Frontpage: Monday, June 4th
- Romney’s Getting More Popular: Mitt Romney is becoming a lot more popular lately—but he’s still not as well liked as President Obama. A new CNN/ORC International poll finds that Romney has gone from 34 percent favorability in February to 48 percent.
- US Defense Cuts Coming: A plan heavily favored by Republican leaders to cut 8 percent of the Pentagon’s budget effective Jan. 2 now has them scrambling to undo their own handiwork. The effects on the military as a result of the 10-year, $600 billion round of cuts remain unclear, but Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and other legislators have said that the belt-tightening measures, which would rein the defense budget back down to its 2007 level, would force the armed services to make choices that would affect local communities. “The soft underbelly that I’m trying to exploit is, what does this mean to your state?” Graham told reporters.
- Europe Ponders ‘Fiscal Union’: Hard times bring people together. That idea may be put to the test in Europe, as leaders in euro countries contemplate a transnational finance ministry—once thought a pipe dream—as stocks slipped for the fourth day in a row Monday.
- Car Bomb in Iraq Kills 18: Iraq’s Shiite religious-affairs office was the target of a brutal car-bomb attack Monday that claimed 18 lives and left dozens wounded. The explosion in the city’s capital came at about 11 a.m. local time and damaged surrounding buildings.
- More Deaths Feared in Nigeria Crash: A plane crash that claimed the lives of all 153 passengers Sunday outside a Nigerian airport may have caused deaths on the ground as well, rescue workers said Monday. “The fear is that since it happened in a residential area, there may have been many people killed,” said National Emergency Management Agency spokesman Yushau Shuaib.
Photo: Spectators watch the Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the River Thames. Hundreds of rowboats, barges and steamers filled the river as Queen Elizabeth II sailed through London. (John Stillwell, AFP/Getty Images.) More Photos of the Day
In the decades following the height of the Vietnam War, our constitutional process fell apart. Year by year, skirmish by skirmish, the role of the Congress in determining where the U.S. military would operate, and when the awesome power of our weapon systems would be unleashed has diminished. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, especially with the advent of Special Operations forces and remote bombing capabilities, the Congress seems to have faded into operational irrelevance.
Yes, there is rape in the military, just as there is in civilian life. There is rape at home on military bases all over the United States, and also abroad. Being barred from combat jobs hasn’t kept it from happening. I spent three weeks in the hands of the “enemy” in Iraq as a prisoner, and I was not raped. Unfortunately, many of my fellow female soldiers were raped—sometimes by the very people who were supposed to “have their back.” Rape happens every day to women; giving women front-line combat jobs will not increase that threat.
Shoshana Johnson, a former POW in Iraq, argues in support of allowing women on the front lines, despite arguments like “rape.”
Not quite what you expected, eh? Full story here.
Frontpage: Jan. 5th
- Candidates Descend on NH: The Republican circus packed up in Iowa and headed straight to New Hampshire Wednesday. Most significantly, Mitt Romney accepted the endorsement of John McCain.
- U.S. to Cut Thousands of Troops: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and President Obama will announce a new military budget that cuts troops by 10 to 15%.
- Death Penalty Sought for Mubarak: Egyptian prosecutors are seeking death by hanging for the former president Hosni Mubarak, his two sons, and some of his former aides. They are on trial for ordering the shooting deaths of protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square last February.
- Herman Cain to Launch Bus Tour: Cain will begin a national bus tour touting his 9-9-9 tax plan, a tour he is calling “Cain’s Solutions Revolution.”
- Bombs Kill Dozen in Iraq: Four bombs killed at least 29 and wounded dozens more in Shiite areas of Baghdad, further raising the specter of civil war.
Photo: Workers listen to Jon Huntsman give a speech in Pittsfield, N.H. (Matt Rourke)
Thousands of local police departments nationwide have been amassing stockpiles of military-style equipment in the name of homeland security, aided by more than $34 billion in federal grants since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a Daily Beast investigation conducted by the Center for Investigative Reporting has found.
Graphic: Mapping a superpower-sized military
Despite the pending troop withdrawals in Iraq and those in Afghanistan between now and 2014, the United States remains a superpower on a scale not seen since the days of the Caesars. With this in mind, the National Post’s Richard Johnson takes a look at the scale of America’s forces.