Friday, October 15, 2010


   We spend about 700 billion dollars a year on our defense budget and this represents about 45% of discretionary spending and thus becomes the big target in seeking to reduce our deficit. We can not go back to the Carter era and cripple defense.My cousin was an anti sub patrol plane pilot, and at the height of the cold war, half of the planes on his carrier could not carry weapons due to a lack of spare parts.
   Defense secretary Gates is working on getting costs down but his idea of cost reduction is a 1% budget increase next year.This wont work.We need to seriously rethink our position and make some real changes.
  We currently have around 150000 military personnel and civilian employees deployed outside this country,not including the two war zones.Most of these deployments and bases are left overs from old wars.
           Japan        45000
           S. Korea    30000
           Germany   60000
   The cold war threat is history,why do we need these troops there? I am hard pressed to come up with a good justification.Yes I know N. Korea is a real threat but will our presence in S. Korea deter them or will it be our missiles?S.Korea and Japan really do not want us there and our presence props up their defenses at our expense and they have the economic means to take care of their own needs.
 Our presence in Europe, mainly Germany was intended to confront the Russian tanks streaming across the plains of Europe.That threat is gone.Most of their tanks are likely no longer operational yet we spend fortunes in Germany and for what reason?
  In my opinion our biggest waste is the 10500 troops we have in Kuwait. They are there to protect Saudi Arabia from another invasion from Iraq.Saudi does not want them in there country because we insult their culture so we put them in Kuwait.Does not seem to be very justifiable since Sadam is dead and what is left of his military could be defeated by a well armed boy scout troop.Yet we spend big bucks to make a country, who does not like us, feel safer.
  And of course there are the 56000 troops in Iraq and 94000 in Afghanistan.{later}
  I think one reason we have not reduced these very costly troop deployments is that it represents huge change in our old policies but its time now to do something , we can no longer afford it.Another resistance to this change is the power of the generals. These changes will put them out of work and I believe they spend too much time justifying the importance of their jobs than they do protecting the economic security of our country.

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