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In our opinion: Military cuts send the wrong message to the world

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  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    March 3, 2014 12:50 a.m.

    Our government is always getting us into costly and unnecessary wars. Let's focus on ways to keep the peace instead.

  • DaveGarber1975 Provo, UT
    Feb. 28, 2014 2:13 p.m.

    I'm all for our federal government maintaining a strong defensive capability, but I think that it's ludicrous for it to keep military bases all over our planet. Such military might has been too-often used for Presidential mischief, whether to build a New World Order or to defend foreign nations from each other or to profit corrupt corporate special interests, but it should be used only as a last resort to defend our nation against other nations' aggression. We should re-embrace the political wisdom of our nation's virtuous wise founders by reducing our bloated corrupt warfare state to only what's both necessary and appropriate to defend our nation against other nations' aggression, which I suppose would include a peacetime citizen's militia accompanied by defensive naval and air forces, and standing armies only during wartime.

  • A Guy With A Brain Enid, OK
    Feb. 28, 2014 2:11 p.m.

    11.

    Starting from page one of the comments, there were 11 comments against the military before there was a single one in favor of a strong military.

    That is pathetic.

    Weep for America, is right....

  • A Guy With A Brain Enid, OK
    Feb. 28, 2014 2:07 p.m.

    @ Twin Lights - Louisville, KY "The US spends more than 4 times what China does and more than 7 times what Russia does (these are the closest two contenders). The US Defense budget is more than one third of the entire WORLD’s defense budget."

    Did you ever stop and consider that the reason we spend so much on our military is because so many more nations hate America than Canada or China?

    They don't call me a "Guy With A Brain" for nothing....

  • A Guy With A Brain Enid, OK
    Feb. 28, 2014 2:02 p.m.

    Like all die-hard liberals, Chuck Hagel is clueless in his failed attempts to provide sound guidance for the President and our military Chiefs of Staff.

    You simply cannot lead what you don't understand.

    Period.

    The Deseret News opinion was well thought out and well written. I've been in the military for almost 23 years and, quite frankly, I'm glad that I'm nearing the end of my service.

    Oh, America, how I weep for you.....

  • Mormon for Ron Paul SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 28, 2014 11:28 a.m.

    Scriptures that illustrate that while defensive war is acceptable, aggressive war is never okay. When wars of aggression occur, Gods blessing withdraws.

    3Ne20Now the people said untoGidgiddoni: Pray unto theLord, and let us go up upon the mountains and into the wilderness, that we may fall upon the robbers and destroy them in their own lands. But Gidgiddoni saith unto themTheLord forbid; for if we should go up against them the Lord would deliver us into their hands; therefore we will prepare ourselves in the center of our lands, and we will gather all our armies together, and we will not go against them, but we will wait till they shall come against us; therefore as the Lord liveth, if we do this he will deliver them into our hands.

    Mormon3 And they did swear by the heavens, and also by the throne ofGod, that they would go up to battle against their enemies, and would cut them off from the face of the land. And it came to pass that IMormon, did utterly refuse from this time forth to be a commander and a leader of this people, because of their wickedness and abomination.

  • Before Adam SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 28, 2014 11:17 a.m.

    As a latter day saint I feel that the following helps to shed light on the issue so that we can attempt to keep in mind what the lord would have us do, support, and believe.

    "...easily distracted from our assignment of preparing for the coming of the Lord. When enemies rise up, we commit vast resources to the fabrication of gods of stone and steel — ships, planes, missiles, fortifications — and depend on them for protection and deliverance. When threatened, we become anti-enemy instead of pro-kingdom of God; we train a man in the art of war and call him a patriot, thus, in the manner of Satan's counterfeit of true patriotism, perverting the Savior's teaching [to love your enemies]."
    —LDS Church President Spencer W. Kimball, 1976

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Feb. 28, 2014 8:50 a.m.

    To "Tyler D" actually, even if you go with debt as a percent of GDP, the Democrats still have a bad record. Since 1981 when Democrats have controlled congress the debt as a percent of GDP has increased by 47%. When Republicans controlled congress it decreased by 7%. That decrease means that the economy was growing. Granted the debt was sill growing, but at least it is a smaller portion of the income.

    You are also believing a lie that there was going to be a surplus. That was a guess that depended on the economy growing at pre-2000 levels. The problem is that in 2000 we had the dot com bubble, and that was something not projected into the CBO guesses. When the bubble burst, that put us into a recession at the end of Clinton's presidency. The facts are that the economic predictions made prior to 2000 were junk before Bush took office.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Feb. 27, 2014 4:45 p.m.

    @ happy2bhere and @RedShirt

    Well at least now we’re having a conversation instead of just slinging partisan mud.

    I try to take each point briefly:

    Is National Defense the same as World Police Force? Something to think about…

    When large tax cuts occur before any spending cuts are agreed to, that’s fiscally irresponsible, period. But I agree with you on the debt – so why didn’t your guys support the $3 cuts to $1 taxes budget deal (or even a $10 to $1 deal… remember the R debates)?

    RedShirt – the dollar size of the debt/deficit is irrelevant. What is relevant is the ratio to GDP, and the year over year % increase. By that measure Republicans starting with Reagan do really bad - Obama does poorly on GDP ratio but much better in % increase (his has actually decreased since 2010) and his early years can be largely attributed the economic slowdown.

    Your point about Clinton (and I credit Gingrich too) is unfair since Bush inherited a fiscal budget that was in the black and projected to be by bigger margins every year… until Bush squandered it all.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 1:47 p.m.

    To "Tyler D" I said nothing of Republican hypocrisy. My issue is how can you say that "Republicans since it was they who exploded our debt. I seem to recall having a balanced budget under the last Democrat administration", when the facts say something else. I am not saying anything about the Republicans or Democrats. I am saying that you are not telling the truth.

