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Nate Jackson / September 12, 2016

Pentagon Politics, Obama Style

From budget games to his 9/11 memorial speech, he’s endangering national security.

Barack Obama promised fundamental transformation, and boy has he delivered. The Pentagon has borne much of the brunt, too — Obama’s overall social engineering has done a number on military morale. But he’s also squeezed our Armed Forces on the budget front. In 2011, Obama and Congress hammered out sequestration, which capped spending increases across the board. Obama insisted then that the military bear a disproportionate part of the burden, and he’s still tying any possible defense budget increase to demands for more domestic handouts. Republicans seek to work around this temporarily and cover more basic military readiness needs by using Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funds, which are exempt from the sequester. But Obama’s defense secretary, Ash Carter, is pushing against this and even compiling what amounts to intelligence files on lawmakers so as to effectively apply pressure. Given that national defense is one of the few constitutionally enumerated powers on which the federal government is spending money, Obama’s gambit is even more egregious and dangerous.

Yesterday’s anniversary of 9/11 illustrates why Obama’s policies are so dangerous. Obama attended the 9/11 ceremony at the Pentagon, where he insisted the moment of silence be moved up to accommodate his schedule. Each year, the moment of silence there takes place at 9:37 a.m., the exact moment the plane hit. Not this year.

But arguably the real offense is that he used his speech to crow about how “diversity” is “still and always will be one of our greatest strengths.” The problem is that Obama isn’t referring to the American melting pot. Instead, this was a thinly veiled rebuke of Donald Trump’s policy proposals for dealing with immigrants from terrorist-hub nations. Obama couldn’t have chosen a more inappropriate time or venue for a high-brow lecture about the “progressive” vision of diversity. But we also don’t expect any better from him.

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