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#1321037 --- 01/28/12 07:09 PM Priorities in the US
twocats Offline
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http://thinkprogress.org/security/2012/01/27/413482/conservatives-whine-pentagon-budget/

$950 BILLION in reductions puts our military spending at 2007 levels. THIS is what I mean when I say our priorities are out of whack.

Conservatives Whine That New Pentagon Budget Is ‘Too Small’
By Ali Gharib on Jan 27, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Rep. McKeon, Sen. McCain, and Romney adviser Boot
Republicans and their allies on the right reacted yesterday with expected indignation to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s announcement of a 2013 Pentagon budget and five-year plan that flattens previously proposed spending levels. In a statement, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said:
I am deeply concerned that the size and scope of these cuts would repeat the mistakes of history and leave our forces too small to respond effectively to events that may unfold over the next few years.
House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA) released a statement saying:
This move ignores a critical lesson in recent history: that while high technology and elite forces give America an edge, they cannot substitute for overwhelming ground forces when we are faced with unforeseen battlefields.
And Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s defense policy adviser Max Boot writes in the neoconservative magazine Commentary:
The fault in that line of thinking was displayed in Iraq and Afghanistan, where we quickly found out there was no substitute for a humble rifleman to impose our will on the enemy at bayonet point. Now the Obama administration is fooling itself into thinking we will never have to fight another major ground war again.
The notion that the Obama administration’s cuts to previously proposed budget numbers — which on average over the next two years actually increase the budget but, accounting for inflation, amounts to holding spending steady — are setting up a U.S. inability to fight a ground war or prepare for the next conflict doesn’t hold water. Even if the full amount of nearly $950 billion in reductions are enacted — if sequestered cuts are added to the ones outlined yesterday — the military budget would still be at 2007 levels, when the U.S. was fighting two ground wars.
Furthermore, McClatchy newspapers today notes that “planned reduction in ground forces by 2017 would still leave a larger military than before the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.” And Center for a New American Security fellow Andrew Exum points out that hardware is much harder to scale up than troop levels should a war arise: “[I]n the event of a major war, you can recruit and train new infantry battalions quicker than you can design and build ships.”
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#1321041 --- 01/28/12 07:16 PM Re: Priorities in the US [Re: twocats]
MeRightYouWrong Offline
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It sounds to me that some politicians are concerned about having enough troops on the ground because they know we'll be waging more wars, but Obama is thinking that we can used unmanned drones to do the killing but since the next war (if with Iran) will go nuclear, there is no need for the boots on the ground.

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#1321045 --- 01/28/12 07:21 PM Re: Priorities in the US [Re: MeRightYouWrong]
twocats Offline
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Says here:

Making good on Panetta’s commitment “not to hollow out the force,” McClatchy notes that the Pentagon’s “planned reduction in ground forces by 2017 would still leave a larger military than before the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Unfortunately, we have done nothing to roll back more than a decade of continuous growth in military spending, despite the end of the war in Iraq and the beginning of our drawdown in Afghanistan.

http://thinkprogress.org/security/2012/01/27/413122/pentagon-budget-flattening-long-way/
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#1321047 --- 01/28/12 07:24 PM Re: Priorities in the US [Re: twocats]
MeRightYouWrong Offline
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We will continue to wage endless wars until a central bank has been established in every nation and corporations have easy access to the world's resources and cheap labor.

On a positive note (sarcasm), the deaths of millions of people around the world will help to solve the unemployment crisis.

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#1321050 --- 01/28/12 07:31 PM Re: Priorities in the US [Re: MeRightYouWrong]
Ayuveda Offline
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Nuclear war? Corporatists better damn well nationalize health-care.


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#1321051 --- 01/28/12 07:31 PM Re: Priorities in the US [Re: MeRightYouWrong]
twocats Offline
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If one-tenth of that power was used for good...
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#1321097 --- 01/28/12 10:56 PM Re: Priorities in the US [Re: twocats]
Josephus Offline
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Our military budget is already larger than the next top 15 military budgets in the world combined. Think it's just a bit bloated?

