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MILITARY: Congress has failed the military

Letter by Thomas G. Holland, Puyallup on March 13, 2012 at 3:34 pm with 26 Comments »
March 14, 2012 10:21 am

As a retired veteran who has been in a combat tour and been threatened by a subordinate soldier, I feel strongly that much of the blame for the series of incidents (murders of Afghan civilians, park ranger, suicides, etc.) rests with Congress.

The size of the military is too small to permit support of deployed combat forces, in terms of both numbers and duration, without multiple tours by individuals. The stress of each tour is great for both the soldier and their family. Repeated tours and the threat of repeated tours multiplies this stress, especially for those who live in the hostile environment for extended periods.

Congress controls the purse strings, thus troop strength, weapon development, medical support (including pressure to return people to full, unlimited duty), training and benefits.

 

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  1. The size of the military is too small to permit support of deployed combat forces, in terms of both numbers and duration, without multiple tours by individuals.

    There is another, rather obvious, solution that doesn’t include huge expansion of an already bloated military budget – bring back the draft.

    And Mr. Holland overlooks the reality that, while Congress approves budgets, it is the Pentagon that allocates how those resources are utilized. Increasing the budget isn’t liable to increase salaries and benefits for soldiers as the Pentagon really likes to spend lots of money on new toys.

  2. the3rdpigshouse says:

    Bringing back the draft and increasing the size of depleted military ranks, which were halved first by Clinton and now “OH-Bummer” who wants additional reductions, is the path the USA should take!! The reductions will further deteriorate the capabilities of our military placing our nation at future risk in a dangerous world. Further reducing our forces makes service more arduous for our men & women serving our nation! The military is much more costly than in past years because our servicemen now receive livable wages and benefits and the weapons systems are much more expensive!

    People like the socialist/marxist “OH-Bummer” always sacrifice the military in attaining their socialist ever-expanding government objectives of increasing government, making citizens more dependent, and reducing individual freedoms. Europe has seen the same scenario since WW2 with the USA covering their tails while they pursue their societal experimentations. Who will cover our tails when our military is reduced to the level of England or France?? The Chinese???!!

    Wake up people and get the socialist democrats out of government while we still have a nation worth defending!!

  3. aislander says:

    After WWII we misled ourselves regarding our abilities because of our economic position versus the rest of the world. There was no way we could maintain that preeminence as everyone else recovered, but we continued to act as if our resources were unlimited.

    This overreaching took place in almost every aspect of what we allowed our government to do, domestically and with respect to foreign policy and defense.

    We need a drastic reassessment of what our resources and abilities allow government to do…

  4. Too small?? Are you kidding Tom?
    We spend double what every other nation spend COMBINED on defense!
    Our military isn’t too small, we let an insane cowboy from Texas start 2 wars for no reason, THAT is the problem Tom!

  5. “We need a drastic reassessment of what our resources and abilities allow government to do…”

    And the only way to do that so as to have a constructive outcome is make sure the rightwing is sent packing.

  6. Fibonacci says:

    the3rdpig
    Much more is spent on the military now than in the previous administration. So, exactly how is Obama (don’t you EVER get tired of your not clever play on his name?) And ah, wasn’t it another president that started those two non-funded wars? By the way, I don’t think you would know a marxist/socialist if one bit you on the nose. Marx was a communist not a socialist–they are not the same thing, and Obmma is neither.So wake up people, get rid of the right wing hatemongers that think everyone that is not a right wing nut job is a socialist.

    Bringing home troops would save money and lessen the stress on those troops that get repeatedly deployed.

  7. So “kluwer”, you STILL fussing about ‘cowboys from Texas’? Seems to me that socialist camping out in the Oval Office has had the reins on HIS horse for several years now. Not only did he expand the war in Afghanistan, if you recall he dang near put us in a THIRD conflict in Libya as well!

    Its long past time that we bring our kids home, stop meddling in third world rat holes trying to make barbarians accept OUR way of life on OUR dime and blood, and start using our defenses for exactly that.

