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Defense Secretary nominee Leon Panetta faced senate confirmation hearings today and -- center stage was a reading tripping.
From the Pentagon's costly military actions abroad.
Here to discuss is a little innocent of the Cato Institute a little it's a pleasure for -- to be a lot of -- -- start with Libya first the Financial Times had a story this morning.
Saying that the Defense Department says 630.
Billion that they've actually spent about 750.
Billion and at this rate it's probably going to go to one point one trillion.
One point one trillion an undeclared war do you agree with those numbers.
-- typical sort of because it will we see what the administration is that in this is obviously seen as of the Bush Administration the Clinton administration.
The obscure a lot of the budget figures and so part of the problem is one of how much we've given to NATO verses how much is actually been spent with the -- directly.
And so I'm sure those numbers will -- -- substantiated.
Later on with the with greater evidence.
But this is Jennifer -- sort of chose the problem.
Of these alliances and how it essentially turns into a more -- were we.
Believe that this is some sort of antiseptic operation.
And it deathly expands into something much broader when Solis and the president of the United States spent a trillion dollars and his own -- without the consent or approval of the congress over this is -- I wish the sexually came out with the whole week gate scandal.
I mean we -- sort of so preoccupied with the sexual improprieties.
Well let's look at held that the legislative body has -- the function.
We've seen that President Obama has -- various technicalities to go beyond the sixty day limit for the war powers and no one's really holding his -- to the fire effect.
Our very -- skeptical about -- being critical.
Up to about this war why do we still have 50000 troops on the ground in.
The government is asking us to leave.
Well interest in the I think that the government and Iraq is sort of on the fence on the one hand.
They want -- easily because it's definitely a source consternation for the Iraqi People.
But they also understand that in a support capacity we're providing -- agree gilts security for the borders -- the airspace.
But will be there as long as the Iraqi Government wants us there we're supposed to withdraw by the end of this year.
A but a lot of people the Pentagon that we see secretary Robert Gates we see general ordinarily trying to press for a continued US presence also we have a Vatican size embassy.
In Baghdad we have Vatican size you mean it's truly enormous whether they'll select some of your -- absolutely absolutely and we have -- seemingly permanent bases scattered throughout the country so we will be leaving their intensive.
What are we doing in Afghanistan -- I think we still have a 150000.
Troops and those troops Mika.
Most of the economic energy within the whole economy in the whole country exactly right -- what we have right now is that.
Roughly a 100000 US troops 40000.
NATO countries aligned with us Germany France you Swedes -- and a part of the problem we're seeing now in fact there was a new senate report released this week.
That effort to stabilize Afghanistan is doing exactly the opposite were fueling corruption.
We're perpetuating the -- were undermining the Karzai regime.
All of these things we've already know but this is just greater -- -- -- is democracy building still the public policy the foreign policy of this country.
Did -- do -- -- a lot of folks in the Clinton.
State Department believe is the folks in the Condoleezza Rice and Colin -- State Department did.
That we can actually instill democracy in these countries that really don't understand it -- want it.
I think the policy makers are just so.
That is the basis author of the noblest intentions that we have is magnanimous -- -- we're gonna trying to reshape the world and our image.
But when you look on the ground -- -- tribes and some tribes and clans finding one another.
We've seen Afghanistan.
Basically riven with with conflict for the past thirty years politically unstable the past 200 years.
And to make anything out of out of this a region.
Even if it's not necessarily a what's western style democracy will be extremely difficult.
In a -- -- months Leon Panetta will be the secretary of defense in General Petraeus the head of the CIA and he changes any troops home any any less money spent or more of the same don't hold your breath.
All right -- -- Tepid at -- and it's a pleasure to have you here thanks very linkage while the -- away the big yeah.