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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

mac

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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:



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.
You're not paying much attention to the fact that the military pay raises throughout the Clinton administration were consistently lower than civilian sector pay raises resulting in a larger gap that Bush administration attempted to narrow. (reference is CBO) President Obama's 1.4% percent pay raise will re open that gap. Further, reenlistment bonuses have been drastically reduced or eliminated this year and are expected to go down further next year.
 

Redress

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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.
SS and Medicare/medicaid are, I believe, considered nondiscressionary.
 

rathi

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We could dramatically reduce the budget while improving readiness if we could reform our grossly corrupt and inefficient procurement method. The f-22 raptor was built in 44 different states purely to give pork to every congresscritter so they would vote for it. There are only a tiny number of players who get every contract and cost overruns are the norm for every project. I'd say we need to force competition into the industry. Using off-the-shell commercial products or license built foreign designs will require the pricing be competitive with reality rather than simply the only game in town.
 

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You're not paying much attention to the fact that the military pay raises throughout the Clinton administration were consistently lower than civilian sector pay raises resulting in a larger gap that Bush administration attempted to narrow. (reference is CBO) President Obama's 1.4% percent pay raise will re open that gap. Further, reenlistment bonuses have been drastically reduced or eliminated this year and are expected to go down further next year.
If you want to make it a partisan thing, which you seem to do, you will notice that the gap started most noticeably under Bush the elder(when I served, and when it was not uncommon to have military people with families getting food stamps). Damn Clinton continuing to do things as the Republicans did. The bill which mandated pay raises above the ECI was from the Clinton era, and signed by...Clinton. Even when the bill expired, the democratic congress continued to give raises above what would have been mandated by the old bill, as they did this year.

A raise that is over the ECI, as the Obama proposed raise was, will lower the pay gap, not open it. Civilian pay went up very little in 2009, which is why the proposed pay raise for the military was small. Facts are good, and I supplied a linked source for mine.
 

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The DOD budget is readily available to all.
Then you should have no problem linking and quoting the relevant portions.
 

Aunt Spiker

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DOD 2010 fiscal budget . . . have at it

Defense.gov News Release: DoD Releases Fiscal 2010 Budget Proposal

http://www.defense.gov/news/2010 Budget Proposal.pdf

http://www.defense.gov/news/FY10 Budget Request.pdf

Fiscal Year 2011 DoD Budget Release

note- the fiscal year ends on September 31 and begins on October 1.
So - this year's 2011 budget is still under review. Being labeled 2011 - it won't go into effect until October 1 . . . and it will continue in effect until September 31, 2011.

So right now we're operating under the 2010 budge which began on October 1, 2009 - last year.
 
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mac

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Then you should have no problem linking and quoting the relevant portions.
No, I'm pretty happy letting you comment on things you are apparently too lazy to look up yourself.
 

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No, I'm pretty happy letting you comment on things you are apparently too lazy to look up yourself.
One of us has sourced their claims, and included charts and quotes to back up my points. One of us has not bothered. I wonder which of us is more credible based on that...
 

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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.
I assumed this thread was about reducing the manpower of the US armed forces.
Perhaps had the question been posed to strictly mean the manpower we might get a better response.
When anyone talks about the 'armed forces' of America, one must include the National Guard as well as the Coast guard as these too are also considered to be military.
If we factor all the other services into the equation then apart from China, the US must be one of the main Countries with the largest number of armed forces in the world.
Yes the number of Human's can and ideally should be trimmed, but if the US wants to continue to be a combative nation (as it seems to be with most GOP administrations) then the number of Humans within the armed forces needs to be increased, the reason why is because of the casualties that need to be replaced.
 

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Oh...my...god...


I assumed this thread was about reducing the manpower of the US armed forces.
Perhaps had the question been posed to strictly mean the manpower we might get a better response.
I like the open ended question, as it gives a chance for a number of diferent views to be discussed.

