RayK

Military Cuts!

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The Secretary of Defense is putting forth a program to cut military spending by 78billion within 5 years. I am all for getting rid of excess and considering what little amount of the Navy's budget the Marine Corps survives on per year there is definetly some excess that the other forces could cut. But, it is idiotic to expect units that have already been cut to the bone to cut even more. As an example, and this could have changed since I was active in the Marine Corps, I was friends with a Master Sergeant that was in charge of helicopter maintenance for his squadron. His unit was so lacking in funds that they would have to set one chopper aside and catabolize it's parts to keep the rest of the choppers flying. Squadrons get their money by how many aircraft they fly that fly so many hours a quarter. As the quarter comes close to ending the squadron would set aside the chopper that had the most fly time and give the parts to the chopper that was already sitting on the tarmac so that it could get it's fly time and monetary resources, which were still not enough to keep all the choppers maintenanced properly.

Another example; as the cost of living keeps going up (inflation which is caused by the government) the US Congress took more than 3 years to decided on what amount of pay raise they should give military troops, 1.5% to 3%. Of course after more than 3 years of putting it off they gave the military a little more than a 1.5% pay raise with no back-dating of the cost of living. So, after more than a 9% increase from inflation the military members received less than a 2% cost of living increase with no back-dating of the increase.

A person may be left with the thought of how is the military going to keep it's commitments around the world as the government actually gives less and less to the active military members that fight multiple fronts, one with the foreign enemy and the other with the domestic enemy.

http://ww2.cox.com/myconnection/lasvegas/t...duleType=apNews

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I can think of many other slices of the pie that ought to be reduced (this is the 2010 Federal Budget): http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c...by_category.jpg

It is shameful that a man who risks his life to defend the spineless cowards in Washington should have a quality of life lower than that whose main "value-add" is the fact his vote is the same as a producer, allowing it to be bought with increases in the amount of taxpayer money diverted towards his new flat screen TV or car, despite him not doing one minute of work.

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More disturbing is the timing. We appear to be trying to "scale-back" the enormous funding and fighting power of our military, just as China is looking to initiate a buildup of their own. Haven't they recently unveiled a new stealth fighter, just as we are retiring our own?

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Rtg24, it is quite shameful what the cowards in Washington are willing to cut especially considering that it is easy to look like one has courage when they stand behind the guy on the front line from more than 10,000 miles away. And as the cowards sit in their warm houses thinking of what to cut you have the warrior that (not all military members are warriors) is taking action against his enemy with one hand tied behnind him with promises of gear that for the most part does not come.

Carlos, I agree with you it is disturbing, but nothing new. If one checks the actions taken by our government after every war in the 20th century they will notice that the government cut back on military members and sold military supplies, to include ships, to other countries. Then when our enemies attack once again, as they always do, we either have to produce the new equipment or go buy back the supplies needed at a huge cost. Freaking insane!

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The Secretary of Defense is putting forth a program to cut military spending by 78billion within 5 years. I am all for getting rid of excess and considering what little amount of the Navy's budget the Marine Corps survives on per year there is definetly some excess that the other forces could cut. But, it is idiotic to expect units that have already been cut to the bone to cut even more. As an example, and this could have changed since I was active in the Marine Corps, I was friends with a Master Sergeant that was in charge of helicopter maintenance for his squadron. His unit was so lacking in funds that they would have to set one chopper aside and catabolize it's parts to keep the rest of the choppers flying. Squadrons get their money by how many aircraft they fly that fly so many hours a quarter. As the quarter comes close to ending the squadron would set aside the chopper that had the most fly time and give the parts to the chopper that was already sitting on the tarmac so that it could get it's fly time and monetary resources, which were still not enough to keep all the choppers maintenanced properly.
You're saying it is "idiotic" to make budget cuts to this squadron because there is not enough money to keep the equipment maintenanced properly? Maybe they need to sell the equipment and disband the squadron.
Another example; as the cost of living keeps going up (inflation which is caused by the government) the US Congress took more than 3 years to decided on what amount of pay raise they should give military troops, 1.5% to 3%. Of course after more than 3 years of putting it off they gave the military a little more than a 1.5% pay raise with no back-dating of the cost of living. So, after more than a 9% increase from inflation the military members received less than a 2% cost of living increase with no back-dating of the increase.

