December 15, 2013 |
On Dec. 1, 1948 - 65 years ago this month - Jose Figueres, then president of Costa Rica, made a fiery and eloquent speech, after which he took a sledgehammer and bashed a hole in a huge stone wall at the nation's military headquarters, Cuartel Bellavista. Its imposing towers and massive gates had loomed over the capital city of San Jose since 1917, the country's premier symbol of military power and the home of the "Tico" military establishment. Figueres was not just being a showman; he was announcing something truly extraordinary: Henceforth, Costa Rica would take the almost unheard-of step of renouncing its military.
May 25, 1995 |
Congressional Republicans won a first-round victory on key defense issues Wednesday as the House National Security Committee approved a defense authorization bill to substantially revamp President Clinton's military budget. The $267.3-billion measure, drafted over the objections of the panel's Democratic minority, would boost defense spending by $9.
December 4, 2012 |
Now that the media are running out of engrossing revelations regarding the private lives of powerful generals and spy chiefs, we have to revert to the infinitely less entertaining topic of the "fiscal cliff" and all that it may entail. But the two issues have more in common than most people might think. Lavish four-star lifestyles, complete with beribboned uniforms, private jets, police motorcycle escorts, cooks and valets, sound very much like militarism, defined by its historian, Alfred Vagts, as "transcending true military purposes … displaying the qualities of caste and cult.
April 27, 1990 |
Gen. Humberto Ortega, the Sandinista military chief, says he aims to trim Nicaragua's army to about 30,000 to 40,000 troops, less than half its current size, under a mandate from President Violeta Barrios de Chamorro. "Our country cannot support a military budget the size it is now," Ortega told reporters late Wednesday at a gala inaugural reception offered by Chamorro after she took power from defeated Sandinista President Daniel Ortega, the general's brother.
February 5, 2005 |
Seeking to bolster and reshape the Army and Marine Corps but hold the line on spending for new weapons systems, the Bush administration will ask Congress on Monday to boost Pentagon spending to $419.3 billion in 2006, an increase of 4.8%. The budget request, which will not include money for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, reflects a mandate by the White House to cut spending on military programs not directly related to the war in Iraq or the fight against terrorism.
February 9, 1990 |
The influential chairman of the House's military spending panel Thursday identified the MX and Midgetman mobile missile programs as prime targets for cuts, predicting both will be put on hold pending the outcome of arms control talks with the Soviet Union. In a shirt-sleeves interview in his Capitol Hill office, Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) also suggested that Bush's proposal to reduce U.S. troop levels by 42,000 in the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 will be more than doubled.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 21, 1993 |
The response to President Bill Clinton's nomination of former Admiral Bobby Ray Inman to succeed Defense Secretary Les Aspin has been almost uniformly cordial, across the political spectrum. The press has been kind, too. From Bob Woodward of the Washington Post came praise from his sources for Inman's "piercing intellect, honesty, unusual memory for details and prodigious capacity for work." Woodward did add that Inman has "a kind of genius, as well, for ingratiation."
February 19, 1995
Federal support for the arts, radio and television should be greatly increased, not decreased. Barbarians once ruled all of Europe, by force. So we have a military budget about as large as the rest of the world combined. Does that make us a great nation when we question even the tiny contribution we make to public television or any other cultural enterprises? Dorothy and Bob Kahan, Hollywood
June 25, 2009 |
The White House threatened to veto legislation authorizing a $680-billion military budget if it contains money for jet fighters the Pentagon doesn't want. The White House Office of Management and Budget said the $369 million that a House committee added as a down payment for 12 additional F-22 fighters runs counter to the "collective judgment" of the military's top leaders.