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Should we trim down our Military????

Should we decrease the size of the U.S. armed forces

  • Yes, by a substantial amount

    Votes: 16 40.0%
  • Yes, but only a small amount

    Votes: 8 20.0%
  • No

    Votes: 10 25.0%
  • We should increase the size of our armed forces.

    Votes: 6 15.0%

  • Total voters
    40

BCR

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I've included several options..I think we can easily trim the armed forces in half and still be "safe". Our only threats are at least an ocean away and are not necessarily prominent or technologically advanced.
 

obvious Child

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I'm not sure what you mean by substantial. Could we severely cut down our nuclear arsenal and required staff? Absolutely. Could we further the reduction in the Air Force? Absolutely. Ambiguous comments applied to the whole military are not really helpful. Certain parts need to increase and some to decrease. But the military as a whole is too large of a beast to tackle with broad strokes.
 

Manc Skipper

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When your military spending is more than that of the next ten countries, and you are broke, then broad strokes are necessary. Tinkering around the edges isn't going to cut it. (did you see what I did then?)
 

obvious Child

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When your military spending is more than that of the next ten countries, and you are broke, then broad strokes are necessary. Tinkering around the edges isn't going to cut it. (did you see what I did then?)

I don't see how deep reductions to our nuclear arsenal are "tinkering around the edges." Furthermore, cutting staff from one of the branches in large numbers isn't really on the edges. Edges would be kind of like not buying that additional missile frigate, or buying 20 less tanks.
 

BCR

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you hear politicians speak of ways to cut cost but I don't see cutting the military thrown around a lot, maybe it is and I just don't know it because I don't watch the news. I think its obvious we overspend in the defense department. We have sent a couple trillion dollars down the tube on a completely phony and pointless war. It seems as if the U.S. always needs to be at war with something.
 

Redress

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WE can cut some spending from the military, but reducing the force size while we are involved in as much as we are, with other potential hotspots(Iran, NK, etc) is a bad idea.
 

Ockham

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WE can cut some spending from the military, but reducing the force size while we are involved in as much as we are, with other potential hotspots(Iran, NK, etc) is a bad idea.

Yet there are probably excesses and waste that can be trimmed - it may be minor relative to other areas of cuts, but they should be explored and identified. Given our current economic state, I would agree with you that force size and even some R&D manufacture should be deemed necessary and overall should not be cut. Until the world becomes a safer place, I cannot see a day we could close most of the foreign bases and take a more geocentric defensive stance. We need the rest of the world to step up to the responsibility of holding other country's accountable and responsible and that hasn't happened since WWII.
 

FilmFestGuy

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Yet there are probably excesses and waste that can be trimmed - it may be minor relative to other areas of cuts, but they should be explored and identified. Given our current economic state, I would agree with you that force size and even some R&D manufacture should be deemed necessary and overall should not be cut. Until the world becomes a safer place, I cannot see a day we could close most of the foreign bases and take a more geocentric defensive stance. We need the rest of the world to step up to the responsibility of holding other country's accountable and responsible and that hasn't happened since WWII.

The Department of Defense, whose necessity is quite obvious, is sadly one of our most inefficient and wasteful departments. Gates is making efforts to elminate programs that are dated and to stop Congress from ordering weapons we don't need simply to bring jobs back to their districts.

This is a good first step. Accounting for the lost Billions that have gone unaccounted for in Iraq and Afghanistan would be another.
 

earthworm

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No vote.
Is there anyone here with the knowledge to make an intelligent selection?
Its a changing world, this is news to some, who are still in the previous centuries.
The question is, or should be, should we help these middle east "nations"??
I do not recall any nation asking for our help, recently.
 

mac

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you hear politicians speak of ways to cut cost but I don't see cutting the military thrown around a lot, maybe it is and I just don't know it because I don't watch the news. I think its obvious we overspend in the defense department. We have sent a couple trillion dollars down the tube on a completely phony and pointless war. It seems as if the U.S. always needs to be at war with something.

