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MILITARY: Republicans are stronger supporters

Letter by Craig Chilton, Bonney Lake on April 5, 2012 at 4:57 pm with 25 Comments »
April 6, 2012 9:50 am

In 1992, after the first gulf war, President Bush downsized the Army to 525,000, the number of soldiers required to fight two wars simultaneously. In 1993, President Clinton decided to reduce the Army to around 475,000 to obtain a “peace dividend.”

After 9/11, the Army was woefully short of the manpower to fight the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Soldiers were faced with back-to-back combat tours with only a one-year break in between.

President Obama is leading us into that same scenario. His defense proposal cuts the Army and the Marines by around 100,000 troops. In my opinion, these large cuts are irresponsible even with his new defense plan.

Nothing is more important than our national security, and worldwide threats still exist. Yet the president thinks playing nice with our adversaries (like Russia) and making huge cuts in defense is a sound strategy for the future.

Obama is also proposing major changes to military retirement and health care benefits. He wants to align them more with the private sector. When was the last time someone in the private sector dodged bullets or IEDs on their way to work?

It is not surprising that Congressman Joe Wison, R-S.C., chairman of the House Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee, and other Republicans are opposing these large cuts and major changes to benefits. While I applaud Sen. Patty Murray’s work with Veterans Affairs, I would suggest all military members look at who has primarily supported them over the years and vote accordingly.

Leave a comment Comments → 25
  1. “You Lie!”

  2. I would wager any amount that Craig also whines about the debt and the budget deficit.
    Is every rightwinger/conservative a hypocrite?

  3. commoncents says:

    He’s just sourcing the military just like companies are doing to private sector jobs all over the place. It costs 130k for an active duty soldier but only 43k per year for a reservist. That’s some real cost savings. They’re just saving money…hey, it works for Walmart! But then again…do we want a Walmart quality military?

  4. Why should the US have to fight two wars at once?
    Because we would rather bully that talk.

    The only reason for Afganistan and Iraq were that Bush 2:

    Wantted the power taht comes with being a ‘war-time president';

    To enrich his ‘basee'(the haves, havemore, and big businesses); and

    To allow big International Oil Companies to take control of Iraq’s oil production and reserves.

  5. According to the planners, Obama’s plans would cut the Army from 562,000 now to 490,000 in 2017. Over the same five-year period, the active Marine Corps will decrease from its current level of 202,000 to 182,000. (No where near 100,000.)

    http://cnsnews.com/news/article/panetta-obamas-cuts-create-risks-military-s-capability-respond

    The Clinton Army still relied on military personnel to function as cooks, bottle washers, and other functions thata re done primarily by contract labor now.

    I think we do need to retain the same number in the military, but we must cut out the private contract labor for which we pay a high premium.

    However, if we keep the private contracts, we need to continue with the cuts in personnel. Having a large standing Army during times when there is no declared war invites trouble.

  6. Having a large standing Army during times when there is no declared war invites trouble.

    Interesting that so many “conservatives” tend to ignore the wisdom of the Founders on that accord.

  7. and….the so-called cuts in the military budget are nothing more than a reduction in the rate of expansion of the budget.

    Only in politico-speak is an increase in the budget called a cut.

  8. aislander says:

    And another rock has been flipped…

  9. And you crawled out.

  10. SandHills says:

    Chilton’s argument is like anyone opposed to any cuts to their particular sacred cow. That’s why school districts like to throw out threats to cut out athletic and music programs (rather than being hones about high cost of salaries to senior administrators), or city governments threatening cuts to police and fire departments fro the same reason.

    I would suspect if all the big ticket items in DoD (that go to the Boeings, Lockheeds, General Electric, etc) would be trimmed, then there would be no need to renege on promises made to retirees, or have to hand out pink slips to our warriors (like what has happened before following Desert Storm I in 1992-95).

    Sadly, it is easier to cut manpower in the DoD budget process – and with our current debt, it will happen (now we’ll have a lot of unemployed who know weapons and have PTSD out on the street).

    But those retired senor officers with monthly retirement checks of $5-7,000 even modest increases in there health coverage won’t be as bad as the lower ranks. The real question is once some promises made to our servicemembers are broken, when will all the promises of retirement pay and benefits be broken as well.

  11. I remember back in 1994 when the Republicans took over the congress and immediately tried to cut military and veterans benefits. So much for Republicans being stronger supporters of the military.

  12. Maybe that’s what Obama was whispering to Medvedev when he thought the mike was off. “I’ll have more flexability after I’m re -elected”. Scary thought.

  13. Beerboy, when the founders said that, I don’t believe our enemies had nuclear weopons did they?

  14. concernedtacoma7 says:

    And the threat of a large standing army was a coup. Apples and oranges.

  15. “when the founders said that, I don’t believe our enemies had nuclear weopons did they?”

    And a large standing army does what against nuclear weapons?
    A country won’t use the bomb because we piss away tons of money on a large standing army??
    Explain your statement if you can please.

  16. And the threat of a large standing army was a coup. Apples and oranges.

    What, exactly, do you think makes a coup in America not a threat?

  17. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Aside from this message board, have you heard any talk of a coup in your lifetime? We have the 2nd amendment, and a military comprising less then 1% of the popualtion

  18. concernedtacoma7 says:

    population

  19. We have the 2nd amendment, and a military comprising less then 1% of the popualtion

    You really think that some citizens with even some “assault-type” weapons would stand a chance a with the modern armaments of the American military? Yep….I’m gonna take down those drones with my Glock!

    Our society has become more and more militarized with the weakening of Posse Comitatus and Habeas Corpus and the 4th Amendment. It is delusional to think that a citizenship armed with handguns and rifles is a guarantee against a military coup.

  20. I feel that Israel has the right Idea if what I read was true that all citizens,after reaching a certain age,are required to serve a time in the army.That would mean that an army would be already trained to combat any threat to their country.But there would probably be many deferments to the elitists progeny,just like what happened in Americas previous conflicts.

  21. aislander says:

    I think it would depend on the purpose of the coup, beerBoy. After all, the military (as with all public officials, including congressmen and the President) are sworn to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.

    I could see how there could be a conflict if it was perceived that some were not upholding that oath.

    I purposely avoided using the subjunctive mood in the preceding sentence. YOU know why, don’t you, beer?

  22. I acknowledge that there are several in the executive, legislative and judicial branches during my lifetime who didn’t, to my estimation, uphold their oath…..

  23. concernedtacoma7 says:

    How are we more militarized? We, as a society, are softer than ever.

    You obviously have no faith in American people or their military. And as to the ability of the population to defend itself, I bet the Brits were thinking the same thing in a few centuries ago.

  24. ct7 – you say that our society is softer than ever yet deride me for having no faith in our people.

    The militarization of our society is evident by the various erosions to the protections of posse comitatus, habeas corpus, and the 4th Amendment. The militarization of municipal police forces made possible by federal funds from Homeland Security is also clear – some cities now own tanks!

    The military is only as good as their leaders. The US Constitution outlined the 3 branches of government as checks and balances to each other for a reason. The founders were wise about this – they were also wise to warn about the dangers of maintaining large standing armies.

    General George Washington warned about it. General Dwight D. Eisenhower repeated the warning with an update to acknowledge the damage the Cold War was doing to our society.

    “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance”
    “Nor is it conceived needful or safe that a standing army should be kept up in time of peace for [defense against invasion].”
    Thomas Jefferson

  25. sandblower says:

    It’s really simple. If you want more dead soldiers, vote for the new extreme right wing republicans. It’s the neocon way.

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