American Foreign Policy Blogs
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President Obama signed the $626 billion defense bill recently, and various columnists and bloggers have decried what is or is not in the final version, including various ships, planes, and helicopters that are of no use or are vastly over budget. To me just as big a problem is the federal government's use of contractors. I'm not the only one who has noticed: the President himself asked for $40 billion in contracting costs to be cut over the next two budgets, and CNAS and others have come out with reports, but more attention needs to be paid. Contractors come in multiple flavors (for the moment I'm not talking about government contracts to buy goods or materials). Smart Influence
democracyarsenal.org It’s no wonder Secretary of State John Kerry has been walking on eggshells when discussing potential US support to the Syrian rebels. As The Washington Post reported earlier in the week, a renewed discussion to supply the rebels with body armor, armed vehicles, and military training has arisen. Until now, the support from the United States had been non-lethal aid along the lines of humanitarian assistance (such as medical supplies and packaged meals), funding for communications and logistical support, as well as an American invitation to the leader of the rebels to discuss the situation. To date, any combat-related supplies the rebels have received has come from their own conquests of government bases or supposed help from nations like Qatar, Turkey, and, predictably, Saudi Arabia.