The cost in the military budget isn't "humble riflemen", Mitt. It's technology.

Maybe if we stopped being the world's policeman, we wouldn't need such a large military force? Just a thought...
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#1321101 --- 01/28/12 11:07 PM Re: Priorities in the US [Re: Josephus]
Ayuveda Offline
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"Maybe if we stopped being the world's policeman, we wouldn't need such a large military force? Just a thought..."




I think Robert Wright would agree with you Josephus. I certainly do.


America's New Strategy: Endless War(s)
By Robert Wright

Jan 24 2012, 6:12 PM ET 44

Quick: How many countries was America at war with last year?

If you accept the old fashioned notion that to drop a bomb on a country is to be at war with it, the answer is, oh, half a dozen or so. As Peter W. Singer points out in a New York Times opinion piece, since the beginning of last year we've conducted drone strikes in six countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia... and... and... well, Singer doesn't list them, so I'm not sure what the sixth one is.

But that's kind of the point. We've moved into a time when the citizens of what is supposed to be a democracy have become removed from decisions about waging war. Not only does America not bother to actually declare war any more (something that hasn't happened since World War II); President Obama doesn't even bother to give us a heads up. You just wake up and read that we dropped some ordnance on Somalia and, if you're keeping a list, add Somalia to the list.

Singer's speciality is the roboticization of war--he wrote a book called "Wired for War"--and he attributes this new casualness of war to its risklessness: Since drone strikes don't put our sons and daughters in harm's way, Americans don't complain about them.

It's a good point, but I think it's only half the story. There's something else that makes presidents tempted to initiate hostilities promiscuously, and to me it's at least as alarming as the alluring roboticization of war.

One feature of many of these wars is that we're not attacking the state itself. We're attacking groups within the state. For example, in a drone strike in Somalia three days ago (didn't read about that one, did you?), we killed someone in al Qaeda. At other times we kill Somalians who are in al-Shabab.

These are groups that, on the one hand, don't have the capacity, as a state government might, to retaliate in an immediate and specific way. But that doesn't mean retaliation won't be forthcoming. Indeed, groups such as al-Shabab, whose political goals are essentially local, may now become more inclined to consider America the enemy and begin planning anti-American terrorist attacks, or trying to recruit home-grown terrorists in America.

The blowback could assume vaguer form, as well. When we kill Muslims abroad, it often winds up being fuel for al Qaeda recruiting--especially when, as will inevitably happen from time to time, bystanders or family members get killed in the process.

In either event--whether there is distinct retaliation or diffuse blowback--it takes awhile for these chickens to come home to roost. That's very different from classical acts of war, where the attack is on the state itself and tends to lead to immediate retaliation.

This time lapse changes a president's decision-making paradigm. When the downside of attack is delayed, attacking becomes more attractive. The president can launch strikes to impede terrorism in the short run and let the blowback show up on the next president's watch. (I'm not saying the calculation is always this consciously cynical, but the result can be the same even when it's not.)

So the good news, I guess, is that many of these things are acts of war in only a technical, legalistic sense, because they aren't actually attacks on other states. The bad news is that this makes them more attractive to a president and thus increases their number. And the worse news is that this, in turn, may in the long run actually increase the number of anti-American terrorists out there. Which in turns makes the drone strikes even more attractive to a president. And so on.
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#1321429 --- 01/30/12 04:30 PM Re: Priorities in the US [Re: Ayuveda]
Greymane Offline
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Twocats. You kill me. Crying for more government, but only the parts YOU want. Feed the monster and eventually it is going to turn on you, as well.
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#1321430 --- 01/30/12 04:33 PM Re: Priorities in the US [Re: Josephus]
Greymane Offline
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Originally Posted By: Josephus
Our military budget is already larger than the next top 15 military budgets in the world combined. Think it's just a bit bloated?

The cost in the military budget isn't "humble riflemen", Mitt. It's technology.

Maybe if we stopped being the world's policeman, we wouldn't need such a large military force? Just a thought...