    First, since 1981 Republicans have incrased the debt by $300 billion/year when they controlled congress, compared to the $700 billion/year that Democrat controlled congresses have pushed through.

    Next, the "balanced budget" myth. We have not has a balanced budget since 1957 when the Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower was president. Clinton came close with a $28 Billion deficit, but that is still not balanced.

    The other problem is that you think that it is just the tax rate that is an issue. You forget that the government also impedes growth through regulations. If you want a Clinton economy, then lets have Clinton sized government, taxes, and regulations.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 1:12 p.m.

    Tyler D
    National Defense comes first. Period. Without that we may not have a country, and all it will take is a couple more 911 type attacks against a nuclear power plant or our computer infrastructure to send this country into ruin. So, along with the military, we need good intelligence work. CIA, FBI ect. "Every tax is evil". Really? You believe Republicans/conservatives don't believe in taxes? Wrong. It's not the taxes, but what they are SPENT on. That is 90% of the argument going on in DC in the first place. What to fund. Big social programs, at the expense of national defense is not good for this country, and history shows that "peace through strength" is more likely to bring security than "peace through weakness". And, as I've said a hundred times on this site, that growing 17 trillion dollar debt, may be our biggest enemy. As for tax cuts, the main reason is to stimulate the economy in the private sector, which is where we get tax money in the first place. How's that for a conversation starter?

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Feb. 27, 2014 11:21 a.m.

    @RedShirt and @happy2bhere

    Other than to say Obama has not been able to raise taxes back to Clinton/Gingrich levels or stop the baby boomer demographic (which adds to SS and Medicare expenses everyday), please notice that nowhere did I defend his administration on spending or suggest that (historically) Democrats are blameless. You guys are projecting A LOT into what I said…

    Do you both believe that anyone who calls out Republican hypocrisy must, by definition, be a partisan Democrat? If so, you are both ignoring a large segment of the (Independent) populace that is often disgusted with both parties and for the same reason in this case (fiscal responsibility).

    Let me know when you’re both ready to have a rational discussion about what government services we want and how to pay for them. Since your “ilk” pretty much invented deficit spending under Reagan and thinks every tax is evil, so far I don’t see any signs that such a conversation forthcoming.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 10:27 a.m.

    Tyler D

    Ever heard of President Obama? The numbers don't lie. Bush took it from about 6 to 10 trillion. Obama in 5 years from 10 to 17 trillion. And one can only guess what the next 3 years will yield. My bet is 21 to 22 trillion when he leaves office. You want the over or the under? In any case, to call those facts ignorance only shows that you have no real argument or defense of this failing President. What amazes me is that your "ilk" will stick with this president to the bitter end. Why? If you really cared about anything but supporting a failed administration, you would be like me and admit it when your guy messes up. Bush did it with too much debt and an unnessary war, and I admit that. Why won't you admit it when it isn't working? And if you think it IS working then your argument about the Republican debt is null and void because you must believe that more debt is more success. Which therefore would make the Bush debt good for your side and not bad.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 9:54 a.m.

    To "Tyler D" I don't think you understand history. If you look at what Obama has allowed in his 5 years as President, he has added more to the debt than any previous president.

    If you really want to get technical, look at who controlls congress and how much the debt has increased. Over the past 30 years or so, the Democrats have outspent the Republicans by a factor of 2.

    The ignorance of your ilk amazes me constantly.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Feb. 27, 2014 8:49 a.m.

    @happy2bhere – “So what's the magic number Democrats. 17 trillion, 18 trillion, 25 trillion, 100 trillion? How much debt to spend on social givaway programs is enough.”

    I suggest we ask that question to Republicans since it was they who exploded our debt. I seem to recall having a balanced budget under the last Democrat administration, and then we elected Republicans who cut taxes, started wars, created new social programs (Medicare Part D) and did nothing to control spending.

    That the current administration has been powerless to reverse this disastrous combination of historically low taxes and the baby boomer demographic taking a larger piece of the government services pie every day, only shows how successful Republicans have been (first as the party of “yes” and now as the party of “no”) at destroying all notions of fiscal responsibility.

    The hypocrisy you guys demonstrate daily never ceases to amaze me…

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 8:21 a.m.

    Maverick

    To use your own logic....
    So what's the magic number Democrats. 17 trillion, 18 trillion, 25 trillion, 100 trillion? How much debt to spend on social givaway programs is enough. And talk about "blank checks". The military has never had a blank check under obama. But everything else in this country seems to be running on a blank check. A check written with nothing but debt.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 7:01 p.m.

    In favor of big government?

  • L White Springville, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 4:55 p.m.

    Sorry, all you "chest pounders", but I reject that you think that your blood is more precious than the blood of my relatives who died securing your freedom. You think that your service was somehow more special than the service of those who went before you. I do not agree. Those brave soldiers who served under George Washington were just as those brave soldiers who serve now. They did not beat their chests. They did not wrap themselves in the flag. They served as citizens who served when called. If you think that you have any right to beat your chest, then go ahead and beat away. I will not stop you, but I will pity you. My brave and valiant forebearers will pity you.

    There is nothing so pathetic as those who returned safely telling us that the blood of fellow soldiers was spent in vain.

    I support the U.S. Military. I know where the graves are, all over this world. I admire those who died so that we can live in liberty. I reject the effort to diminish their service so that you can pound your chests.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 4:33 p.m.

    So what's the magic number repubs?

    How many aircraft carriers must we have before America is safe? 11? 20? 100?

    How many jets must we have?

    How many more times must we outspend the rest of the world? 2 times? 5? 10?

    Until repubs can answer these questions and give me straight answers then I say we cut cut cut. Cut baby cut!

