Drones, Asia & Cyber War: Pentagon Shifts Priorities in New Review; Budget Exceeds Bush Era

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During the Republican presidential debates this weekend, candidates took aim at the military strategy President Obama unveiled late last week, which vows cuts in military spending and a stepped-up focus on the Asia-Pacific region, as well as increased use of drone strikes that have targeted militants in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and throughout Horn of Africa. We speak with William Hartung, director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy, about Obama’s new strategy, which leaves spending at levels equal to the Bush administration, and examine alternatives presented by the GOP front-runner in New Hampshire, Mitt Romney. “His plan would be sort of laughable if it wasn’t so obscene,” Hartung says. “He’s talking about, let’s keep the military budget at 4 percent of GDP, as if it was some sort of entitlement program for the Pentagon … He would spend something like $6.5 trillion over 10 years, which would be about a trillion and a half more than the Obama plan. … If he’s not gonna raise taxes, it’s going to come straight out of domestic programs which are already being hit quite substantially.”

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