Lawmakers say the Obama administration’s Overseas Contingency Operations funding request is a “slush fund” that gives the Pentagon a free pass to engage in any fight, anywhere, without congressional oversight.
Pentagon officials say they need flexibility in an era of unanticipated flare-ups and sequestration-induced cutbacks.
The back-and-forth over OCO funding belies both sides’ resignation to an uncomfortable reality: This is the new normal.
Of the $65.8 billion total requested by the Obama administration for OCO, $58.6 billion is slated for the Defense Department — $20.9 billion less than the $79.4 billion placeholder put into the budget for fiscal year 2015 when it was released in March. As Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work pointed out Wednesday in his testimony before the House Armed Services Committee on the OCO budget, the request is also $26.7 billion, or roughly one-third, less than the $85.3 billion Congress approved for OCO in its current budget, and $100 billion less than the $159 billion OCO budget four years ago.
Finding Trout In Your Milk?
“If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful.” The Danger of American Fascism, Henry A. Wallace, 1944