Mark Collins - The Canadian Caper, Our People in Tehran…and the Globe and Mail’s Public Editor Mark Collins - Afghanistan: US Plans, Numbers Don’t Add up
Jan 08

Lots from Spotlight on Military News and International Affairs:

International News

The Washington Post
Obama picks Hagel for defense, Brennan for CIA - More - More
The Washington Post
Hill prepares for Hagel fight
The Associated Press
Hagel’s own words are fodder for critics
The Washington Times
Bipartisan blows stand between Brennan and post at helm of CIA

International Commentary

Editorial — International Herald Tribune
Nominations for Defense and the C.I.A.
M.J.S. — The Economist
Barack Obama, Chuck Hagel and John Brennan: Similar visions
Jonathan Bernstein — The Washington Post
The Hagel nomination and Senate reform
David Brooks — International Herald Tribune
Why Hagel Was Picked
Max Fisher — The Washington Post
Chuck Hagel looks a lot like Robert Gates
Richard Cohen — The Washington Post
The tarring of Chuck Hagel
Dana Milbank — The Washington Post
Fighting the chicken hawks


Schnurman: Fort Worth-built Joint Strike Fighter is likely target for cuts

Sec. Donley On The [US] Air Force’s Budgetary Balancing Act: EXCLUSIVE


US: Soldiers or Spooks?

Whither the CIA?

The Meaner, If Not Leaner, Kinetic CIA

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Research Fellow at the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute

3 Responses to “Mark Collins - President Obama Nominates Hagel for SecDef, Brennan for CIA Chief”

  1. MarkOttawa Says:

    Some strong stuff from the David Brooks piece (rather relevant to Canada too):

    In a democracy, voters get what they want, so the line tracing federal health care spending looks like the slope of a jet taking off from LaGuardia. Medicare spending is set to nearly double over the next decade. This is the crucial element driving all federal spending over the next few decades and pushing federal debt to about 250 percent of G.D.P. in 30 years.

    There are no conceivable tax increases that can keep up with this spending rise…

    So far, defense budgets have not been squeezed by the Medicare vice. But that is about to change. Oswald Spengler didn’t get much right, but he was certainly correct when he told European leaders that they could either be global military powers or pay for their welfare states, but they couldn’t do both.

    Europeans, who are ahead of us in confronting that decision, have chosen welfare over global power. European nations can no longer perform many elemental tasks of moving troops and fighting. As late as the 1990s, Europeans were still spending 2.5 percent of G.D.P. on defense. Now that spending is closer to 1.5 percent, and, amid European malaise, it is bound to sink further.

    The United States will undergo a similar process…

    As the federal government becomes a health care state, there will have to be a generation of defense cuts that overwhelm anything in recent history…”

    See also from 2011:

    “The US, the UK and NATO: Not Much There There”

    “Whither NATO (needing more Canada?)/US Defence Budget”

    And from Sept. 2012:

    “The Grim European Defence Future”

    Mark Collins

  2. MarkOttawa Says:

    Plus a scathing piece by Bret Stephens in the WSJ:

    “Chuck Hagel’s Courage
    A brave soldier who knows how to be on the right side of conventional wisdom.”

    Mark Collins

  3. MarkOttawa Says:

    Another story, looking at the CIA’s mission focus in particular:

    “Choice to Lead C.I.A. Faces a Changed Agency

    The question that now faces Mr. Brennan, if he is confirmed by the Senate, is whether the C.I.A. should remain at the center of secret American paramilitary operations — most notably drone strikes — or rebuild its traditional espionage capabilities, which intelligence veterans say have atrophied during years of terrorist manhunts…”

    Mark Collins

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