  8. Fibonacci, if Obama isn’t a socialist, he, and the leftist liberal whackos that support him, are pretty dang close.

  9. Once again, the pig-troll gets its facts wrong.
    Active duty US Military:
    1985 – 2.15 million (Reagan)
    1990 – 2.04 million (Bush I)
    1995 – 1.52 million (Clinton)
    2000 – 1.38 million (Clinton)
    2001 – 1.39 million (Bush II)
    2002 – 1.41 million (Bush II)
    2003 – 1.42 million (Bush II)
    2004 – 1.41 million (Bush II)
    2005 – 1.38 million (Bush II)
    2006 – 1.38 million (Bush II)
    2007 – 1.38 million (Bush II)
    2011 – 1.47 million (Obama)

    http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0004598.html

    Soo-ee! Soo-ee! Soo-ee!

    Aislander – “drastic reassessment” hold on the you seat – I wholeheartedly agree with you on this issue.

    Kluwer – our total forces are too large, but the number of personnel commented to combat at any one time is too small. (See Powell Doctrine)

    Before we invaded Vietnam the Joint Chiefs of Staff recommend a force or 500,000 within one year.

    The JCS were overruled allowing the NVA and Viet Cong to adapt to our slowly raising force levels.

    The same thing happened in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    DCR,
    Obama has ended the Iraq War, is beginning the drawdown in Afghanistan, and never put US boots on the ground in Libya.

    The major difference between the three was that we did not try to occupy and rebuild Libya in to a western style democracy.

    The Rpots on the other hand want to start new wars in Syria and Iran.
    Guess the right wing chicken-hawks never learn from their own mistakes.

  10. concernedtacoma7 says:

    The draft is a terible idea. While I feel it would help the nation by demanding service from all, not just a tiny segment of the populus, it would weaken our all volunteer force.

    These guys and gals serving multiple tours do so voluntarily. The previous experience is priceless to a unit.

  11. LornaDoone says:

    “Bringing back the draft and increasing the size of depleted military ranks, which were halved first by Clinton and now “OH-Bummer” who wants additional reductions, is the path the USA should take!!”

    And we’re going to do this by cutting taxes and using magical money that always seems to appear when the boys’ testosterone get’s going and they want more war toys

  12. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Or we focus on what the federal govt’s role is as laid out by the Constitution. National defense is a clear priority. Free BC is not

  13. “So “kluwer”, you STILL fussing about ‘cowboys from Texas’?”

    No, I’m not ‘fussing’ about anything I’m telling the truth about an INSANE drunken cowboy from Texas that started 2 wars for no reason and then failed to pay for them.
    You have a problem with the truth?

  14. “kluwer”…keep in mind. at the time that ‘drunken cowboy started’ this whole mess, EVERYONE wanted him to. The trouble is, he fiddle farted around for two years before doing anything, and lost the benefit of the public’s nearly orgasmic phase of “patriotism” in the weeks after “9-11″. Haa! I bet even YOU had a little plastic flag flying from your car!

    ….And “xring”, we have to slightly disagree. Obama didnt “end the war in Iraq”. That ended according to a pre-arranged draw down that was set up during the Bush administration. Frankly, I’d like to know why obama didnt make an entire pullout from the whole area a first day in office priority.

  15. and by the way “kluwer”…I NEVER have a problem with the truth. EVER.

    I DO find humor however in the way the liberal loons AND the right wing fanatics twist it in their unending attacks on each other.

    And yes I am a hard core Conservative, which in no way shape or form makes me a right wing fanatic. So no need to bother with any of your liberal stereotypes.

  16. Dcr –
    At the time we did not know the drunken cowboy was lying to us.
    Bush did indeed sign the original drawdown agreement, but most of the rightwing chicken hawks in Congress were pushing to ignore the agreement and to increase our forces in and control of Iraq.

    Obama, unlike you, obliviously knew the dangers our troops would have faced in a precipitous withdrawal and (unlike Bush) listened to his military advisors (AKA the Joint Chiefs).