    One thing we know for sure is that we can't keep giving the military a blank check. There's got to be some amount of accountability.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Feb. 26, 2014 4:31 p.m.

    J Thompson, "Article 1, Section 8, is one sentence. The clause that you cited is dependent on the other clauses in that sentence. "

    Sorry brother but that makes no sense at all. The purpose of the semicolon is to strongly separate two clauses. The clauses can be related, descriptive and or explanatory but seeing to the general welfare is not dependent on the clauses that follow, and yes it does say a lot about how I view the constitution along with pretty much all other Americans and most of all previous Supreme Court Justices. You're kind of hanging out there on limb with a very small group of ideologues.

  • john mclane Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 3:59 p.m.

    silo,
    It's called the "No True Scotsman" logical fallacy.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 3:25 p.m.

    So riddle me this. Why is it OK to put many who work for the defense of our nation, both in and out of uniform, on the unemployment line, and yet it is SO wrong to take anyone off of public assistance? i.e. years and years of food stamps, unemployment, ect. I'd rather spend the money on the productive people in America, not the professional moochers. And don't tell me they don't exist. There is more than anecdotal evidence to the contrary. Thank you.

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    Feb. 26, 2014 3:10 p.m.

    "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children."
    -Dwight Eisenhower

    I keep this quotation on my desk at work. I am a contracting officer in DOD, which means I'm one of the folks authorized to spend the government's money on contractors, supplies and equipment. 200 words doesn't allow detailed thoughts on how DOD could streamline its spending. I believe in the mission. I believe in the fine people I serve with in the warzone and at home. But I look to Ike's words when making spending decisions, because each and every one of those decisions comes at a terrible sacrifice.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 3:09 p.m.

    J Thompson or L White (whichever you are calling yourself)

    I am a PROUD 'soldier.' It is part of who I am. I saw more horror in combat that you can even fathom. Nothing makes one detest war more than seeing your buddies blown up by an IED in Baghdad. Serving in Baghdad was the most humbling, harrowing, and eye-opening time of my life. Yes, if that is pounding my chest, then count me in. I consider myself lucky to be alive, well, and proudly retired from the military which I love. I love this country just as much as you do. We just see things differently.

    My vision of war and military is tainted, though, with the the actual blood of my buddies, the blood of my contemporaries, the blood of my brothers in arms. I don't have to tell third-hand stories from my dad (who also served in combat). I saw it with my own eyes and I am here to tell their tales, and make sure their deaths were not in vain. I don't tiptoe in the cemetery, I weep.

    If that is deserving of your pity, then I guess I deserve it.

  • Unreconstructed Reb Chantilly, VA
    Feb. 26, 2014 3:02 p.m.

    LDS Liberal,

    You should know by now that there are certain commenters who will never recognize your service so long as you don't agree with their political dogma. As such you'll always be a parasite of their tax dollars. Love of country can only be a rightwing trait.

    They don't know what we did out there. It has nothing to do with demanding respect, pounding chests, or earning medals. That's the only sputtering they can come up with in response when people who understand the system and its costs question where our spending priorities are focused.

    One of them once suggested that my views on the role of the military aren't important because I failed to make "the ultimate sacrifice" in Iraq -- as though only coming home KIA confers legitimacy on one's argument.

    They'll swell up in pride at the Latin saying "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori." Only the armchair militarists believe that.

    Be strong, brother.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 2:55 p.m.

    @L White

    With all due respect, no one here is "parading with medals on their chest" but what we are objecting to, and rightfully so, are those who try to minimize our service while at the same time beat the drums of war.

    It is an entirely different thing to beat the drum of war if you "have skin in the game"

    "Do they really think that those medals and those dates of service compare to the graves scattered throughout the world of the true patriots who never came home?"

    I was lucky. I have a friend who wasn't as lucky. Though he came home, he isn't the same man he was before. He was unfortunate enough to be the Soldier who got to process and see those Soldiers who didn't come home. He still has nightmares; he still can't enjoy his Fourth of July; he still can't sleep at night without his guard up. Is his sacrifice any less "patriotic" Who are you to judge?

    And this so your "team" can score a point against the President. I'll have you know, I voted for him, twice. Both times I was a proud Soldier.

  • L White Springville, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 2:28 p.m.

    My goodness, but don't we have some pompous 'soldiers' who prance around with metals pinned on their chests and 'records of service' pasted on their walls. Whoopy do. Do they really think that those medals and those dates of service compare to the graves scattered throughout the world of the true patriots who never came home?

    We have a military, not made up with 'chest beaters' but made up of citizens who walked the walk allowing the wannabes to talk the talk as they tip toe around the cemeteries of those who gave their all.

    Our military is to be admired, but those who pound their chests are only to be pitied. They don't have a clue of what America stands for and President Obama does not have any idea of what he is doing. He is leading the "fool's parade".

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 2:19 p.m.

    The problem I have with the military is that it has morphed it self from a tool for defense into a tool for imposing the will of American businessmen on the other nations of the world. History would tell us that in every case that activity produces a growing volume of enemies that will bring us down.

    And while we are providing aid and cover for American businessmen, we are also building extremely expensive weapons of war that have no use in our current or foreseeable conflicts. Our billion dollar submarines don't seem to have much effect on the pirates in motorboats. Then there's fighter aircraft at huge expense when it's been many years since the last dogfight.

    Some people complain about the poor people on welfare and other entitlements, at least these programs did something to help people.

    As for the message to the world, I think our military says: Arm yourselves, the Americans are coming.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 1:58 p.m.

    Conservatives and liberals want to have their cake and eat it too. Either we raise revenues (taxes) or we cut spending, or some combination of the two. Just too many sacred cows.

  • waikiki_dave Honolulu, HI
    Feb. 26, 2014 1:40 p.m.

