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There are a few powerful State Dept constituencies in the US, but most can be classified as big US/international business interests and their focus is very narrow, totally self centered and of no real benefit to State when it comes to budget time.

The other card dealt DoD is excessive staffing that can be devoted to selling the Defense cause. What do hundreds of senior military officers do when they arent somewhere fighting a war.  They sit at a desk in the Pentagon and perfect the DoD budget and its presentation to Congress, et al.  I'm told the annual DoD presentation is spit and polish spectacular, whereas State Dept sends up an a few egg heads in crumpled suits and they just scratch their heads when asked a question.  Exaggeration, probably, but there is likely more than a grain of truth in the comparison.

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears

by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 10:10:15 PM EST
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Well, the 2010 budget cycle has begun. Or it will by the first week of Feb. Or it should, frankly I don't know how it works during a transition, and I can't imagine the Obama team having a proposal put together so quickly. Likewise, I can't imagine anyone taking a leftover Bush administration budget proposal seriously.

But SecDef Gates has repeatedly called for more diplomacy, and that should help this round.

Time for some research, I'll keep you posted.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Sun Feb 1st, 2009 at 01:33:18 AM EST
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