Published: Wednesday, Feb. 6 2013 12:00 a.m. MST
The left-wing would have us believe that the world is full of tulips and
kittens, with no real danger. Thus, the left would have us believe that there is
no need for a strong military. This is completely wrong.This
left-wing way of thinking is what allowed Hitler to run roughshod over Europe.
The European governments said that there was not a danger, and they reduced
their military strength.We must have a strong military or we will
find ourselves in slavery.
What we don't need is to shoulder 41 percent of the entire world's
military spending. The Cold War ended over 20 years ago. World War II ended over
67 years ago. We do not need 700 to 800 military bases in foreign countries. We
do not need 75,000 military personnel in Germany. We do not need to attack other
countries unnecessarily and get stuck in interminable wars (like Iraq and
Afghanistan). We are not the world's policeman.That said, we
cannot afford to slash any sort of spending suddenly. That would send us into
recession. But over time, we definitely need to ramp down all sorts of
unnecessary spending, particularly in our bloated military.
JCS:We will not find ourselves in slavery without a strong military.
What nation is crazy enough to invade America? We have so many guns per capita
that an invading army would be sorely outnumbered and would have to deal with
millions of NRA wingnuts who would shoot them at the drop of a hat. We have
millions of Americans just itching for a foreign government stupid enough to
force their hand.Anyway, what country is so desperate that it would
even want to try to manage the mess we have created here? If we were smart, we
would invite the Swiss or perhaps the Norwegians to invade, lay down our arms,
and give them total control of our economy, health-care system, and government.
JCSPlease define for us what is a strong military? How
many more aircraft carriers will make it strong? How many more F-22s will make
it strong. How many more overseas bases will make it strong? I'm going to assume you have no answers, only "evil left-wing"
rhetoric. I served in the military for twenty years. I saw so much waste,
duplication of effort, overlapping of responsibilities that it made me angry.
No, I don't think the world is a tulip-filled love-fest, but I also believe
in a Department of DEFENSE, not a Department of Imperialistic NATION-BUILDING.
What I believe this author is saying is that our armed forces are tasked with
responsibilities their resources are insufficient to meet. I think that's
a sensible point, well made. At the same time, no reasonable person can look at
our military spending and conclude that we really need, for example, to maintain
six golf courses in Guam. Kent DeForest is right when he says we spend 41% of
all international spending on defense. That's preposterous. Winding
down two unnecessary and foolish wars will help. In the meantime, we need a
sober conversation in this country about what our actual defense needs are, and
what an appropriate defense posture should be for the world's one remaining
superpower. We can and should cut military spending. But we cannot leave our
This editorial has it exactly backwards: defense spending is the *cause* of our
national security problems. It is not the solution. If we reduced our military
spending to be in line with those of our allies, that would almost be enough to
balance the budget, which is the bigger threat to national security.Sure, there are bad guys out there. But military intervention creates enemies
faster than we can kill them. If our military was actually effective at making
us safe, an argument could be made that we should have the highest taxes in the
world to pay for the biggest military in the world to make us the safest country
in the world. But the fact is that our efforts at being the world's
policeman have been an utter failure, resulting in not only trillions of dollars
spent, but also thousands of American soldiers dead, tens of thousands of
American soldiers permanently disabled, and tens of thousands of collateral
deaths of innocent non-Americans.Building empires through military
intervention never works. I’d suggest you read "The Limits of Power:
The End of American Exceptionalism" by Colnel Andrew Bacevich.
The obvious fact that the American Military is failing it’s job is more
that evident by looking at the world today. The reason for the failure is the
greed of American businessmen who are so engrossed in making money that they
fail to realize the need for the new weapons and strategies of today’s
war. Business is giving more importance to being rich than defending America
and it’s principals.
@bit of reality said, "If we reduced our military spending to be in line
with those of our allies, that would almost be enough to balance the
budget…"Only if you took ALL Defense expenditures to zero.
This past year, expenditures for the Defense Department were 28.3% of all total
federal expenditures, which was $3.6 trillion.Obviously, that is not
a realistic proposal.