    Sorry DN, but until such time as we get a hawkish GOP President in the whitehouse again, the death sciences will take second place to the life sciences.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 1:41 p.m.

    wrong message?? I guess it depends whose side you are on. Our slashing our military is a GREAT message for China, Russia, and Iran because it frees them to do what ever they want around the globe. It also opens the possibility of a China or Russia actually being able to threaten US sovereignty for the first time since before WWII. I have serious doubts that the US will be a free nation in 25 years so long as liberals remain in charge. Far fetched?? Check out the new China military and how fast it is growing complete with modern weapons and combine that with the Obama-Clinton pledge to remove all US nuclear capability. Do the math. Your children may not live in a FREE United States and that is a real possibility. It isn't hard to knock over a nation full of free loader welfare folks with no will or capability to fight back....just ask France in 1939.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 1:22 p.m.

    @RedShirt

    "The US also defends Europe, Korea, and Japan. How many other nations protect more than just themselves like the US does?"

    There lies the crux of the problem. How many years did you spend in Korea during your time in the military? How many in Germany? How many in Iraq?

    I think I know the answer.

  • Bebyebe UUU, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 1:15 p.m.

    Redshirt, perhaps we should cut contractors also.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 1:14 p.m.

    No soldier worthy of being called a soldier has ever beat his chest and claimed that we should worship him. My father, my uncles, my friends served their nation, without beating their chests and without wrapping themselves in their flag. They buried their dead in foriegn lands. They served citizens of nations oppressed. NEVER did they pound their chests. NEVER did they tell us that they were anything more than citizens doing their duty, with a grateful heart, for blessings bestowed on them by their Creator.

    Oh well, times change and there seems to be a new breed of American, those who pound their chest while they mock the government that feeds and clothes them. My father, my uncle, the true patriots, would roll their eyes, but times change and chest beaters have the stage, as the budget that pays their wage is cut.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 1:09 p.m.

    Ahhh...the smell of liberalism in the morning.

    I don't think that the liberals here who complain about the US spending realize why it is so high.

    First, you have an all volunteer military, complete with military benefits for those that have retired. They are paid salaries for their service. Other nations don't have to pay for military retirement since that is paid out of other funds. We also include education benefits and survivor benefits. Just cutting those things would reduce spending by close to 40%.

    The US also defends Europe, Korea, and Japan. How many other nations protect more than just themselves like the US does?

    Now, if you look at the US in terms of spending on military in terms of world GDP, the US may spend the most, but it also ears twice as much as the nearest country. Why should't it cost more since we have to pay the soldiers so much more to serve in the military.

    If you liberals want to cut the cost of the military, lets pull out of Europe, Korea, and Japan. Those nations would end up spending the same as the US in terms of GDP.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    Feb. 26, 2014 1:07 p.m.

    J Thompson
    SPRINGVILLE, UT

    Don't pretend, even for a moment, that I am addressing soldiers. I am not. I'm addressing posters who hide behind pseudonyms...

    I have nothing but respect for soldiers and nothing but contempt for government employees whose daily needs are paid for while they spend their time telling us how corrupt the "defense department" is.

    ==========

    1. I'm 52 years old, and to old to bee in the Military anymore.

    2. I have been a solider most of my adult life [and you, sir?] -- what other line of work would you like me to perform? or
    Should I just be "unemployed" now that I'm too old to fight?

    3. My pseudonyms are due to Security Clearances -- somehting you'd know ZERO about.

    4. Yes -- I'd am still be willing to fight die for your right to speak freely, even being ingrateful.

    5. Respect the soldiers, but mock the FORMER soldier.

    6. Still waiting -- Branch and dates of service....

    7. In your opinion, Government contractor Eric Snowden - Hero or Traitor?

    8. To be honest - fine, cut my job. Cut most of the DoD jobs.
    But you confuse me J, because isn't that precisely what Sec. Hagel is trying to do?

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Feb. 26, 2014 12:43 p.m.

    J Thompson
    SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Thank you L White.

    When employees of the defense department live a life of ease,

    ==========

    I call it! I call it!....

    LWhite, J Thompson, Mike Richards and RedShirt --

    Before any of you go off singing the prasises of War,
    I just want to know WHERE you all served?

    Life of ease?... $530 a month to wear a taget on your back.
    Agreed!
    Disgusting!

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 12:37 p.m.

    Darrel,

    Don't pretend, even for a moment, that I am addressing soldiers. I am not. I'm addressing posters who hide behind pseudonyms as they blast the defense department that employees them.

    I have nothing but respect for soldiers and nothing but contempt for government employees whose daily needs are paid for while they spend their time telling us how corrupt the "defense department" is.

    If cuts must be made, start with those who spend their time lambasting the hand that feeds them.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 12:15 p.m.

    @J Thompson

    When employees of the defense department live a life of ease.

    =========================

    Life of ease? Clearly you're military experience is zero, or lower.

    Where does multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan fit in life of ease? Where does 3rd IED attack this convoy fit in with "life of ease"? Where does cutting military retirement fit in life of ease? Where does placing my life on the line as the bread winner in a family of a wife and 3 kids so that Haliburton can make profit this quarter fit in with life of ease?

    Disgusting.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 12:06 p.m.

    @L White

    God blessed us with freedom. The LEAST we can do is to help all people become free.

    ========================

    Before sharing your desire to spread more "freedom" please state your military experience.

    Mine: Nov 18, 2000 - Nov 17, 2013. United States Army Supply Sergeant.

    =========================

    Before you commit someone else, or someone else's child to the cause of the "spread of freedom" put your skin in the game.

    Are we any more safe now than before we invaded Afghanistan or Iraq? Did toppling those regimes bring back even one soul lost on 9/11? Are those people any more free? Reports on the news would seem to indicate they are going to back to how things were before we arrived. If they are more free, how did you contribute to that freedom?

