Reducing the scale of the military pt 2

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by preachinjesus, Feb 25, 2014.

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  1. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    Building from our previous, now closed, conversation about reducing the scale of the military, I had been asked a very good question from JonC and here's my reply:

    Because our technology out ranks all the other countries. As one of my friends, who is a retired colonel pointed out to me, its like they're fighting with repeater rifles and we've got Gatling guns. Its not close.

    If we look closer at the cuts being considered we see that there are also expansions in place. For instance, drone technology is expanding. That in and of itself allows for multiple units being controlled by a theater control device to stage out engagement so that one airman can control multiple units over the course of several sorties.

    Also, go count up how many aircraft carriers the Chinese have vs the US. Then look at the nature and age of their sub fleet vs our subs.

    When your closest opponent is fighting with swords and you've got a gun, even if there is more of them, you still win.

    For anyone to say North Korea is a threat to anyone other than South Korea is a statement of ignorance. They can't even get a nuke to fly upwards on a consistent basis and rhetoric doesn't power their rockets.

    Russia isn't aggressively working on their military for an international conflict because they've got economic issues and terrorism to deal with.

    So who's left? The reality is that a reduced force is a wise management of our budget dollars in light of crushing domestic issues that should have been handled years ago. There is zero reason to field such a force this size right now.

    BTW, I am all for instituting a mandatory 2 year draft for all graduating high schoolers. It'll help on a lot of levels and be cheaper than fielding all these existing units in perpetuity.


    Perhaps this can be a starting point, please remember friends, we're not talking about Israel.
     
  2. JonC

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    I am glad that you continued the discussion.

    Technology certainly has its benefits (although I don’t necessarily buy the Gatling gun vs. repeater rifles analogy). One issue, however, is that advancement in technology makes our force more efficient - it is a force multiplier, not a force replacement. For example, look at the manpower and positions that have become necessary in support of the drone program. And yet, drone operations are fairly limited in scope. Much of the advances in technology are geared to enhancing the capabilities of individual servicemembers. A decrease in our force equates to a decrease in implemented technology. So, if we are considering only the number of servicemembers, I am not sure that I can support your argument.

    Concerning the draft: I think that the military would be a good thing for many, if not most, of our young men and women. But this is not why we have a military. Even if we did not reduce our military strength, we would not at our current level come anywhere near accommodating the enlistment of all male high school graduates. We are turning away more people than are enlisted - and these are people that could by regulation serve. But the real reason that I doubt we would ever have a draft is that it would be political suicide for the party in power.

    Anyway, I had a more thought-out response but then all at once the first thread was closed. I really could understand sizing down the active strength to an extent while increasing the reserve components - but this is not what is happening.
     
  3. carpro

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    Never have to fight a war on 2 fronts again? What evidence does anyone base that assumption on?

    Certainly not recent history.

    All these brilliant democrats who want force reductions are the same ones who complained loudly that not enough troops were in Afghanistan because they were needed in Iraq.

    Wars fought amongst a civilian population where hearts and minds are important has taught us the same lesson over and over. It takes more troops, not less. That's the real evidence.
     
  4. kyredneck

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    16 Ways to Cut Defense Spending

    "The greatest threat to our national security is how much our militarism costs."

    "Admiral Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that “the greatest threat to our national security is our debt.” Senator Coburn said on “Morning Joe” on Feb 13 that “$100 billion could be cut.” Ron Paul says that only about half the defense budget is for defense, the other half is for militarism abroad."

    My man:

    "16) Rand Paul has demanded that the Pentagon be audited, something Congress has so far been unable to do. The Defense Department does not even know all the cash, supplies, foreign bases, and inventory it has. Much more vast and incredible waste remains to be discovered."
     
    #4 kyredneck, Feb 25, 2014
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  5. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Auditing the big 'P' what a radical idea. That will put allot of military careers in the toilet. I donut know if Ronnie R would approve....but he is dead and time moves on. :smilewinkgrin:
     
  6. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    I would re-introduce the basic question.

    How big is big enough for ground troop levels? Since it seems everyone knows that 450k is not enough, how many is?
     
    #6 NaasPreacher (C4K), Feb 26, 2014
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  7. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Probably a $2000 toilet.
     
  8. Aaron

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    Yeah, we've all heard about the military expenditures and how outragous they sound, but the ridicule as that above comes from people who don't do any real work or know what's involved in manufacturing.

    The tooling needs for the military are highly specialized. I work in the semiconductor industry, and it, too is specialized. Yes, I can get a set of screwdrivers for removing panels and such, but what of the spark-free tooling I need? Anti-stat? Machine parts? There is nothing in my foundry that is mass produced, and because they're specialized they are phenomenally expensive. Any purchase order under $2K in the semiconductor industry is cheap cheap cheap. Just can't go to Home Depot or the Ace Hardware for the tooling needed. Still, the manufacturers don't have to ship my tools to Baghdad. Anyone make a phone call to Baghdad lately?

    Yeah, government contracts can be fat, just like for the union iron workers building a bridge. (talk of outragous costs) But here's a deal, let's outfit C4K with an AMC Jeep off the lot and a $2k set of Craftsman mechanics' tools, and a Remington repeater and drop him in the middle of the Arabian Desert (probably $23k in all) and see how long he lasts.
     
