The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Robert Naiman, 217-979-2957,
Megan Iorio, 908-400-9480,

Just Foreign Policy Responds to Super Committee "Failure": "We Now Have a Historic Opportunity to Cut Military Spending"


Responding to reports that the Congressional "Super Committee" had failed to reach agreement on a new plan to reduce projected government debt by $1.2 trillion over ten years, Just Foreign Policy Policy Director Robert Naiman said today, "Given the deals that were on the table, 99% of Americans should celebrate the 'failure' of the Supercommittee to reach agreement. The 'automatic trigger' - which is now supposed to be implemented under the Budget Control Act - protects Social Security benefits and does not raise the Medicare retirement age. The trigger would force real but sustainable cuts to projected military spending - cuts that can easily be achieved by drawing down our military forces to pre-war levels, canceling unnecessary weapons systems, and closing unnecessary foreign bases."

Under the Budget Control Act, Congress will enact a plan to reduce projected debt by $1.2 trillion over ten years regardless of what the Super Committee does. The only question is how. Press reports indicated a reluctance by the Super Committee to consider serious cuts to projected military spending, in part due to pressure from the military spending lobby. As a result of the "failure" to reach agreement, an additional cut of half a trillion dollars in military spending is supposed to take place - a far greater cut than the Super Committee was considering. The "failure" reflects the fact that there is no option that both parties prefer to reasonable cuts to military spending. From the point of view of cutting military spending, that's a "success."

When one adds this cut to the cuts in projected military spending to which the White House and the Pentagon have already agreed, it amounts to about a trillion dollar cut, or 15%, in projected military spending over ten years, which would reduce military spending to its 2007 level. A series of bipartisan task forces have identified how such cuts could be easily achieved, including by reducing the size of our armed forces to pre-war levels, by cutting necessary weapons systems, and by eliminating unnecessary foreign bases.

President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Reid promised to oppose any effort to protect military spending from the automatic trigger if the Super Committee failed to reach agreement. Now the 99% should hold President Obama and Senator Reid to their promise. "We now have a historic opportunity to cut projected military spending, and use the savings to create jobs, reduce taxes, and reduce government debt," Naiman said.

Just Foreign Policy is an independent and non-partisan membership organization dedicated to reforming U.S. foreign policy by mobilizing and organizing the broad majority of Americans who want a foreign policy based on diplomacy, law and cooperation.