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 12:02 p.m.

    Thank you L White.

    When employees of the defense department live a life of ease, when citizens wait at the mailbox for their handouts, when the President is known more for his golf score than for his whereabouts, this nation has become a nation of fools who foolishly follow the example of England when it was so puffed up that it told the world that "the colonies" could never be a threat because England ruled the world; it mastered the seas; it "owned" the military. They were fools then. We are fools now.

    Only fools cut defense when the world is in turmoil.

  • L White Springville, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 11:43 a.m.

    It literally sickens me to read posts from people who have been blessed above all the people who have ever lived to have freedom and liberty but then use that freedom and liberty to restrict freedom and liberty for others. Do we really think that we are so special that God will continue to bless us when we turn a blind eye to their oppression? Do we really think that the bounties of life are ours to use while others live in terror and subjugation? I'm ashamed of those who milk the government for their every personal need and then tell the rest of the world to take care of itself.

    God blessed us with freedom. The LEAST we can do is to help all people become free.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Feb. 26, 2014 11:26 a.m.

    In our opinion: Military cuts send the wrong message to the world

    =======

    I'm curious as to what find of "message" the DN ediotrs want to send?

    That we are a supposed "Christian" nation, peaceful, caring, more concerned with the Health and WellBeing of it's citizens, neighbors and friends.

    or

    A Global Bully, who uses brute Miilitary Force to threaten and intimidate anyone who dares not comply or triffles with Corporate eranings, to the detriment and mistreatment to it's own citizens, neighbors and formoer-friends and allies?

    Things are becoming more Ideological & Pychological Warfare now.
    more like the "War in Heeaven",

    And I also bet you can't even see how the uber-religous supposed Godless "Terrorists" [who love family, God, and fight "sin"] are winning the great Satan at his own game?

    FYI -- neither did the Nephites.

  • Doug10 Roosevelt, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 11:26 a.m.

    It seems that Congress needs to back away from the military budget as they continue to throw good money after bad on equipment that has proven faults. While the taxpayer lines the pocket of these elected officials, China that spends 1/3 of the US military budget with a much larger population and has already surpassed US technology with faster further and more explosive missiles as well as deployment of such.

    Was the US able to invest in new technology instead of being bound to military contracts that drag us down and backwards as far as ability to defend the country, we would be better off and able to afford a better military operation

  • AT Elk River, MN
    Feb. 26, 2014 11:21 a.m.

    Deseret News Editorial Staff: Did you know...

    The per household cost of just the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is $75,000. The current US debt is $umpteen trillion. The US unfunded liabilities surpass $200 trillion. The dollar is dying - it's only propped up because other countries are printing faster than we are. The only way we can sustain current defense spending is through debt (much of the domestic spending as well).

    The people who formed this country warned us of the dangers of standing armies. We're experiencing the consequences now, and it's only getting worse.

    As for the US supporting liberty and democracy throughout the world, may I suggest you read "Overthrow" by Stephen Kinzer. You'll recognize that the principles of freedom and democracy do not guide US foreign policy and the use of force.

  • Spangs Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 11:06 a.m.

    For a house editorial, I would like to ask for a bit more substance to back up the assertions in this article. There is the nebulous "we are sending the wrong message to rogue nations," but really. Do we have any evidence that cutting our troop levels from 540k to 440k is really going to encourage all the bad people in the world to run amok?

    The last paragraph in the article finally revealed it as a simple conservative talking point. How do we on one hand push for spending on the military, and cuts to programs that feed and care for old people? Deseret News, say it like it is: you really want to shift spending from domestic programs helping the poor to programs that build billion dollar military projects. Yes?

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 10:42 a.m.

    @Mike Richards
    Serious question. Even with the proposed cuts who are we in danger of being invaded by? Any military, as currently constructed, would be decimated by the combined forces of the US Military and guerrilla style militia attacks. Any nation attempting to invade the USA would have a death wish. The place that the USA needs to improve is network security, and securing physical locations that are critical to infrastructure, like power plants, dams, water sources etc. We don't need f-22's, aircraft carriers and other items for physical warfare, when the real threat is cyber security. You want to live in a WWII era of warfare, but we live in 2014, and we need a military presence that reflects that.

  • mcclark Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 10:38 a.m.

    I think the message to the rest of the world is we will stop starting stupid, counterproductive wars.

  • Mark B Eureka, CA
    Feb. 26, 2014 10:29 a.m.

    Is it simply sending "the wrong message" that has DN insisting that military spending must not be cut - ever? If so, I suggest we put a few dollars into stamps, and send out two hundred or so copies of the following:

    Dear Mr./Ms. Head of State:
    As you may have noticed, our Department of Defense is planning to cut some expenses in the interest of fiscal restraint, which has not been used in this particular government function in a long time.
    We want you to know that our relationships are unchanged. Thanks, most of you, for supporting the US in difficult times. We have no intention of attacking you. PLANS to attack, however, are a different story, which we have no comment on.
    We retain the military power to reduce any of your nations to smoking heaps of rubble. But, even so, we welcome your continued support and wish to either remain or become friendly. The choice, obviously, is yours.
    Sincerely,

    This little missive should guarantee that DN's fear doesn't become reality, and that ALL nations know exactly where they stand with us.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 10:09 a.m.

    We have eleven aircraft carrier groups. Our closest military rival has one.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 10:03 a.m.

    Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah
    No house divided against itself can stand.

    ============

    I'm confused by someone who claims to be patriotic and never served his country,
    Who claims to be a disciple of Christ, and shuns the poor and the needy, and cheers warmongering.

    Someone takes the treasures of the earth, and buys up Armies and Navies -- and “reigns” with blood and horror [note: not “defends”].