You do realize that two thirds of the Defense budget is eaten up by healthcare, right? Our military is currently undermanned for the requirements it's under and due to this the amount of time any individual service member is deployed away from home has increased 200-300% since 9/11. The average deployment has changed from 6 months to a year, and now service members on the "home cycle" are often deployed individually from their own units to augment deployed units? But, you know that right? Compensation such has reenlistment bonus have been cut drastically across the board and this year we received the lowest cost of living increase ever. You already knew that, right?
 

justabubba

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You do realize that two thirds of the Defense budget is eaten up by healthcare, right? Our military is currently undermanned for the requirements it's under and due to this the amount of time any individual service member is deployed away from home has increased 200-300% since 9/11. The average deployment has changed from 6 months to a year, and now service members on the "home cycle" are often deployed individually from their own units to augment deployed units? But, you know that right? Compensation such has reenlistment bonus have been cut drastically across the board and this year we received the lowest cost of living increase ever. You already knew that, right?

i call BS on those two bogus points made above ... that 2/3 of the DoD budget is consumed as healthcare expense and that this years cost of living was the lowest EVER

but prove me wrong and offer evidence to support those false assertions
 

Redress

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Yet there are probably excesses and waste that can be trimmed - it may be minor relative to other areas of cuts, but they should be explored and identified. Given our current economic state, I would agree with you that force size and even some R&D manufacture should be deemed necessary and overall should not be cut. Until the world becomes a safer place, I cannot see a day we could close most of the foreign bases and take a more geocentric defensive stance. We need the rest of the world to step up to the responsibility of holding other country's accountable and responsible and that hasn't happened since WWII.

I absolutely agree that excesses and waste can be trimmed. When I served it was sad that we could get better quality tools to work at home than we could to work on 18 mil dollar aircraft, and at 1/4 the price. I also point to my favorite example of the base closure commissions that Bush the elder started and Clinton continued, that identified bases that could be closed without hampering readiness. The base I was stationed at, NAS Cecil Fields was one of those targeted and closed. The squadrons where moved to NAS Oceana among others, where there was room for them, and a 2500 acre facility was closed, which was rather expensive to run. The base closures actually made the military more "ready", while eliminating considerable cost.
 

Aunt Spiker

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I've included several options..I think we can easily trim the armed forces in half and still be "safe". Our only threats are at least an ocean away and are not necessarily prominent or technologically advanced.

They have been - only not quite what you might be thinking (you're thinking personnel). . . as was already mentioned - nuclear departments and things of that like have been slowly reduced.

But also overall military installations opened and operated have been closed.
Base Realignment and Closure, 2005 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

Goshin

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I agree some trimmage of some of the excesses could be a good thing, BUT....


I think we need to cut social spending in half before we touch the military budget. It's the social spending that is killing our budget and bankrupting us. A third of our budget is DEBT... and one way or another the bulk of that budget is social spending. (ie wealth redistribution)
 

Redress

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I agree some trimmage of some of the excesses could be a good thing, BUT....


I think we need to cut social spending in half before we touch the military budget. It's the social spending that is killing our budget and bankrupting us. A third of our budget is DEBT... and one way or another the bulk of that budget is social spending. (ie wealth redistribution)

Goshin, it is spending, period. The military budget is a huge portion of our spending, and in some ways it is among the easiest to cut. Social Security and Medicare are the biggest portion of social spending(and do need reformed), but realistically, they are incredibly hard to cut. If we want to be serious about debt reduction, the military has to be one of the first things looked at.
 

mac

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And, keep in mind that the DoD budget is less then 4% of GDP.
 

digsbe

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I think we should increase the size and power of our military. However, we can cut out a lot of the waste and drop programs and research that just aren't feasible. We need a strong military, especially with how the world is now.
 

mac

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i call BS on those two bogus points made above ... that 2/3 of the DoD budget is consumed as healthcare expense and that this years cost of living was the lowest EVER

but prove me wrong and offer evidence to support those false assertions

About 50 Billion is directly identifiable as healthcare expense, 117 billion to morale and welfare which are indirectly healthcare programs. Neither of these address salary and training of military healthcare professionals which comes from a different budget as well as maintenance and operation of military hospitals, which comes from facilities budgets. Further hospital ship and field hospitals come from expeditionary budgets. I'm not going to do all this math for you, because it's just a waste of time, suffice it to say a few Google searches will get you the info you need. As far as the pay raise, President Obama proposes a 1.4% pay raise for fy2011. It won't be to hard for you to figure out how that holds up to past military pay raises. you might also want to look into the military to civilian pay gap....see what that tells ya. That's about as much as I'm going to give you as "evidence to support my false assertions." I am a little amused that you paid ZERO attention to the personnel toll our troops are experiencing, and jumped on the budget claims without actually looking into it.
 

mac

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Goshin, it is spending, period. The military budget is a huge portion of our spending, and in some ways it is among the easiest to cut. Social Security and Medicare are the biggest portion of social spending(and do need reformed), but realistically, they are incredibly hard to cut. If we want to be serious about debt reduction, the military has to be one of the first things looked at.

