THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION IS WEAK ON TERRORISM….Max Boot is unhappy. The Quadrennial Defense Review and the 2007 budget have lots of nice words, he says, but money talks a lot louder about the Bush administration’s real defense priorities:

For example, the Pentagon is continuing to fund three ruinously expensive short-range fighters ? the F/A-22 Raptor, the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter ? even though we already have total dominance in the air. The entire budget for language and cultural training ? $181 million ? comes to less than the cost of one F-35.

Also being funded is the Virginia-class nuclear attack submarine….Even more ill-suited for irregular warfare are two other ships whose development will eat up untold billions: the CVN-21 and the DD(X), a next-generation aircraft carrier and destroyer, respectively.

….Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld still seems to think that Iraq and Afghanistan are the exceptions, not the norm ? that in the future we won’t need so many ground troops. The U.S. has already paid a high price for the misguided decisions not to send enough troops to secure Iraq or to capture Osama bin Laden at Tora Bora. Now, it appears, we are fated to make the same mistake on future battlefields, simply because we won’t have enough troops available.

It’s heartwarming to see a conservative columnist offer such a clear criticism of the Bush administration on national security grounds. It would be lovely to see a liberal columnist do the same, wouldn’t it?

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