By MICHAEL D. OSTROLENK
Obviously Congressman Buck McKeon (chairman, House Armed Services Committee) did not follow my advice in my last blog post, entitled “Rep. McKeon Is Right (Kind of) on the Sequester. In it I suggested that he could lead a revolution in military thinking to address 21st century threats and fiscal realities. From his latest item in the Wall Street Journal, he has chosen not to lead but, as I pointed out, to “continue living in the 20th century with his military industrial complex mindset making us poorer and less safe.” In his WSJ opinion piece, Rep. McKeon calls on President Obama to restore alleged “cuts” to the Pentagon in exchange for his support for a military strike in Syria. He claims Obama’s cuts have hollowed out the military, leaving it a skeleton without the capacity to carry out the most limited strike.
I’ve already addressed those alleged cuts in the last post, so let me use this opportunity to make a different point. If a U.S. military strike against Syria is the right thing to do (which I would disagree with as a point of policy) then Congressman McKeon, out of principle, needs to support it. He should not blackmail President Obama over sequestration. There should never be a quid pro quo when it comes to doing the right thing. It’s either right or wrong. He should work with the Pentagon to find the funding already available to carry out the strikes He does not need to undo sequestration, which merely put a dent in the Pentagon budget. It would be somewhat comical, if it were not so serious, that with the $17 trillion national debt, Congressman McKeon thinks the Pentagon cannot spare a dime and, in fact, thinks U.S. taxpayers need to give DOD even more of our hard-earned money. The Pentagon will be much more effective and efficient if we cut out the waste and eliminate congressional pork projects. The United States would be safer and more secure if our leaders lived in the same world as us, where math matters and questions of war are taken very seriously.