So true, Jos. We hardly need such a leviathan to protect our own borders (of which, btw, we do a pitiful job).
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#1321536 --- 01/30/12 11:13 PM Re: Priorities in the US [Re: Greymane]
twocats Offline
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Yeah, silly me, thinking that education and health care should be a higher priority than world dominance. If we must pay taxes, the taxes should be used to enhance our society, not to destroy others.
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#1321543 --- 01/30/12 11:53 PM Re: Priorities in the US [Re: twocats]
Offline

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You want to cut our major export..why?

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#1321820 --- 02/01/12 01:56 AM Re: Priorities in the US [Re: twocats]
noseenaybers Offline
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Registered: 05/25/07
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Silly! There's no need to enhance our society if we destroy the others!

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#1322011 --- 02/01/12 10:21 PM Re: Priorities in the US [Re: noseenaybers]
twocats Offline
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Registered: 02/10/10
Posts: 11904
Loc: NYS
Yes! Duh!

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#1322322 --- 02/02/12 08:42 PM Re: Priorities in the US [Re: twocats]
cwjga Offline
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Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 12660
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Originally Posted By: twocats
Yeah, silly me, thinking that education and health care should be a higher priority than world dominance. If we must pay taxes, the taxes should be used to enhance our society, not to destroy others.


Agreed and my kids get the best education and health care that I can afford to give them. Not sure what that has to do with taxes?

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#1322334 --- 02/02/12 09:20 PM Re: Priorities in the US [Re: cwjga]
MeRightYouWrong Offline
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Originally Posted By: cwjga
Agreed and my kids get the best education and health care that I can afford to give them.


Didn't you just say in another thread that raising a teacher's salary will not give the kids a better education? Yet, you're paying as much as you can afford toward their education, to give them the best they can get? What is it, if not salaries, are your extra dollars paying for that makes their education better than if the teacher was kept at a minimal wage?

I'm just wondering how one moment you can be all about "money doesn't improve education" and the next moment you're "giving my kids the best education I can afford".

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#1322506 --- 02/03/12 12:20 PM Re: Priorities in the US [Re: MeRightYouWrong]
cwjga Offline
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Originally Posted By: MeRightYouWrong
Originally Posted By: cwjga
Agreed and my kids get the best education and health care that I can afford to give them.


Didn't you just say in another thread that raising a teacher's salary will not give the kids a better education? Yet, you're paying as much as you can afford toward their education, to give them the best they can get? What is it, if not salaries, are your extra dollars paying for that makes their education better than if the teacher was kept at a minimal wage?

I'm just wondering how one moment you can be all about "money doesn't improve education" and the next moment you're "giving my kids the best education I can afford".



I have never said that, I think it was twocats that posted a study that said that. I actually believe that we do not pay good and great teacher enough. The reason being that our public school system (unions) have created a system by which everyone is paid the same.

Point was that it has little or nothing to do with the taxes I pay. The day we depend on the government to do everything for :::: oops nevermind.

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#1322542 --- 02/03/12 03:28 PM Re: Priorities in the US [Re: twocats]
bluezone Offline
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Registered: 12/19/04
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Originally Posted By: twocats
Yeah, silly me, thinking that education and health care should be a higher priority than world dominance. If we must pay taxes, the taxes should be used to enhance our society, not to destroy others.


if you were in the military would your stance be different?
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#1322561 --- 02/03/12 03:59 PM Re: Priorities in the US [Re: bluezone]
DeadDave Offline
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Registered: 01/02/11
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Originally Posted By: bluezone
Originally Posted By: twocats
Yeah, silly me, thinking that education and health care should be a higher priority than world dominance. If we must pay taxes, the taxes should be used to enhance our society, not to destroy others.


if you were in the military would your stance be different?
It's all about her and her job and her not getting paid what she thinks she deserves.

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#1322571 --- 02/03/12 04:15 PM Re: Priorities in the US [Re: DeadDave]
bluezone Offline
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Registered: 12/19/04
Posts: 35208
Loc: USA
that what her posts revolve around
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