    General Mormon was a strong military leader, but never went of the offense, and only counter-attacked after being attacked 3 times.

    President Spencer W. Kimball:
    "The False Gods We Worship".
    ...We are a warlike people, easily distracted from our assignment of preparing for the coming of the Lord. When enemies rise up, we commit vast resources to the fabrication of gods of stone and steel — ships, planes, missiles, fortifications — and depend on them for protection and deliverance.

    ---------

    My "job" with the DoD is to do more with less.
    I detest war, and seek daily to avoid it.

    Irony of the day:
    Non-military people crying for war,
    Military people deplore, avoid, and call LAST for it.

    Don;t look now, but your house is falling.

  • E Sam Provo, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 9:47 a.m.

    Totally, absolutely wrong. No.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 9:46 a.m.

    Mike, The Police and the Military are not the same thing, to compare them shows an ignorance of what our military should be used for, we are not charged with funding the "World Police."

  • BeSmart Cheyenne, WY
    Feb. 26, 2014 9:44 a.m.

    I agree that defense spending needs to be cut.
    The army said it did not need more tanks and congress ordered 436 million worth.
    The U.S. military has 164000 troops stationed worldwide is that needed? Does Germany need 61,000 american troops? The NATO nations are capable of defense until the US could arrive.
    But all we hear about are the closings of domestic bases. Absurd.
    Cutting the army by 90,000 is not going to hamper our ability in defensive operations, offensice ones yes.
    I think the most vital defensive tools are Aircraft Carriers and Submarines they are capable of projecting power across the world if needed (I rarely think this is the case), and provide for a defense until an army could be summoned, trained and deployed.
    This cut is a good sign that perhaps some more restraint will be shown before entering or starting conflicts.
    To all those who served thank you

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Feb. 26, 2014 9:12 a.m.

    LDS Liberal,
    I'm not surprised that you are confused. I would be confused too, if I mocked the people who fed me, who clothed me, who made it possible for me and my family to own vehicles and a house. Your job depends on defense spending, yet, you are the one advocating a smaller defense. You are the one complaining about the size and the purpose of the military.

    Perhaps you would be less confused if you decided, once and for all, whether you support the Constitution, as written, or whether you will continue to personally benefit from defense spending even as you complain about that spending. If you decide to continually bite the hand that feeds you, you will remain confused. No house divided against itself can stand.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 9:11 a.m.

    How big of a military is big enough? 2 million troops? 3 million? 4 million?

    How many aircraft carrier battle groups do we need 12, 13, 20?

    How many F-22s do we need?

    The military "experts" here on the Deseret News seem to have all the answers and that there should be no cuts, but do not care to address the elephant in the room that is the "Military-Industrial Complex." President Eisenhower warned in 1961 "Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together."

    We have fallen asleep at the wheel in "Supporting the Troops!" "Defense at all costs" "Defeat the red menace!" We have lost our soul as a nation. You really want to support the troops - stop sending them into needless wars. You really want to make this country strong - then start defending the US and stop offending the rest of the world by nation-building. The most precious commodity is life and the God-fearing crowd here is far to willing to extinguish that commodity for jobs, money, and glory. Yes, I walked the walk for 20 years.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 8:57 a.m.

    pragmatistferlife,

    Article 1, Section 8, is one sentence. The clause that you cited is dependent on the other clauses in that sentence. That clause does not stand by itself. The closing clause cites the foregoing clauses in that section. Twisting and turning the Constitution to suit your purposes does not diminish the Constitution but it reveals your attitude about the Constitution.

    We, as citizens, are duty-bound to pay for defense. The government is duty bound to pay each of us for promised services when it forced us to pay into social programs that were foisted on us with a guarantee of payment at a certain age or for certain conditions. People who purposefully twisted the Constitution for their purposes now are seeing that their designs will force America into bankruptcy. Instead of correcting the problem, the exacerbate it by cutting defense while increasing unauthorized spending on social programs.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 8:46 a.m.

    Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah

    Article 1, Section 8 requires that tax revenues be spent on defense.

    =======

    I'm confused Mike.

    You chide me for serving our country in Uniform,
    You chide me for working for the DoD as a civilian.

    Then,
    you run on and on that the only duty autorized by Congress per our Constitution is precisely what I have chosen to do my whole life -- and earning 50% what my counterparts do in the civilian market.

    Cutting pay and benefits is not the answer.
    Cutting redundant and couter-productive programs is the answer.

    We call it "Lean" in the outside world.

    We don't need 1,000,000 troops,
    We don't need $1 Billion ships,
    We don't need $1 Trillion fighters.

    We already out fight and out gun anyone else a factor of 10 to 1.

    What we DO need is more and better Computer Security,
    Corporations who put America ahead of China,
    Corporations who do not "share" our secret propritery intellectual property and information for profits.
    And
    Congressmen who hold Corporations accountable to America over profit.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Feb. 26, 2014 8:43 a.m.

    Whoop Whoop! More money for food stamps and social engineering! By the way folks, if you add up ALL the taxes (minus the 47% who get a free ride) we ARE one of the most heavily taxed nations on the planet! Obamacare is a tax too, let's not forget!

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Feb. 26, 2014 8:41 a.m.

    Is there anyone remaining in this country who still thinks the Right cares one wit about fiscal responsibility? Let’s have a factual recap of what their priorities actually are:

    1.Tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts – this is the magic cure all our ailments.

    2.A government so small it can be drowned in a bathtub
    .
    3.“Freedom” – a catch all and often meaningless word meant to express a desire to do whatever you want to with the least amount of responsibility possible.

    4.A really big military… we’re talking HUGE!

    5.Fiscal Responsibility – “uh yeah, we want that too… even though we can’t explain the logical contradictions inherent in number’s 1, 2 & 4 above.”