It's a consequence of having way too many troops. Most of them should be laid off. The political class won't risk that though because they will lose votes.

A person may be left with the thought of how is the military going to keep it's commitments around the world

The US military should withdraw from the vast majority of its "commitments" around the world.

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More disturbing is the timing. We appear to be trying to "scale-back" the enormous funding and fighting power of our military, just as China is looking to initiate a buildup of their own. Haven't they recently unveiled a new stealth fighter, just as we are retiring our own?

There's nothing inherently wrong with reducing the enormous funding of the American military. I think it's clear that reductions in the outrageous budget should be the goal, considering what most of the military does has nothing to do with a self-interested foreign policy. It's good to scale-back waste and welfare.

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A few insightful quotes that our present government officials seem to either evade or are ignorant of.

"To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace." - George Washington, First Annual Address to Congress, January 8, 1790

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it." - Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, No. 4, September 11, 1777

"National defense is one of the cardinal duties of a statesman." - John Adams, Letter to James Lloyd, January, 1815

A few more quotes, although they are not from America's Founding Fathers.

"War is cruelty. There's no use in trying to reform it, the crueler it is the sooner it will be over." William Tecumseh Sherman

"Be convinced that to be happy means to be free and that to be free means to be brave. Therefore do not take lightly the perils of war." Thucydides

"In war there is no substitute for victory." General Douglas MacArthur

"We make war that we may live in peace." Aristotle

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The Secretary of Defense is putting forth a program to cut military spending by 78billion within 5 years. I am all for getting rid of excess and considering what little amount of the Navy's budget the Marine Corps survives on per year there is definetly some excess that the other forces could cut. But, it is idiotic to expect units that have already been cut to the bone to cut even more. As an example, and this could have changed since I was active in the Marine Corps, I was friends with a Master Sergeant that was in charge of helicopter maintenance for his squadron. His unit was so lacking in funds that they would have to set one chopper aside and catabolize it's parts to keep the rest of the choppers flying. Squadrons get their money by how many aircraft they fly that fly so many hours a quarter. As the quarter comes close to ending the squadron would set aside the chopper that had the most fly time and give the parts to the chopper that was already sitting on the tarmac so that it could get it's fly time and monetary resources, which were still not enough to keep all the choppers maintenanced properly.
You're saying it is "idiotic" to make budget cuts to this squadron because there is not enough money to keep the equipment maintenanced properly? Maybe they need to sell the equipment and disband the squadron.
Another example; as the cost of living keeps going up (inflation which is caused by the government) the US Congress took more than 3 years to decided on what amount of pay raise they should give military troops, 1.5% to 3%. Of course after more than 3 years of putting it off they gave the military a little more than a 1.5% pay raise with no back-dating of the cost of living. So, after more than a 9% increase from inflation the military members received less than a 2% cost of living increase with no back-dating of the increase.

It's a consequence of having way too many troops. Most of them should be laid off. The political class won't risk that though because they will lose votes.

A person may be left with the thought of how is the military going to keep it's commitments around the world

The US military should withdraw from the vast majority of its "commitments" around the world.

I am saying that it is idotic to make cuts in a unit that is providing what a defense department should be providing. You cannot have highly trained and skilled warriors without training them, even during times of peace.

I agree that there are a lot of people in the military that are non-warriors and that they should be scaled back. But in a study done by the Military Times in the 1990s they found that on average one Marine does the job of four individuals in other services.

I also agree that we should not be supporting most of the world, but those are not the things that are being cut.

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More disturbing is the timing. We appear to be trying to "scale-back" the enormous funding and fighting power of our military, just as China is looking to initiate a buildup of their own. Haven't they recently unveiled a new stealth fighter, just as we are retiring our own?

There's nothing inherently wrong with reducing the enormous funding of the American military. I think it's clear that reductions in the outrageous budget should be the goal, considering what most of the military does has nothing to do with a self-interested foreign policy. It's good to scale-back waste and welfare.

I have already stated that excess should be cut and I think that sending the militray on "humanitarian missions" along with many other actions is a total waste of resources. But, if I may ask, what do you know of war, strategy and tactics?

