Barack Obama, the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate last year, has done a brilliant job of presenting himself as a moderate during the course of the presidential campaign, and nowhere more so than on defense issues. Although he has been eager to end the war in Iraq at all costs–even willing to accept a disastrous defeat with his trademark equanimity–he has tried to burnish his credentials as a hawk by calling for more military action in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He has also advertised his closeness with Republicans such as Chuck Hagel and Richard Lugar. And, as this Washington Post article notes, he has called for an increase in the size of the armed forces. He hasn’t said how he would pay for this increase, and he certainly hasn’t called for cuts in other defense programs. He is far too smart to say what Barney Frank just said–that we should cut the military budget by 25%. But it tells you something that Morgan Stanley has just downgraded the entire aerospace and defense sector ahead of the presidential election Obama is heavily favored to win.
Wonder why they figure that we won’t be spending so much on defense in the future? Maybe the financial analysts aren’t buying Obama’s centrist makeover?