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Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Aaron Klein

Aaron Klein

Ammunition Imbalance?

Will the U.S. soon face a critical situation in which the federal government – primarily the Department of Homeland Security – possesses an ammunition surplus while local and state authorities face ammunition shortages and backlogs in purchasing more rounds?

Current trends could find the federal government with a strong ammunition advantage over local police and sheriff departments. Earlier this week, a Georgia TV station reported that police officers training at the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office Gun Range were holding back on some live-range ammunition training due to shortage concerns.

Similar reports are cropping up nationwide amid fears of a federal clampdown as the Obama administration continues to push gun legislation in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre.

Brownells, the largest supplier of firearm accessories in the world, reported it had sold several years’ worth of ammunition in just a matter of hours. The company released a statement apologizing for the delay in fulfilling orders.

While local authorities scramble to fulfill future ammunition needs by turning to the same suppliers from which private gun owners purchase their rounds, the Department of Homeland Security reportedly maintains a large stock of ammunition.

Last March, DHS reportedly ordered 450 million rounds of 40 caliber ammunition, including hollow point bullets, from defense contractor ATK to be delivered over five years.

Hollow-point tip bullets are rarely used in training exercises. They are among the deadliest bullets, with the ability to pass through barriers and expand for a bigger impact without the rest of the bullet warping.

In April, Business Insider reported on an additional DHS request for 750 million more rounds for a total of at least 1.2 billion bullets. The 750 million is more than 10 times what U.S. troops used in a full year of Iraqi combat.

It was not immediately clear how many bullets were delivered to DHS.

In 2009, manufacturer Winchester posted an award to its site affirming it will deliver 200 million rounds to DHS over five years, serving as yet another order on top of others that may have already been partially fulfilled, as Business Insider noted.

Hagel Associated With Controversial Group

Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s nominee for defense secretary, serves on the board of a George Soros-funded group that advocates a nuclear-free world.

The Ploughshares Fund has a long history of anti-war advocacy and is a partner of the Marxist-oriented Institute for Policy Studies, which has urged the defunding of the Pentagon and massive decreases in U.S. defense capabilities, including slashing the American nuclear arsenal to 292 deployed weapons.

The Poughshares Fund has also partnered with a who’s who of the radical left, including Code Pink, the pro-Palestinian J Street, Americans for Peace Now United for Peace & Justice, the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, and the Demos progressive group where Obama’s former green jobs czar, Van Jones, serves on the board.

Ploughshares Fund identifies itself as a “publicly supported foundation that funds, organizes and innovates projects to realize a world free from the threat of nuclear weapons.” The fund calls itself “the largest grant-making foundation in the U.S. focusing exclusively on peace and security issues.”

Since its founding in 1981 by San Francisco philanthropist and activist Sally Lilienthal, Ploughshares says it has awarded many hundreds of grants “whose aggregate value exceeded $60 million.”

The fund is in turn financed by a small number of foundations, including Soros’s Open Society Institute.

Ploughshares opposes America’s development of a missile defense system and contributes to scores of anti-war groups highly critical of U.S. foreign policy and military expansion.

A major Ploughshares grantee is the Institute for Policy Studies. Ploughshares is listed on the institute’s website as a partner organization. The institute works with the Center for American Progress to release an annual “Unified Security Budget,” which reportedly has influenced White House military policy. Previous recommendations from the two groups’ yearly Unified Security Budgets have been adapted by the Obama administration.

The 2012 budget, reviewed in full by this column, called on Obama to use the U.S. Armed Forces in part to combat “global warming,” fight global poverty, remedy “injustice,” bolster the United Nations, and increase “peacekeeping” forces worldwide.

The budget called for massive second-term slashes to the military budget. The savings are to be used to invest in “sustainable energy” and in fighting worldwide climate change.

The report makes clear the stated objective of transforming the U.S. Armed Forces to stress conflict resolution and diplomacy.

The report takes issue with the use of forces on the ground in various countries to secure or influence the longer-term strategic position of other nations.

It recommends scaling back all U.S. ground forces by 20 percent and reducing the Navy’s surface fleet by 20 percent, including two carriers and carrier combat air wings. It also calls for reducing the Air Force by two combat air wings while cutting standing peacetime overseas deployments in Europe and East Asia by up to 50,000 troops at a time.

The budget’s authors strongly argue for the reduction of the U.S. nuclear arsenal to no more than 292 deployed nuclear weapons and the complete elimination of the Trident II nuclear missile. It’s a process Obama already initiated in April 2010 when he signed a deal with Russia reducing stocks of weapons-grade plutonium.

The joint CAP and IPS report recommends the U.S. cease all further development of missile defenses. The military’s vital Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation program is to be cut by $10 billion across the board.

The 2012 Unified report sets the tone of its agenda by demanding immediate reductions in the military’s already heavily slashed budget. But there is one exception requiring massive increases in funding – any spending that funds “alternative energy” or that focuses Defense Department resources on combating “climate change as a security threat.” The report authors recommend investing “the lion’s share” of the few allotted military increases in addressing the “threat” of climate change.

The report wants Obama to take billions of dollars from the U.S. military and instead use them for a “green stimulus.”

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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