    I’m looking forward to a future when we stop governing by bumper sticker and start having rational conversations about our national priorities again. Hope to see this in my lifetime…

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Feb. 26, 2014 8:39 a.m.

    "If Mr. Obama is to keep his oath of office, he is duty bound to see that Congress cuts social spending and all other unauthorized spending before jeopardizing the defense budget. "

    Mr Richards, Which president has done that? Did either Bush do it? Did Reagan do it?

    And did you call them out on it?

    Are you seriously suggesting that if we cut the military we are jeopardizing our defense?

    How about we just spend it more wisely?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Feb. 26, 2014 8:36 a.m.

    Happy Valley Heretic,

    Liberty is the greatest gift that God gives his children; the choice to act for themselves without government intervention. America believes in freedom. America promotes freedom. America defends freedom. 500,000 of my father's generation died to preserve our freedom and to free those countries overrun by Germany and Japan.

    You believe that the purpose of defense is to kill people. I do not. We have police officers in every city. They are not there to kill, but to protect.

    Government has not been charged with providing social relief. You have a copy of the Constitution. General Welfare is not Private or Personal Welfare. Religious organization are charged with helping the poor, the unfortunate, the needy. I fully support the Church of which I am a member. I do not expect that Church to tell government how to operate and I will not allow government to ever tell that Church what its doctrine must be.

    The main purpose of life is to allow each of us to do exactly what we most want to do. That requires liberty. Destroying the military will not promote liberty.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 8:31 a.m.

    This is a stunning editorial, which must have been written by neo-cons and defense contractors. Do you suggest that we should send troops into other countries like Korea anytime we think it a good idea? The pork in the military is renowned, and you really don't want that to end. YOu decry "high" taxes and deficits, and here we are with a serious proposal to right-size the military, and you are worried about having enough troops for the next invasion (which I assume will happen when the next Republican is elected to the White House). The message we need to send to the rest of the world is that diplomacy and peaceful means should be utilized more, that the U.S. won't act alone and be the world's bullies, and that we are smart and can use our resources more tactically rather than relying on brute force with little or no return (re: Iraq and Afghanistan. Our loss of lives, money and prestige made very little difference in the long run.). Sorry, but it's time for us to change.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 8:30 a.m.

    After all the howling about government spending, you want to leave the most bloated of the bloated off the table? Now that's what sending the wrong message to the world looks like. Let alone telling them we want to be ready to fight the second world war in a world where a few terrorists here and there represent the day to day enemy.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    Feb. 26, 2014 8:25 a.m.

    Schnee 1:48 a.m.

    Well, that kind of makes sense. Utah is filled with people who think that knocking on doors for the LDS Church for two years is just as good as serving in the military.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Feb. 26, 2014 8:26 a.m.

    "The Congress shall have power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;..

    Mr. Richards, clearly the majority of the country and those in history, do not agree with your interpretation of this clause. The use of a semi-colon between the phrase containing general welfare and the remaining phrases would in and of it self indicate the writers intended the phrase to stand alone as related but not reliant on.

    I'll leave the budget argument to others, but once again the DN has fallen along silly partisan lines. I say silly because they don't make any sense in todays world.

    And what's with the published rule of no capital letter shouting but certain opinions do it all the time?

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 8:24 a.m.

    One small step toward fiscal sanity. But Rob Bishop will come unglued because it might affect some of his most ardent fincancial supporters -- the military/industrial complex that Eisenhower warned against.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 8:21 a.m.

    I have to admit I'm confused by your stance Mike. You post some of the most religiously laced comments with an almost theocratic dictatorship, yet you believe the Sun should shine brightly on weapons of mass destruction who's only use is to kill many other men women and children. Yet you decry social programs that would help the least among us get by when religion fails in their mission to take care of the sick and afflicted.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 8:12 a.m.

    a bit of reality
    Shawnee Mission, KS
    If we want to have the world's largest military force, we need to have the world's highest taxes.

    7:39 a.m. Feb. 26, 2014

    ============

    Amen! Amen and Amen!

    That about sums it up perfectly!

  • a bit of reality Shawnee Mission, KS
    Feb. 26, 2014 7:39 a.m.

    If we want to have the world's largest military force, we need to have the world's highest taxes.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Feb. 26, 2014 7:09 a.m.

    The President took an oath of office, "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

    Article 1, Section 8 requires that tax revenues be spent on defense. There is NO authorization for Congress to spend money on social programs in Section 8. There is NO enumeration in the Constitution for social spending.

    If Mr. Obama is to keep his oath of office, he is duty bound to see that Congress cuts social spending and all other unauthorized spending before jeopardizing the defense budget. With North Korea rattling its sabre and Iran rattling its sabre, Mr. Obama should spend some quality time with those in the military who have the experience to advise him on what is needed. He won't find that caliber of people on the golf course or at his favorite vacation spots, but he will find them at work, where he ought to be. We did not hire him to be our golfer in chief, but to be our commander in chief.

  • TMR Los Angeles, CA
    Feb. 26, 2014 7:00 a.m.

    It is a shame that the D-News is unable to step away from partisan politics and stand up for fiscal responsibility. Yes, spending on "entitlement programs" needs to be curbed, but we can do both - tame domestic spending and cut a military-industrial complex that is just as wasteful as any domestic program. While the D-News opinion is apt to point out in general terms "out-of-control-spending on entitlements," it conveniently ignores the well-documented military spending boondoggles in Afghanistan. The premise by the D-News that cutting military spending somehow upends any chance of reigning in entitlement spending is a disingenuous argument one expects from a political ideologue or a representative attempting to save a military base. I would hope that the D-News would rise above such political carp.

