining that the U.S. government needed to step up propaganda efforts to promote its international objectives as the American media was becoming increasingly irrelevant.
U.S. military officials are firmly denying allegations published in Rolling Stone magazine that a top Army officer in Afghanistan, Lieutenant General William Caldwell (picture, left), ordered experts in psychological warfare to conduct psychological operations (psy-ops) on visiting U.S. senators and others in hopes that they would help increase funding and troops for the combat effort. Furthermore, the officer in charge of the psy-ops said that when he objected to the operation as illegal, he was placed under investigation and reprimanded.
Frank W. Buckles, the last remaining U.S. veteran of the First World War, died last Sunday at the age of 110. There are now only two people alive in the world who served in the military during the conflict which was long known simply as “the Great War.” Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki observed:
Massive street protests erupted in Tunisia in late December, which ended the 23-year reign of dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Fueled largely by an Internet-connected youth movement, the protests were partly a reaction to the publication by WikiLeaks of documents from U.S. diplomatic cables that revealed pandemic corruption by the ruling party, as well as government oppression that included arrests of lawyers, journalists, and political opponents. Another spark helped to ignite the revolt was the dramatic protest by Mohamed Bouazizi, who publicly set himself on fire on December 17 because of frequent government confiscation of his produce in his street vendor’s business and the government’s refusal to issue him the required vendor permits.