Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama is to request a record defense budget for 2011 in order to expand the war in Afghanistan and continue the conflict in Iraq, according to military officials.
Obama will ask Congress for an extra $33 billion in addition to a record breaking $708 billion to swell the Defense Department’s coffers next year.
Defense spending will top $700 billion for the first time military sources revealed to the AP, after commanders were briefed on the figures, in addition to projected budgets through 2015, earlier this week at the Pentagon.
The bulk of the war chest will be used to acquire more Predator and Reaper pilotless drones, which have been used in missile attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The additional war dollars will also go towards funding the deployment of close to 40,000 new troops Obama ordered to Afghanistan last year.
The president’s Quadrennial Defense Review will be officially delivered to Congress on February 1st.
It will mark the second year running that the president has significantly increased war spending.
Obama’s election promise to bring “change” to Washington and reverse the juggernaut of rampant militarism, endless wars and occupations has proven to be nothing more than a cruel hoax.
Obama has beefed the U.S. military role in Pakistan beyond that pursued by the Bush administration and expanded the covert war run by the Central Intelligence Agency inside Pakistan, with an increase in missile attacks by drone aircraft.
Despite public pronouncements by Obama that a plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq is in progress, the details of the agreement actually establish a permanent presence of a sizable occupying force in perpetuity.
Obama has also promised that U.S. forces will begin to withdraw from Afghanistan in July 2011, but his defense advisers have set no time limit for the war there.
The combined number of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan has now reached a higher level under Obama than existed under the Bush administration at any point between 2003 and 2008.
At the height of the Bush administration’s 2007 “surge” in Iraq, there were 26,000 US troops in Afghanistan and 160,000 in Iraq, a total of 186,000.
According to DoD figures cited by The Washington Post last October, there are now around 189,000 and rising deployed in total. There are now 68,000 troops in Afghanistan, over double the amount deployed there when Bush left office.
As the Post points out, these figures are also misleadingly low because the number of support troops, at least 13,000, has simply not been announced or noted, despite their authorization and deployment by the Pentagon.
The perpetuation of the illegal occupation of Iraq, the expansion of the fallacy based war in Afghanistan, as well as increased faceless attacks in Pakistan, heightened belligerence towards Iran and refusal to address a strategy to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict sum up Obama’s foreign policy during his first year in office.
How in anyone’s mind can such behavior constitute a move towards peace?
Steve Watson & Paul Watson