    Finally, on the D-News's subsidiary point that cutting military spending weakens world security, I urge the editorial board to give less credence to the "fear" ideology of Dick Cheney and to re-visit the wisdom of another Republican - Dwight B. Eisenhower - who in his farewell address in 1961 sagely warned of the rise of the military-industrial complex in the US.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 6:57 a.m.

    Well -
    In MY opinion,

    As a veteran, I have to ask...

    Why did we start Wars of agression?
    Why did we attack and invade, and occupy a country that did nothing to us?
    Why did we spend 12 years, 5,000 lives, 75,000 causalties, and still yet another $3 Trillion un-funded?

    I have NO problem fighting to defend our Country and our Constitution,
    but
    I have a real problem when I'm fighting for the best interests of CORPORATIONS.

    Final note...

    Did we really need to spend $3 Trillion to get the attackers of 9/11?

    Because everything I've seen and heard is they we got them Predetor drones, Hellfire missiles, and the Head was done in by a valiant team of Navy Seals in PAKISTAN.

    For a newspaper who whines constantly about our National debt,
    I gotta ask --
    Who's side are you on?

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 6:43 a.m.

    So can someone explain to me why we do need such a big military? Mentions are made of Iran and N Korea being threats, really? Does Iran or N Korea have a death wish? A land invasion of this country would be a death sentence for either of those two countries. Not to mention the fact that we still have enough nukes to destroy the planets for the next millenium. The type of stuff these countries have the ability to pull off is a lot closer to 9-11 than a full scale military invasion, and giving the military money doesn't prevent terrorist attacks. So what good is it putting all that money into the military?

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 6:13 a.m.

    Even with our cuts we are still spending 3 times as much as China and 6 times as much as Russia on defense.

    We can't keep spending at such insane and unsustainable levels.

    If anything, the message to the rest of the world would be a positive one. We are finally Getting our defense spending under control. We are being fiscally responsible. And do not intend on waging reckless war after war. It's time the rest of the world step up and slap some skin in this game if they want policemen around. The United States cannot be everywhere.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 5:10 a.m.

    We shouldn't cut our defense budget? Are you serious?

    How about the F-35 fighter, which breaks if it gets wet and can't be flown at night. Over the expected lifetime of this turkey the F-35 will cost taxpayers a cool $1Trillion (yes, with a "T").

    How about the F-22 fighter, an aircraft for which the Air Force says it has no use and does not want, but that congress insists that the Air Force buy, at a cost of more than $200 million _each_.

    Six out of ten dollars spent on military budget _worldwide_ are spent by the US military. The US military budget is by itself larger than the next sixteen largest military budgets _combined_. That includes China, Russia, all of Europe and Asia.

    Anyone claiming to be concerned about federal taxes, federal deficits, and total US debt but who refuses to look at the staggering costs and waste that saturates the US military is being a monumental hypocrite.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Feb. 26, 2014 5:00 a.m.

    I have a hard time believing that the military could not take a large paycut without impacting our defense one bit.

    Even recently, the Army stated that they did not need more Abrams Tanks, but congress insisted.

    Why would congress do that? Well lets see. The tanks are produced in Ohio which happens to be a very important political state.

    The plant is run by General Dynamics who happened to spend over $11 million dollars in 2012 lobbying congress. (In 2012 the defense industry gave congress $19 million in campaign donations and lobbied them to the tune of almost $140 million dollars. Why would they do that?)

    One would hope that with enough military cuts, even our pathetic congressmen would begrudgingly put country over politics if our national defense was actually at stake.

    One would hope

  • UT Brit London, England
    Feb. 26, 2014 4:11 a.m.

    The US spends almost as much money on the military as the rest of the world combined.

    You could halve the budget and still be way way ahead of the next biggest spender China.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Feb. 26, 2014 3:30 a.m.

    The US spends more than 4 times what China does and more than 7 times what Russia does (these are the closest two contenders).

    The US Defense budget is more than one third of the entire WORLD’s defense budget.

    Certainly we can pull back somewhat here. Yes, we need to (and can) do this intelligently and with clear-eyed analysis. But we can do it.

    Surely there should be some “peace dividend” as we pull out of Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Finally, none of this means entitlements must be left untouched. We need hard analysis there too. Doing one does not relieve us of the responsibility of doing the other.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 1:48 a.m.

    Utah is dead last in volunteering for the armed forces, maybe that's why this state seems so willing to engage so much when it's other people's lives on the line.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 12:23 a.m.

    "The United States faces huge fiscal challenges concerning out-of-control spending on entitlements such as Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare and the effects of the Affordable Care Act. " Just how is spending on the social safety net "out-of-control?" Only in the sense that revenues do not match expenditures. Social Security and Medicare recipients are receiving the benefits promised them, so the expenditures are to be expected - they are not out-of-control.

    The problem is on the revenue side. FICA taxes need to be levied on all personal income, not just the first $116,000. This would greatly ease the revenue problem. Moreover, considering the entire fiscal situation, taxes on the wealthy and corporations should be increased to 1950's levels. Most of our fiscal problems are do to tax cuts for the richest Americans and corporations. They have been the beneficiaries of most tax cuts the last 40 years.

    Speaking of out-of-control spending, how about the Iraq war? That was a gigantic waste of blood and wealth. I don't know of anything which argues for trimming the military more.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 12:09 a.m.

    In inflation adjusted terms, we are spending more on defense right now than we ever did under Ronald Reagan. The difference, being that, under Reagan, we faced an enemy that had the capability to destroy us. We face no one with anything remotely like that kind of capability now. Iran and North Korea are no threat to us at all. If they attack us we can wipe their countries off the face of the earth. What kind of threat is that?

    It is also completely misleading to say that we are cutting our forces to their pre-WWII level. At that point our military was no better than that of several other countries. Now we are so far superior that is it no exaggeration to say that we are the most secure Great Power in history.