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Rapid Fire August 9, 2012: Agreeing to Disagree

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* When you scrub the Pentagon’s budget hard enough, you find money that was not spent and can either be de-obligated, reallocated through rescissions, or has to be returned to the Treasury (in the case of expired accounts [PDF]). This happens on the margins of budgets but the sums involved still amount to billions of dollars. * House Armed Services Committee member Roscoe Bartlett [R-MD] would like some of his Republican colleagues to tone it down on sequestration, though he agrees that cutting the budget indiscriminately would be “totally devastating.” Bartlett’s seat appears far from secure. * The libertarian CATO think tank brought a macro perspective [PDF] to the sequestration debate. They refute the idea that reducing the defense budget would have a significant impact on the economy as a whole. * Andrew Shapiro, US Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, is pretty happy about the quality of current relationships between the State and Defense departments. He credits collaboration initiated by his boss Hillary Clinton and former SecDef Robert Gates. * Echoing Bob Gates’ departure speech, Charles Barry from the National Defense University (NDU) sees widening gaps [PDF] between US and European defense capabilities. There’s also an “end of […]

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