  9. preachinjesus

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    Every sensible leader and military person I've spoken with communicate the challenge of having to use specialized materials to do their work. There is a reason why certain things cost so much more. I don't think anyone doubts that.

    However, the cost overruns and inability of the military to be audited are challenging. Just like we should want Congress to open about their spending and costs, so too the military should be able to be audited to evaluate how well they are leading.
     
  10. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    The technology point still stands. Did you check how many carriers China has vs how many the US has?

    We have the greatest military in history with the most sophisticated weaponry ever. No nation can stand against us.

    Right now, as mentioned above, our greatest weakness is our debt. Why not make these cuts, get to a reasonable standing force, and then address those issues?

    There is no nation that can stand against our military. We took over Iraq and Afghanistan with historically stunning speed and low loss of life. We simply don't need a military industrial complex sufficient to maintain readiness standards at Cold War levels. The Cold War is over, we won. Now we need to act like it. :)

    Thanks for the reply. :thumbs:
     
  11. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    One million as a standing army is not unreasonable. The reason we got into trouble in Iraq and Afghanistan is because we could only field a military operation one-third the size of what we sent to Desert Storm just 23 years ago. We had 575,000 military personnel on the ground in Saudi, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar and Bahrain prior to the "jump off" into Kuwait and Iraq. We overwhelmed Saddam with force. What did we muster for Iraqi Freedom? 140,000. We've never had more than 50,000 on the ground in Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) because our troop strength was tied up for so long in Iraq.

    We can thank Clinton for the debacles those operations turned into. He reduced troop strength to 550,000, and then the Little Marxist Dictator further reduced the standing military after he withdrew from Iraq, instead of sending the bulk of those forces into Afghanistan to once and for all wipe out the Taliban, which is what he should have done.

    We have a target on our backs. We are the "Great Satan," the "Western Imperialists," the "Ugly Americans." Why? Because we are successful, and able to assert ourselves anywhere in the world when it becomes necessary. As Colin Powell said, we've not asked for one inch of turf more than was necessary to bury our dead, and despite the liberal "warmonger" or "imperialist" label that gets slapped on the U.S. by its own people, our interventions have, until this fool in the White House came along, been with good intentions, and better outcomes. Now we are led by an idiot. We should keep a one-million-man standing army just to protect us from him.
     
  12. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Thank you for giving a number. Any ideas how much it would cost to have a 1,000,000 young foot soldiers waiting around just in case a war happens? I admit that I don't have any idea of the costs, but they are sure to be considerable.

    I suspect that Afghanistan is an unwinable war, unless we are willing to pay the cost in many, many lives. Virtually every major army in history has thought they could win there, and none have.

    Also, would not those 1.000.000 ground troops be under the direct command of the one you call an idiot?
     
    #12 NaasPreacher (C4K), Feb 26, 2014
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  13. InTheLight

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    In Desert Storm we followed the Powell Doctrine of overwhelming force and we succeeded, in what, six weeks of actual warfare, followed by mass surrenders.

    In Operation Enduring Freedom (Shock and Awe) we followed the Rumsfeld Doctrine of smaller troop usage instead favoring specialized, high tech and targeted strikes, along with rapid deployment and timed attacks. That didn't work out so well for us.
     
  14. InTheLight

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    Are we talking about total personnel in the military (all branches) or just the number of people in the Army? Because we have well over a million in all branches right now.
     
  15. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    The article was about ground troops.
     
  16. poncho

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    I think you're wrong C4k. No offense. With all our technology and global presence we haven't managed to win one war since WWII. And we've been involved in how many wars and interventions since then?

    Seriously though no one seems to want to look at our interventionist foreign policy that causes most of the problems we have to go solve later with another costly intervention. So of course by not including this in the discussion the only "logical" answer is a bigger better equipped military.

    Thankfully we have the world's largest most expensive military industrial complex in the world to keep the equipment rolling in and the debt piling up.

    Debt. What's that? Doesn't matter. We need to be safe from all the people we keep poking in the eye with a sharp stick with our interventionist foreign policy that hasn't won a war it's gotten us involved since WWII. Don't worry about the debt it creates, we can handle it. We're grrrrrreat!

    Yeah, and now that we're poking Russia in the eye with a sharp stick (Georgia, Syria and Ukraine) we're definitely going to need a bigger military.
     
    #16 poncho, Feb 26, 2014
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  17. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    And I suspect that we will not do much better with a 1,000,000 young people in harms way. Lives are very disposable,
     
  18. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    Not so. Hagel's idiotic proposal includes cuts across all branches, in all venues.
    This proposal not only weakens us militarily, and despite his contention that it allows us to fight a war but not engage in prolonged territorial occupation, military experts questioned that analysis virtually before the words were out of the mouth of the parrot belonging to Little Marxist Dictator. 440K-450K troops, given that less than a third of active duty troops are actually infantry and direct combat support, are far too few to effectively engage a determined enemy.
     
  19. Revmitchell

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    They are not only cutting the amount of troops but they are also cutting troop benefits.
     
  20. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Apologies - not sure where I picked up the ground troop idea.

    The personnel cut is only army though - the other cuts are material.

    in fact, it sounds like the cuts are active duty army and two airplanes.
     
    #20 NaasPreacher (C4K), Feb 26, 2014
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