Obama on Defense

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					     CAPITOL HILL CONNECTION
            CAPT MARSHALL A. HANSON, USNR (RET.) • ROA DIRECTOR OF LEGISLATION



     Capitol View

     Obama on Defense
     The biggest surprise in the new president’s defense agenda
     is that there are few surprises.

     D
              efense is one of 30 items on President Barack              stumbling block for the momentum of his initiatives.
              Obama’s published White House agenda, with the                Additionally, public opinion may weigh heavily. A Pew
              economy and energy and the environment featured            Research Center survey taken in January showed that the
     on the White House website home page (www.whitehouse.               public’s attention is on domestic policy, especially the econ-
     gov). Using verbiage that appears to have been borrowed             omy, topping its list with an 85 percent rating. Jobs came in
     from his election campaign, the agenda includes numer-              second with an 82 percent rating. While terrorism remains
     ous provisions that provide direction for the various federal       a concern, listed in third place with a 76 percent rating, the
     agencies (see story below).                                         military was 14th on the list with a 44 percent score. Never-
         But in many cases, President Obama can’t move unilater-         theless, this was higher than the environment, which was in
     ally. Congress still must review, authorize, and fund many          16th place, and global warming in 20th place.
     of these agenda items. With the president still in his honey-          It is interesting to note where the Obama agenda empha-
     moon period, Congress may be more cooperative, but Presi-           sized rebuilding the military: special operations, civil affairs,
     dent Obama also heads a separate branch of government.              foreign language training, and cultural awareness for coun-
     Both the Senate and the House are led by individuals with           terinsurgency. The Obama administration supports increas-
     strong personalities, and either chamber could prove to be a        ing the size of the Army by 65,000 and the Marine Corps by



     President Obama’s Agenda for Defense
     As issued by the White House,               stabilization skill sets; and create a more   Brave Troops and Their Families: The
     Jan. 22, 2009                               robust capacity to train, equip, and ad-      Obama–Biden Administration will cre-
                                                 vise foreign security forces, so that local   ate a Military Families Advisory Board
        President Barack Obama and Vice          allies are better prepared to confront        to provide a conduit for military fami-
     President Joe Biden will invest in a 21st   mutual threats.                               lies’ concerns to be brought to the atten-
     century military to maintain our conven-        Expand to Meet Military Needs             tion of senior policymakers and the pub-
     tional advantage while increasing our ca-   on the Ground: President Obama and            lic. The president and vice president will
     pacity to defeat the threats of tomorrow.   Vice President Biden support plans to         end the stop-loss policy and establish
     They will ensure that our troops have the   increase the size of the Army by 65,000       predictability in deployments so that Ac-
     training, equipment, and support that       Soldiers and the Marine Corps by 27,000       tive Duty and Reserves know what they
     they need when they are deployed.           Marines. Increasing our end-strength will     can and must expect.
                                                 help units retrain and re-equip properly
     Invest in a 21st Century Military           between deployments and decrease the          Build Defense Capabilities
         Rebuild the Military for 21st Cen-      strain on military families.                  for the 21st Century
     tury Tasks: President Obama and Vice            Inspire Leadership from the Top:             Fully Equip Our Troops for the
     President Biden believe that we must        President Obama and Vice President            Missions They Face: President Barack
     build up our spe
				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: While the agenda's "preserving global reach by air" talks to maintaining U.S. airpower, examples given are unmanned aerial vehicles, electronic warfare, C- 17 airlift, and KC-X aerial refueling, with no mention of next-generation fighters. The sea power agenda included recapitalization of the naval forces, with the emphasis on supporting operations ashore and investment in smaller, more capable ships, "providing agility to operate close to shore and the reach to rapidly deploy Marines to global crises."
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