    3pig – I am well aware of Clinton’s lack of military experience, which has little to do with the subject. Wilson and FDR lead our nation in the World Wars and neither had ever served in the military.

    FYI – Why don’t you compare who controlled Congress with the Clinton and Bush drawdowns?

  17. LornaDoone says:

    Boy, when a website is so transparent about their identity that they call themselves “clintoncrimes”, you know that there is a lot of reliability there. Yessiree!

    drunken cowboy started’ this whole mess, EVERYONE wanted him to.

    Yep. Either “you’re with us or you’re a terrorist”. Every congressional representative that didn’t go along with the lies created by the Bush Administration was tagged a “terrorist” at least. In the case of Joe Wilson, his wife, a covert CIA agent was outted because he dared to challenge Bush/Cheney/Halliburton.

    “Or we focus on what the federal govt’s role is as laid out by the Constitution. National defense is a clear priority. Free BC is not”

    As I pointed out yesterday, on a different thread, CT7 spews the same water carrying line about “birth control” regardless of the topic because someone has spoon fed him and made him believe that if you say something enough times, it will become true.

    Since we have enough “national defense” to theoretically take on the next 13 countries simultaneously, I’d like to think that we have enough change in the bank book to help pay for domestic health care needs, that we allowed a religious business to skip out on their employees. Other countries have done more for their people and are in better financial shape, or at least don’t sing the “woe is me” line every day.

    I don’t see where providing billions in subsidies for oil companies is more important that assisting women’s health care needs, but the United States does it, regardless.

  18. concernedtacoma7 says:

    13 countries? Nice try. With the recent cuts the DoD has stated we could not fight 2 prolonged ground wars at the same time.

    Stating our federal govt’s priorities is not a line, but a fact. You would like to focus on social issues and distractions, but that is not as important as national defense or our economy. In November we will see if the nation buys the deflection or votes for a stronger, free America that can defend itself and provide opportunity, not freebies paid for by the next generation.

  19. aislander says:

    That people have died defending our freedom and our future is a given. The rest of us need to make the much smaller sacrifice of forgoing government-provided freebies–none of which are actually free–so that our nation can survive…

  20. @ xring….”Obama, unlike you, obliviously knew…”

    Obliviously, or Obviously? Haaa!

    I know what you were trying to say, I just couldn’t let that slide!

  21. “The size of the military is too small to permit support of deployed combat forces, in terms of both numbers and duration, without multiple tours by individuals.”

    There’s a simple solution. Quit aggressively invading countries that don’t attack us, that have little or nothing to do with those who did attack us, and who, thanks to the UN sanctions, pose little or no threat to us – or even to their own neighbors.

  22. “keep in mind. at the time that ‘drunken cowboy started’ this whole mess, EVERYONE wanted him to.”

    yet again!
    His wars provoked the largest WORLD WIDE protests the planet has ever seen!
    It wasn’t that long ago, do you people really think you can rewrite history this way and get away with it?

  23. “keep in mind. at the time that ‘drunken cowboy started’ this whole mess, EVERYONE wanted him to.”

    Wrong yet again!
    His wars provoked the largest WORLD WIDE protests the planet has ever seen!
    It wasn’t that long ago, do you people really think you can rewrite history this way and get away with it?

  24. You might want to rethink that “kluwer”. Try again.

    INITIALLY, Bush had overwhelming support. THAT was his problem, he didnt act THEN. If you remember, Bush wasted away months after the 9-11 attack, planning and waiting, and trying to gain support he already had. When he finally did act, the public was bored with it and he fell on his face.

    Had Bush acted within a week after 9-11, settled the issue quickly and decisively, and returned the troops instead of occupying, trying to win the hearts and minds of a culture that will NEVER be, or accept a “western democracy” he would have been hailed as the greatest President in recent history.

    It was lousy timing on his part and he screwed the pooch.

    As far as “the largest WORLD WIDE protests the world as ever seen”. Well, you must be relatively young and naive. (most liberals are one or the other, or both.)

  25. With the recent cuts the DoD

    Interesting that “reduced budget growth” has been turned into budget cuts in some people’s minds.

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