When anyone talks about the 'armed forces' of America, one must include the National Guard as well as the Coast guard as these too are also considered to be military.
If we factor all the other services into the equation then apart from China, the US must be one of the main Countries with the largest number of armed forces in the world.
According to wiki, we have the 8th largest number of military personell in the word, counting active and reserves. List of countries by number of troops - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Yes the number of Human's can and ideally should be trimmed, but if the US wants to continue to be a combative nation (as it seems to be with most GOP administrations) then the number of Humans within the armed forces needs to be increased, the reason why is because of the casualties that need to be replaced.
Obama is continuing to maintain a force in Iraq, has expanded the war in Afghanistan, and has potential troubles brewing in Iran and NK. It's not a republican/democrat or left/right thing. Further, the need to replace casualties in the US military is tiny compared to replacing the people leaving the service each year. Not to downplay the importance of the sacrifice of those casualties(I do volunteer work at the local VA hospital, trust me when I say it it important to me), but the number of casualties in comparison to the size of the military is small.
 

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

You know what I find amazing? Come on, I know you want to know what I think....With all our military is supporting, worldwide, our defense budget is 23% (according to this chart) of the national budget while social security is 20% of the national budget. That's pretty amazing to me.
 

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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.
Well this is interesting...Pentagon fears healthcare costs will erode readiness - The Boston Globe

Because of an aging population and skyrocketing medical fees, the annual cost of military healthcare has more than doubled from $19 billion to $39 billion since 2001, according to Defense Department data. That number is expected to climb to $64 billion by 2015, Pentagon officials estimate, consuming roughly 12 percent of the defense budget.
Looks like, since I took the time to look up your claim(something you should have done), I can document that...you are wrong, way wrong.
 

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The size of our military is not what costs so much money. It's the weapons and technology.
 

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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.
I believe this was Rumsfield strategy for our future military, and experimented in Iraq, not a very good idea but the strategy was correct for the future. Rumsfield screwed up by attempting this while on a war footing, he wanted to develop small and fast strike forces through quick and prestaged small naval strike forces. Rumsfield spoke about armed forces being able to deploy to hostile zones within days and not months and to do this it would requires a much smaller, better equipment and trained armed forces. Moving large armed forces currently takes months, the logistics to do so is massive and expensive. Currently our armed forces are deployed and maintained around the world at great cost to the U.S. Cold war strategy is IMO obsolete and costly. Now to do this currently is not a good idea, especially with the economic conditions around the world, terrorism, saber rattling from rogue nations etc.
 

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There's no way the U.S. can cut back on military spending right now, given how may campaigns it is involved in. I don't think the U.S. gov will ever voluntarily choose to cut back on military willingly. There would have to be severe economic crisis in order for it to be compelled to do so.

One of the more effective ways of shredding debt is to acquire more capital assets, and one way of doing that is through the expansion of military assets and the acquiring of foreign assets. The U.S. bases all around the world either support diplomatic or security ties which in turn increase economic partnerships, or they are involved in campaigns which will bring resources to the U.S., such as oil. As long as the military is involved in activities that increase assets, their function is helping the U.S. and not hindering it.

The main concern is whether or not those assets are going into public or private hands. If the latter, then the military is just distributing risk to the public coffers while privatizing the gains. That would be typical of the neo-con agenda that is on the increase in the western world.
 

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There's no way the U.S. can cut back on military spending right now, given how may campaigns it is involved in. I don't think the U.S. gov will ever voluntarily choose to cut back on military willingly. There would have to be severe economic crisis in order for it to be compelled to do so.
i could not disagree more
what further economic crisis is requried to recognize that during the last regime our nation went from being the world's greatest creditor nation to become the world's foremost debtor nation
we are eating our seed corn
as for the extant military engagements, please identify the objective we must attain in afghanistan before we will be able to declare victory and withdraw our troops ... you will be the rare individual if you are able to identify the purpose of our presence in that nation

One of the more effective ways of shredding debt is to acquire more capital assets, ...
that makes no fiscal sense. yes, the balance sheet would be improved, but there is no resulting diminishment of liabilities

... and one way of doing that is through the expansion of military assets and the acquiring of foreign assets.
by acquiring foreign assets, you man taking them thru military force, don't you. that should not be upsetting to the international community [/sarcasm]

The U.S. bases all around the world either support diplomatic or security ties which in turn increase economic partnerships, ...
we have those numerous military installations in other countries. the purpose isonly to project power. but if you disagree, let's use okinawa as an example. how is our economic wellbeing furthered by the US military presence on that island?

... or they are involved in campaigns which will bring resources to the U.S., such as oil.
why can our nation not acquire those resources, such as oil by buying them on the open market instead of acquiring them by virtue of our military presence?