Where may there be excess one might ask if they really wanted to do some cutting back on spending? Well, one place is within the Air Force and the fact that it has "rent-a-cops" guarding their base's gates. Yes, that is right, the Air Force does not even guard their own gates of entry and instead they employ/pay "rent-a-cop" companies to stand guard. The Marines, which have about 1/3 of the amount of people, still stand guard over their own bases. And as a matter of fact, when I left the Marine Corps during October of 1998 the active force of the Marine Corps was around 170,000 people. China has an active force of around 2 million military personnel. Who is willing to man the gates when the barbarians start their assault?

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Where may there be excess one might ask if they really wanted to do some cutting back on spending? Well, one place is within the Air Force and the fact that it has "rent-a-cops" guarding their base's gates. Yes, that is right, the Air Force does not even guard their own gates of entry and instead they employ/pay "rent-a-cop" companies to stand guard. The Marines, which have about 1/3 of the amount of people, still stand guard over their own bases. And as a matter of fact, when I left the Marine Corps during October of 1998 the active force of the Marine Corps was around 170,000 people. China has an active force of around 2 million military personnel. Who is willing to man the gates when the barbarians start their assault?

That was a question raised often in Mumbai. What is the chance your $100/month security guard is going to stand between you and the robber's bullet? Why would he risk his life for you?

Regarding China, it is interesting to point out that the reason advanced for cancelling the F-22 programme's further units was that "no country in the world possesses such an advanced aircraft". Aside from the obvious fallacy of wishing both sides to have equal weapons (our vastly superior bomber force, amongst other "toys", avoided global nuclear war and an invasion of Europe for the second half of the last century), Russia came out with the T-50, a YF-23 copy, a few months thereafter, and now China is coming out with the Chengdu J-20, an F-22/T-50 copy (note the pattern; the "SR-71 killer" MiG-25 and later 31 were a direct copy of the A-5 Vigilante used by the US Navy carriers).

I am glad no country so far has managed a technological marvel like the B-2. The B-2 ensures a certain peace of mind for the US since it is virtually invisible (try targeting a missile on a radar cross section the size of a door knob) allowing it to drop a nuclear bomb on any target anywhere in the world at night. The Democrats call it a waste, I am glad they are flying.

As you are pointing out, Ray, we NEED to be stronger in something other than numbers, because the numbers are on their side (and we do not fight wars with conscripted armies). We need crushing technological superiority, including the deployment of the better weapons in a scale sufficient to push back any attack. The South Koreans, who are faced with a daily threat of extinction by their Communist neighbours, know this well and have deployed automated machine guns designed only to mow down advancing waves of infantry on their border. They do not have the luxury to complain about the cost of defending their lives, so they get on with it.

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The South Koreans, who are faced with a daily threat of extinction by their Communist neighbours, know this well and have deployed automated machine guns designed only to mow down advancing waves of infantry on their border.

I don't think they really realize the importance of technological superiority over numbers. Their poor understanding shows in their actions, such as the three year conscription-slavery of every male in the country, no exceptions. When Korea was on the international stage after the sinking of the Cheonan, the world got to laugh as they saw soldiers standing on the beach with guns manufactured in the 1960's. I think they would do better to change their "throw a wall of human beings at the North" policy by ending conscription and spending some of the money they waste on training 100lb World of Warcraft playing nerds on building some bombers.

They do not have the luxury to complain about the cost of defending their lives, so they get on with it.

If I were to describe the present administration's response to North Korean attacks over the last two years in one word, it would be "Ghandi-esque." The previous administration was even worse (see the Sunshine Policy).

On the other topic of US military waste, this post gives me an idea of just one country where tens of thousands of troops could be laid off and billions could be saved. Many Koreans resent the US military presence here and the soldiers themselves have the reputation of acting like the worst of fools when off-base.

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China has an active force of around 2 million military personnel. Who is willing to man the gates when the barbarians start their assault?

Do you advocate a war with China right now?

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I went to read more about the "cuts" at the Washington Post. Interestingly, at the top of the article is a link to a photo gallery that says, "Military Hospital in Kandahar takes care of Afghan Civilians too" (!!!) Anyway, even with these proposed "cuts" we will see ever-expanding spending at the Pentagon. What people mean by "cuts" nowadays is that they will reduce how much they were going to increase spending. There won't be an actual reduction in spending.