It's less then 4% of GDP....just sayin....
 

Redress

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It's less then 4% of GDP....just sayin....

Apples, and oranges. Defense spending is 23 % of the Federal budget, and far and away the largest discretionary spending item.

U.S._Federal_Spending_-_FY_2007.png
 

justabubba

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About 50 Billion is directly identifiable as healthcare expense, 117 billion to morale and welfare which are indirectly healthcare programs. Neither of these address salary and training of military healthcare professionals which comes from a different budget as well as maintenance and operation of military hospitals, which comes from facilities budgets. Further hospital ship and field hospitals come from expeditionary budgets. I'm not going to do all this math for you, because it's just a waste of time, suffice it to say a few Google searches will get you the info you need. As far as the pay raise, President Obama proposes a 1.4% pay raise for fy2011. It won't be to hard for you to figure out how that holds up to past military pay raises. you might also want to look into the military to civilian pay gap....see what that tells ya. That's about as much as I'm going to give you as "evidence to support my false assertions." I am a little amused that you paid ZERO attention to
the personnel toll our troops are experiencing, and jumped on the budget claims without actually looking into it.
what i have focused on is misrepresentation in your previous post and your inability to provide documentation of those false assertions despite your insistence above that such verification is but a few mouse clicks away
i continue to call BS on your patently false points
 

mac

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what i have focused on is misrepresentation in your previous post and your inability to provide documentation of those false assertions despite your insistence above that such verification is but a few mouse clicks away
i continue to call BS on your patently false points

Well, you know what they say...ignorance is bliss.
 

Redress

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About 50 Billion is directly identifiable as healthcare expense, 117 billion to morale and welfare which are indirectly healthcare programs. Neither of these address salary and training of military healthcare professionals which comes from a different budget as well as maintenance and operation of military hospitals, which comes from facilities budgets. Further hospital ship and field hospitals come from expeditionary budgets. I'm not going to do all this math for you, because it's just a waste of time, suffice it to say a few Google searches will get you the info you need. As far as the pay raise, President Obama proposes a 1.4% pay raise for fy2011. It won't be to hard for you to figure out how that holds up to past military pay raises. you might also want to look into the military to civilian pay gap....see what that tells ya. That's about as much as I'm going to give you as "evidence to support my false assertions." I am a little amused that you paid ZERO attention to the personnel toll our troops are experiencing, and jumped on the budget claims without actually looking into it.

There are reasons why it is important to document claims. It is also important to understand some perspective. Let's look at an actual source on your claim about the "civilian pay gap" and the proposed military pay raise: MOAA: Military Officers Association of AmericaMilitary Pay Raise Gap

First thing to note is this:

In 1999, Congress acted to set military pay raises at ECI plus .5% each year for the period 2000 to 2006. Congress subsequently authorized higher pay raises in 2000, 2001, and 2002, including extra "targeted" increases for members with specific grade and longevity combinations (mostly mid-grade and career NCOs and officers).

In 2007 through 2010, Congress continued to provide raises in excess of the ECI in the interest of continuing to close the gap. For 2010, Congress called for a 3.4% raise -- .5% higher than the Administration's ECI-based budget request.

ECI = Employment Cost Index, which is basically measuring the gap between military and civilian jobs.

Obama's proposed pay increase was based on the ECI. Why was the proposed pay increase so small? Because civilian pay did not go up much. Now, let's look at the whole picture over the course of time. The highest comparability gap was in 1998 and 1999, when it was 13.5 %. Today, it is 2.4 %. Last year it was 2.9 %, which is the level that Obama's proposed military pay raise would have reduced only trivially(remember, ECI + .5 %). In other words, with military pay very close to civilian pay, and civilian pay not going up much, and people making a big deal out of spending, Obama proposed giving a raise slightly higher than civilian pay went up.
 

Redress

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Well, you know what they say...ignorance is bliss.

You know what else they say: irony is amusing.

Document your claims. They seem false.
 

Goshin

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Apples, and oranges. Defense spending is 23 % of the Federal budget, and far and away the largest discretionary spending item.

U.S._Federal_Spending_-_FY_2007.png

Where is welfare and other social spending besides SS/Medicare? Under "other mandatory" and "other discretionary"?

Social spending of various sorts, and miscellanous pork and BS, are probably around double the military budget.
 
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