To "Lew Scannon" how about China, North Korea, Iran, or so many other
countries and terrorist groups that would destroy the US if it wasn't for
the strength of the military.To "Kent C. DeForrest" we spend
so much because we protect so many. How many other nations are in Europe
providing military protection to the same level that the US is? If the US
pulled out of Europe, that would collapse the European economies because they
could no longer afford their own defense. In Asia, it would allow countries
like North Korea to run rampant over any nation they want.Are you
willing to allow millions of people to die just because you don't want to
fund the US military?
Re: "What nation is crazy enough to invade America?"Al
Qaeda. Iran. North Korea. China. Russia. And, there are sneakier others, as
well.Some -- like Iran -- really are dumb enough to attack us
directly. Its leaders would welcome death and destruction, if it speeds the
return of the 12th Imam. But they also act through surrogates.But,
that's not even Mr. McKinney's [or GEN Odierno's] point.It's perpetual uncertainty about military budgets, due to constant
liberal attacks to fund one or another vote-buying social/political scam,
that's the REAL threat.America's military will always do
our best with whatever budget we're given. The resilience of the American
Soldier, Sailor, Airman, and Marine will likely make up for whatever deficits
feckless, reckless politicians create. The question becomes, however, how many
Pearl Harbors, Bataans, and 9-11s are acceptable to America?Politicians must answer that question, fund to the level of risk they'll
accept, then back off and let the professionals work, avoiding temptations to
place a thumb on the scale in behalf of favorite pet rocks.
There's no way the books are going to balance without military spending
cuts. We can't have it both ways. Still, I'm pretty sure we could take
billions, if not trillions, out of the defense budget and still have the
largest, most effective military force in the world.
@Hutterite,Not within one year. You could take billions, but not
trillions out of Defense spending. Last year, Defense spending was about $1.08
trillion – TOTAL.As for (some) Defense cuts, that is about to
happen on 01 March – it is called sequestration. That is why the author
wrote this opinion piece.
"and the Army must spend at fiscal year 2012 budget levels."Oh my gosh. Heaven forbid that we dont increase military spending EVERY
single year.Maybe if they are forced to tighten their belts they
wont ask for things they don't need or want.
Cut the military. Now. "Defense" doesn't mean the US needs
military bases on every corner of the globe.Cut half the bases worldwide
and the US could pay for healthcare for it's citizens.
"What nation is crazy enough to invade America?"Lew. Dont
you know? They are not worried so much about other nations as they are about
our own gubmint turning on them.
To "JoeBlow" and how far off are the people who worry about the
government coming after its own citizens when you have a President who has
authorized drone strikes against US citizens to be policy and indefinate
detention of US citizens?See "Are Obama's Drone Strike
Policies Justified?The United States can kill its own citizens if they are
al Qaeda who pose an imminent threat to the country" in USA Today. Who
determines if a person poses an imminent threat, and how do you verify an al
Qaeda connection?"NDAA Signed Into Law By Obama Despite
Guantanamo Veto Threat, Indefinite Detention Provisions" Huffington Post.
We need at least 100,000 more soldiers. And we can fund it by getting all the
free-loaders off of Social Security and Medicare.
The bloated defense budget is the result of BOTH political parties pandering to
the military/industrial lobby. (something Eisenhower warned us about)IMHO, the American people no longer are inclined to protect every corner of
the globe. Especially not when we can't even afford healthcare for our
populace.Europe will surely miss us. But they need to solve their
own defense problems. There's really no reason for them to budget money for
their own protection when we do it for them!But- the defense lobby
is VERY powerful.
Red Shirt..how far off are you to worry about a government coming after
it's own citizens if they pose an immenent threat..way off. The killing of
US citizens is a serious and troubling issue, not because the next step is a
drone is going to take out the tea party headquarters in Minnesota, but because
it is basicly unconstitutional to kill an American without due process, yet the
reality of the world is we have American citizens overseas who are polotting the
murder of fellow Americans. I say it's bascily unconstitutional because US
citizens are killed every day without due process when they attempt to kill
other US citizens and the police make the judgment that lethal force is the only
way to stop them. It's a serious issue and topic and the
discussion is not served well with hyperbole extremeisim.
This kind of thing happens all the time. When a person or a family spends like
there is no tomorrow, on things they don't really need, the time eventually
comes when they find it difficult or impossible to pay for things they really do
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