If we're going to lessen the impending financial crisis and continue America's economic dominance then we're going to have to cut everything across the board. The three main expenditures are defense, health care, and social security. Since much of the "defense" budget is either a global welfare program, a vote-buying program, or tax transfer payments to Lockheed Martin for things that come in at three times their estimated cost, a big chunk of the budget should go back to the people. America has a military presence in 150 countries across the world, and has thousands of troops in South Korea, Germany, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Spain, England, Eastern Europe and elsewhere. I think there are at least 25 active US military bases in Germany. After we cut all those things, we can start looking at ways to reduce waste in the combat areas and at home.

America won't be defending much when it's bankrupt. I don't think there is a law of politics that says we necessarily have to keep increasing defense spending every year, forever, and that cuts are impossible. In fact, a reduction in defense spending is something I think is politically viable to push for, even now, before economic disaster strikes. Fiscally conservative Republicans along with many of the Democrats would be on board with getting the troops out of Europe and Asia. Most of them anyway, except for those who have military bases in their district.

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As you are pointing out, Ray, we NEED to be stronger in something other than numbers, because the numbers are on their side (and we do not fight wars with conscripted armies). We need crushing technological superiority, including the deployment of the better weapons in a scale sufficient to push back any attack. The South Koreans, who are faced with a daily threat of extinction by their Communist neighbours, know this well and have deployed automated machine guns designed only to mow down advancing waves of infantry on their border. They do not have the luxury to complain about the cost of defending their lives, so they get on with it.

What I was attempting to bring to peoples attention is that one does not need a large force to win, but an efficient force with the proper tools and experience.

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It is solely a red herring for the Democrats to use in an attempt to assassinate the integrity of the tea party Republicans. Even cutting 100% of the defense budget won't fix the nation's financial problems. It is Social Security and Medicare that must ASAP be phased out, or we are bankrupt -- period. As a nation, we must decide what roles and priorities the government may and should have. November's election was the first round in that debate.

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China has an active force of around 2 million military personnel. Who is willing to man the gates when the barbarians start their assault?

Do you advocate a war with China right now?

Do you think they are America's ally?

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I went to read more about the "cuts" at the Washington Post. Interestingly, at the top of the article is a link to a photo gallery that says, "Military Hospital in Kandahar takes care of Afghan Civilians too" (!!!) Anyway, even with these proposed "cuts" we will see ever-expanding spending at the Pentagon. What people mean by "cuts" nowadays is that they will reduce how much they were going to increase spending. There won't be an actual reduction in spending.

Once again, I have not stated that cuts were not needed, instead I was disagreeing with some of the cuts mentioned. Gates has told the Marine Corps to cancel the new amphibious assualt vehicle which was to replace the one that has been used since 1972. The new vehicle was supposed to be able to move faster and further in a more efficient manner. The new vehicle was supposed to be able to be deployed further off of the shoreline so that the Navy's ships would not be in as much of harms way as with the older amphibious assualt vehicles. These are just a few positives of the new AAV and there are many more.

But Secretary Gates, like many high ranking officials today, have very little real world experience to back their theories and or cuts. Gates was recruited by the CIA right out of college but before he did any real field work he went into the Air Force as an intelligence officer and was assigned to Strategic Air Command, in Nebraska where he gave briefings on ballistic air missles to crews that actually worked with the missiles (which seems backwards to me). While the war was still going on in Vietnam Gates would sometimes travel as fas away as Missouri to give further briefings on ballistic missiles to the people that once again operated the systems of which he never did. After two years as an "intelligence officer" Gates was released from military duty and went back to the CIA which he left again in 1974. Why is this information relevant? It is relevant because it demonstrates what happens when people are put in charge of institutions that have no real experience on how the institution is run.

Today, most military officers get promoted by how many "military schools" they have recorded in their Officer Qualification Record (OQR) and not by how many real battles they have fought in. Today most officers attempt to get attached to DC, the Pentagon or as some Generals/Admirals attache so that they play the proper politics to get promoted. When it looks like the battle has been won, these same officers get deployed overseas so that they can get the appropriate ribbon that looks good for promotions although they were not there for the real battles. Then these same officers that have not worked consistently in the field fighting battles write Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in fields that they have very little knowledge of. Instead these type of people (which does not only happen in the military) jump from one position to the next with many different companies and are considered "experts" in a field that they have never spent enough time in.

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China has an active force of around 2 million military personnel. Who is willing to man the gates when the barbarians start their assault?

Do you advocate a war with China right now?

Do you think they are America's ally?

That's a non-answer.

