Calling General Scowcroft

On defense policy, it’s time for Brent Scowcroft to slap down the nutcases.

72 hours into Robert Gates’ proposed and long-overdue restructuring of the US military, Brian Beutler sums up the disquieting scene:

1. Very few politicians have spoken up in support of it.

2. Many of the people speaking out against it are portraying it inaccurately as a “soft-on-defense” spending cut.

3. This meme has found a fairly strong foothold in the media, which has

4. Given me quite a bit of work to do this week.

The power of the military brass on Capitol Hill puts AIPAC to shame.

So–to use a military metaphor–maybe it’s time to call in some reinforcements.

That would be Brent Scowcroft, George HW Bush’s National Security Advisor, and Gates’ mentor. Scowcroft famously broke with the neocons over Iraq. In comparison, this is child’s play. I find it hard to believe he doesn’t agree with his protege on this one as well. Time to speak up.

Maybe this guy could be of some assistance, too. The brass hates him, too: time for some payback.

Author: Jonathan Zasloff

Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic - Land Use, the Environment and Local Government. He grew up and still lives in the San Fernando Valley, about which he remains immensely proud (to the mystification of his friends and colleagues). After graduating from Yale Law School, and while clerking for a federal appeals court judge in Boston, he decided to return to Los Angeles shortly after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake, reasoning that he would gladly risk tremors in order to avoid the average New England wind chill temperature of negative 55 degrees. Professor Zasloff has a keen interest in world politics; he holds a PhD in the history of American foreign policy from Harvard and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University. Much of his recent work concerns the influence of lawyers and legalism in US external relations, and has published articles on these subjects in the New York University Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. More generally, his recent interests focus on the response of public institutions to social problems, and the role of ideology in framing policy responses. Professor Zasloff has long been active in state and local politics and policy. He recently co-authored an article discussing the relationship of Proposition 13 (California's landmark tax limitation initiative) and school finance reform, and served for several years as a senior policy advisor to the Speaker of California Assembly. His practice background reflects these interests: for two years, he represented welfare recipients attempting to obtain child care benefits and microbusinesses in low income areas. He then practiced for two more years at one of Los Angeles' leading public interest environmental and land use firms, challenging poorly planned development and working to expand the network of the city's urban park system. He currently serves as a member of the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (a state agency charged with purchasing and protecting open space), the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (the leading legal service firm for low-income clients in east Los Angeles), and Friends of Israel's Environment. Professor Zasloff's other major activity consists in explaining the Triangle Offense to his very patient wife, Kathy.