In the Bush years, liberals worried out loud about how our war on terrorism was destroying our reputation among our noble socialist allies in Europe. But in the Obama years, they are showing their old colors. The Huffington Post's Amanda Terkel delighted in Barney Frank's idea that our NATO alliance with Europe is strategically worthless and our spending on it should be slashed:
"These kind of restrictions on domestic spending with unlimited spending for the war -- and you always have to talk about both -- is a great mistake," Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) told The Huffington Post last week. "And the liberal community's got to focus more on Afghanistan, Iraq, NATO. NATO is a great drain on our treasury and serves no strategic purpose."
Lawrence J. Korb, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress who has argued that the defense budget can be cut without harming military readiness, said Frank's idea has merit. "Barney Frank has a good point," said Korb. "We ought to rethink the whole idea of NATO."
This could be described as channeling the "spirit of Ted Kennedy," who seemingly never found a war or a weapons system he could support. Cutting "guns" to churn ever more "butter." Terkel expressed hope that Tea Party conservatives -- and libertarians like Ron and Rand Paul -- will help cut defense spending:
Earlier this year, Frank, along with Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), put together a Sustainable Defense Task Force (SDTF), a commission of military and budget experts who recommended nearly $1 trillion in cuts over the next 10 years. Recommendations included steps such as reducing the U.S. nuclear arsenal, pulling troops out of Europe and Asia, and canceling programs like the MV-22 Osprey.
"We are asking that a closer look be taken at our national security," said Jones. "If we do not need the 652 overseas bases that we have currently, then we should take that money and put it back into our own country. We should take that money and use it to take care of our wounded men and women returning from war."
Korb, who was part of the STDF, has also authored a report identifying approximately $100 billion in cuts for the 2015 budget forecast. The Simpson-Bowles deficit-cutting proposal also recommended approximately $100 billion in defense cuts.
Watch for Mark Levin, among others, to really make noise about defense cut proposals in the coming year.