I ask because you mentioned that we need to build up our army because China has a 2 million man standing army, and the barbarians will be at the gates soon and all that jazz. If we were at war with China, that view would make sense. If we are at peace with China (which I think we are, and continued economic integration will mean even less of an incentive to fight), then worrying about the number of troops in China would make less sense.

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Gates has told the Marine Corps to cancel the new amphibious assualt vehicle which was to replace the one that has been used since 1972. The new vehicle was supposed to be able to move faster and further in a more efficient manner. The new vehicle was supposed to be able to be deployed further off of the shoreline so that the Navy's ships would not be in as much of harms way as with the older amphibious assualt vehicles. These are just a few positives of the new AAV and there are many more.

Are you against this particular cut? I don't know all the details but apparently it is late and has come in way over budget. Just eliminating this one project was about 25% of the 100 billion dollar cut. You could make the case that maybe this would be used in some future war, maybe against Iran. But since we already have troops on both borders of Iran, ships in the Gulf, and bases around the entire Middle East and Central Asia, I don't think this vehicle is such an urgent need. It seems like we could easily get the troops we need into Iran if we needed to, without the 25 billion dollar project (and these projects always end up costing more). It seems like more expensive "cool" gadgetry that we could get by without and have no additional loss of lives.

To be clear, the US could end these conflicts, easily and with no casualties, with technology they invented in the 1940's and 50's. We don't really need more technology or spending. One US aircraft carrier could have done a better job in Afghanistan than they're doing with all these soldiers and countries and bases now.

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China has an active force of around 2 million military personnel. Who is willing to man the gates when the barbarians start their assault?

Do you advocate a war with China right now?

Do you think they are America's ally?

That's a non-answer.

I ask because you mentioned that we need to build up our army because China has a 2 million man standing army, and the barbarians will be at the gates soon and all that jazz. If we were at war with China, that view would make sense. If we are at peace with China (which I think we are, and continued economic integration will mean even less of an incentive to fight), then worrying about the number of troops in China would make less sense.

Yes it is an answer although you might not like it. And you did not answer it.

You also misunderstand my reasons for using the example as I am pointing out that if you are willing to back the cuts in military weapons then you should be willing to stand up and fight with a gun against our intellectual enemies when they attack. So, after all you statements about what should be cut, and all that jazz, are you wiling to stand up with the Marines against a military who's country is our intellectual enemy, as they do not acknowledge individual rights, and who has 10 times the amount of members as the US Marines?

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Gates has told the Marine Corps to cancel the new amphibious assualt vehicle which was to replace the one that has been used since 1972. The new vehicle was supposed to be able to move faster and further in a more efficient manner. The new vehicle was supposed to be able to be deployed further off of the shoreline so that the Navy's ships would not be in as much of harms way as with the older amphibious assualt vehicles. These are just a few positives of the new AAV and there are many more.

Are you against this particular cut? I don't know all the details but apparently it is late and has come in way over budget. Just eliminating this one project was about 25% of the 100 billion dollar cut. You could make the case that maybe this would be used in some future war, maybe against Iran. But since we already have troops on both borders of Iran, ships in the Gulf, and bases around the entire Middle East and Central Asia, I don't think this vehicle is such an urgent need. It seems like we could easily get the troops we need into Iran if we needed to, without the 25 billion dollar project (and these projects always end up costing more). It seems like more expensive "cool" gadgetry that we could get by without and have no additional loss of lives.

To be clear, the US could end these conflicts, easily and with no casualties, with technology they invented in the 1940's and 50's. We don't really need more technology or spending. One US aircraft carrier could have done a better job in Afghanistan than they're doing with all these soldiers and countries and bases now.

And your experience to back all your claims and statements about cuts and future war needs comes from all your time spent war fighting?

I would also offer that billions have already been spend in researching and creating the replacement already. Would you just have us throw all that money and effort right out the window?

And I also offer that many people have offered up what type of military tactics, strategies, weapons and personnel will be needed in future wars and they were wrong also. As a matter of fact Truman wanted to cut out the whole Marine Corps after WWII as he stated they would never be needed since we had the Army and Air Force. Last I checked though, a lot of the fighting in every war/conflict since WWII has had the Marines doing a large portion of fighting even though they are the military service with the fewest members.

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Yes it is an answer although you might not like it. And you did not answer it.

Okay, maybe I am dim and can't read through the lines. So tell me more clearly whether you think the US is at war with China. Feel free to elaborate on your position rather than responding cryptically or asking what I think.