As long as the military is involved in activities that increase assets, their function is helping the U.S. and not hindering it.
this pirate plunder philosophy you advocate, the taking by force the resources of others, certainly does have a negative, chilling effect, on our foreign relationships

The main concern is whether or not those assets are going into public or private hands. If the latter, then the military is just distributing risk to the public coffers while privatizing the gains. That would be typical of the neo-con agenda that is on the increase in the western world.
our nation is engaging in the same folly of the romans
we have stretched our military presence beyond the bounds which our national economy can afford
 

Orion

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i could not disagree more
what further economic crisis is requried to recognize that during the last regime our nation went from being the world's greatest creditor nation to become the world's foremost debtor nation
we are eating our seed corn
as for the extant military engagements, please identify the objective we must attain in afghanistan before we will be able to declare victory and withdraw our troops ... you will be the rare individual if you are able to identify the purpose of our presence in that nation


that makes no fiscal sense. yes, the balance sheet would be improved, but there is no resulting diminishment of liabilities


by acquiring foreign assets, you man taking them thru military force, don't you. that should not be upsetting to the international community [/sarcasm]


we have those numerous military installations in other countries. the purpose isonly to project power. but if you disagree, let's use okinawa as an example. how is our economic wellbeing furthered by the US military presence on that island?


why can our nation not acquire those resources, such as oil by buying them on the open market instead of acquiring them by virtue of our military presence?


this pirate plunder philosophy you advocate, the taking by force the resources of others, certainly does have a negative, chilling effect, on our foreign relationships


our nation is engaging in the same folly of the romans
we have stretched our military presence beyond the bounds which our national economy can afford
I think you're confusing my personal position with my analysis of the situation. I don't necessarily advocate the things I said, but as a realist, you have to look at the way things operate with a hawk eye. As the U.S. is a rational state actor wanting to preserve itself out of self-interest, I am simply giving some suggestions for what it would reaistically have to do to stay afloat in the current climate.
 

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I think people also have to realize Technology trumps man power...We could make do in the campaigns we are involved in with many less troops.

The Chinese military dwarfs Japans but you won't find anybody picking China to win if they were to wage war.
 

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I think people also have to realize Technology trumps man power...We could make do in the campaigns we are involved in with many less troops.

The Chinese military dwarfs Japans but you won't find anybody picking China to win if they were to wage war.
This is only true to an extent.
 

BCR

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Think of the good we would do if we were to cut spending in half and use that money saved to feed the hungry and supply medicine to the sick all over the world, surely that would do much more good than occupying and liberating middle eastern countries who want nothing to do with us.
 

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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.
I think we can safetly trim where our military is deployed. I don't think we need the military bases around the world or to be involved in wars which have little to nothing to do with our national sovereignty. As for the military itself, I like it. The military pushes a lot of research, including base scientific research; which is always good. And a strong military is essential and benefitial, so I'd keep it around in all its glory. I just wouldn't run around the globe using it. Less the sovereignty of America was directly attacked, and then there would be none of this 'building democracy" or whatever other nation building policy we've taken. You go it, you break their ****, you make them surrender, you go home.
 

justabubba

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I think people also have to realize Technology trumps man power...We could make do in the campaigns we are involved in with many less troops.

The Chinese military dwarfs Japans but you won't find anybody picking China to win if they were to wage war.
no competition
the JDF would lose
 

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Think of the good we would do if we were to cut spending in half and use that money saved to feed the hungry and supply medicine to the sick all over the world, surely that would do much more good than occupying and liberating middle eastern countries who want nothing to do with us.
It does not work like this. The economic impact of cutting the military budget in half would be immense.
 

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I think we can safetly trim where our military is deployed. I don't think we need the military bases around the world or to be involved in wars which have little to nothing to do with our national sovereignty. As for the military itself, I like it. The military pushes a lot of research, including base scientific research; which is always good. And a strong military is essential and benefitial, so I'd keep it around in all its glory. I just wouldn't run around the globe using it. Less the sovereignty of America was directly attacked, and then there would be none of this 'building democracy" or whatever other nation building policy we've taken. You go it, you break their ****, you make them surrender, you go home.
Yeah but the U.S. needs external resources to survive at this point. Even water is becoming an issue. What can't be acquired diplomatically has to be taken by force for survival. The military is going to become a mercenary force before long.
 
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