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News Link • WAR: About that War

Despite Public's War Weariness, US Defense Budget May Rise

• http://original.antiwar.com, by Jim Lobe

The 41-page study, "Something in the Air: 'Isolationism,' Defense Spending, and the US Public Mood," concludes that the current political moment appears similar to those between 1978 and 1982 and between 1998 to 2001 when defense spending spiked upwards after periods of substantial declines.

Like today, the then-incumbent presidents (Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, respectively) appeared politically weakened by domestic troubles; the foreign-policy debate was dominated by perceptions that the US was failing to deal effectively with new challenges overseas; and Democratic incumbents in Congress facing re-election assumed more hawkish positions.

"Already the leading Democratic contender for the presidency is positioning herself to the right of the [Barack] Obama administration on foreign policy issues," wrote the study's author, Carl Conetta, in a reference to former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. "This will move media and expert discourse in a more hawkish direction."

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