You also misunderstand my reasons for using the example as I am pointing out that if you are willing to back the cuts in military weapons then you should be willing to stand up and fight with a gun against our intellectual enemies when they attack. So, after all you statements about what should be cut, and all that jazz, are you wiling to stand up with the Marines against a military who's country is our intellectual enemy, as they do not acknowledge individual rights, and who has 10 times the amount of members as the US Marines?

I don't understand. Would I stand with the US marines in a hypothetical war that I already said I don't think will happen? Even if I were able to answer this question, I don't see how it would relate to the subject of the budget cuts. You are saying that if I am willing to back the cuts, I should be willing to fight with the US marines. Why, what is the connection? If someone was willing to increase the budget, should they be willing to fight with the coast guard?

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And your experience to back all your claims and statements about cuts and future war needs comes from all your time spent war fighting?

No, but I think I can have a valid opinion without fighting in a war.

I would also offer that billions have already been spend in researching and creating the replacement already. Would you just have us throw all that money and effort right out the window?

The money in my opinion has already been thrown out the window. Throwing more out of the window won't help. But the advances in technology and engineering do not ever go away; they still hold the plans for resuming it in the future or using them in some other way.

And I also offer that many people have offered up what type of military tactics, strategies, weapons and personnel will be needed in future wars and they were wrong also.

What's your point, humans are fallible?

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And your experience to back all your claims and statements about cuts and future war needs comes from all your time spent war fighting?

No, but I think I can have a valid opinion without fighting in a war.

I would also offer that billions have already been spend in researching and creating the replacement already. Would you just have us throw all that money and effort right out the window?

The money in my opinion has already been thrown out the window. Throwing more out of the window won't help. But the advances in technology and engineering do not ever go away; they still hold the plans for resuming it in the future or using them in some other way.

And I also offer that many people have offered up what type of military tactics, strategies, weapons and personnel will be needed in future wars and they were wrong also.

What's your point, humans are fallible?

And I think you do not as you have no experience of how a war should be fought. You have no experience of what it takes to supply a war, what it takes to keep men able and willing to fight because you have never been in their shoes. You have no idea of what it is like to make $900 a month as a private while being shot at, worrying about your life, your wife, your children, your men's lives, obtaining the objective, nights without sleep, days without food, whether the supplies will make it through. A young Marine of the age of 20 can be in charge of a squad which usually has 12-16 men and he is responsible for their lives. He must motivate them, make sure they stay mentally and physically fit for war. He is responsible for obtaining the objectives given to him and all the hardships of achieving those objectives, and replacements do not show up as soon as one person dies.

It is easy to stated what should philosophically be done, but that is not what is being done. So, as long as we as a country are willing to send men into battle we should be willing to equip them with the best equipment possible and affordable. Strip away all the non-war related objectives, humanitarian actions, putting out wild-fires, dropping off loaves of bread and other supplies. Stop paying our enemies citizens thousands of dollars a piece for the killing of their crops and live-stock. Stop trying to "buy" our enemies support by monetarily backing the building up of their cities. Hell, there is so much that could be cut that is not part of war tactics and strategies without even the need to touch weapons and or pay.

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It is easy to stated what should philosophically be done, but that is not what is being done.

Here is where the biggest problem lies, that being America's foreign policy of self-sacrifice. I think most on this forum know what a foreign policy of rational self-interest would do to clear up the philosophical/abstract and concrete problems we are stuck with right now. As long as America keeps it's foreign policy of self-sacrifice there will always be military actions and expenses that put America on the verge of bankruptcy. The real way to balance the books is to change the underlying philosophy that guides our foreign policy makers and then our defense budget will be much smaller and financially acceptable. But, we do not have a foreign policy of rational self-interest at this point and yet we are still sending off military members to fight wars while tying their hands with "rules of engagement" and financial policies that make winning wars against our enemies much harder and sometimes impossible to win.

"We are fighting with our hands tied. The idea that America must withdraw from Vietnam is worse than appeasement. It is a shameful pretense. Further, since the world knows we are not physically weak, it would be an admission of moral corruption: that we do not possess a primitive dignity that any nation should have - to its own dead, if nothing else - that if it is involved in a war, it should finish it. It must win or be defeated." [Ayn Rand, Ford Hall Forum 1967]

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