View Poll Results: Should the US reduce its global military presence?

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  • Yes, drastically

    64 68.09%
  • Yes, just slightly

    12 12.77%
  • I don't know

    4 4.26%
  • No, the current situation is fine

    2 2.13%
  • No, even more troops should be deployed overseas

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Thread: Should the US reduce its global military presence?

  1. #71
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    Re: Should the US reduce its global military presence?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    The reason for the cutbacks is pretty obvious in the maps. East Germany? Now, it's just Germany.

    And, as for the remaining troops, what are they accomplishing in post cold war Germany?
    All those bases were not there just because of East Germany. I would assume you would know that though. USSR was a major threat at one time. My general point was, there have already been huge cut backs in troops and bases there since the end of the Cold War, since that didn't seem to be thought about in the original post on this thread. The remaining bases are part of a global network of bases that have been critical for overseas contingency operations (formally known as the Global War On Terror). Amongst other things, just one small example--not very many aircraft fly directly from the United States to places in South West Asia. Even though multiple air refuelings would get them there, that is more of the exception than the rule.

    On a side note, I remember visiting West Berlin many years ago. I took a train there with my girlfriend before I joined the USAF. Found out the hard way a Euro-rail pass doesn't cover East Germany on the way to W. Berlin. Good times though.

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    Re: Should the US reduce its global military presence?

    Quote Originally Posted by Voltaire X View Post
    PLEASE READ BEFORE VOTING

    Right now the US military has:

    90,000+ troops in Afghanistan
    50,000+ troops in Germany
    35,000+ troops in Japan
    28,000+ troops in South Korea
    15,000+ troops in Kuwait
    10,000+ troops in Italy
    9,000+ troops in the UK
    etc.

    These troops are deployed for a variety of reasons. Most of these countries are in strategic locations (West Germany was our frontline against the Soviets), but the Cold War is long over. I think our deployments are quite excessive. In fact, I think that at least 90% of these soldiers should be brought home. I'm curious what other users think about this.
    The US economy is completely dependent upon the Global supply chain and a liberalized economic world order. That world order and supply chain is in turn dependent upon the security guarantee of the United States Armed Forces, in particular the US Navy.

    SO. The real question of this poll is: Is it worth the savings of drastically reducing our overseas presence if the result is an economic collapse that makes what we've experienced over the last 4 years look like a distant golden age?

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    Re: Should the US reduce its global military presence?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    The US economy is completely dependent upon the Global supply chain and a liberalized economic world order. That world order and supply chain is in turn dependent upon the security guarantee of the United States Armed Forces, in particular the US Navy.

    SO. The real question of this poll is: Is it worth the savings of drastically reducing our overseas presence if the result is an economic collapse that makes what we've experienced over the last 4 years look like a distant golden age?
    That is almost a total fallacy. The "supply chain" that brings in endless consumer goods and energy that is for the most part wasted are one of the things that has destroyed the US economy, not sustains it.

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    Re: Should the US reduce its global military presence?

    Quote Originally Posted by cannuck View Post
    That is almost a total fallacy. The "supply chain" that brings in endless consumer goods and energy that is for the most part wasted are one of the things that has destroyed the US economy, not sustains it.


    There you go, folks. Your phones, clothes, computers, and gasoline? You don't need them.

    Yeesh, another mercantilist fool. Didn't we shove this ill-gotten philosophy off, like, a century and a half a go?

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    Re: Should the US reduce its global military presence?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    The US economy is completely dependent upon the Global supply chain and a liberalized economic world order. That world order and supply chain is in turn dependent upon the security guarantee of the United States Armed Forces, in particular the US Navy.

    SO. The real question of this poll is: Is it worth the savings of drastically reducing our overseas presence if the result is an economic collapse that makes what we've experienced over the last 4 years look like a distant golden age?
    There are 300 million people in the US. That in itself is as good as a world economy. We only benefit from foreign trade if we are exporting surpluses we don't need at home. If we have to sacrifice in other areas to allow that trade, then we should quit producing surpluses and use the land and workers for things we need at home. Besides, all this "economic necessity" is just a lie to export jobs and make huge profits for a small group of Americans. It is not even necessary for them unless they have a neurotic need to fill their emptiness with more and more money, the bottomless pit inside hollow greedhead zombies.
    On the outside, trickling down on the insiders.
    We won't live free until the 1% live in fear.
    Hey, richboys! Imagine the boot of democracy stomping on your faces, forever.

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    Re: Should the US reduce its global military presence?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    The US economy is completely dependent upon the Global supply chain and a liberalized economic world order. That world order and supply chain is in turn dependent upon the security guarantee of the United States Armed Forces, in particular the US Navy.

    SO. The real question of this poll is: Is it worth the savings of drastically reducing our overseas presence if the result is an economic collapse that makes what we've experienced over the last 4 years look like a distant golden age?
    This is totally false. The world would be fine without us. Sorry, but it's true. Free trade is great for us, I agree with you there, but we don't need to have a global military force in order to keep it.

    The statement that the world/economy/whatever would collapse without us is what those who stand to gain from the military-industrial complex want us to believe. It's just plain false. Sorry Lockheed Martin.




    Quote Originally Posted by PrometheusBound View Post
    There are 300 million people in the US. That in itself is as good as a world economy. We only benefit from foreign trade if we are exporting surpluses we don't need at home. If we have to sacrifice in other areas to allow that trade, then we should quit producing surpluses and use the land and workers for things we need at home. Besides, all this "economic necessity" is just a lie to export jobs and make huge profits for a small group of Americans. It is not even necessary for them unless they have a neurotic need to fill their emptiness with more and more money, the bottomless pit inside hollow greedhead zombies.

    Okay, this is bull**** as well. International trade is a huge benefit for the average US consumer. Why? Because of something called comparative advantages. If you ever take a semester course on intro level economics, you'll definitely cover comparative advantage. It's better if we import certain goods, because if we made them ourselves we'd be using resources that we could otherwise put to better use. If we didn't trade with other countries the way we do now, many goods would cost a lot more. People wouldn't be able to afford to buy as much stuff. And that's what we all want, right? To buy more stuff? For most people (90%+) the answer is yes.
    Last edited by Voltaire X; 09-12-12 at 06:19 PM.

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    Re: Should the US reduce its global military presence?

    Quote Originally Posted by PrometheusBound View Post
    There are 300 million people in the US. That in itself is as good as a world economy.
    If that were the case then we would be taking advantage of our shorter and interior lines of communication in order to live wealthier lives.

    We only benefit from foreign trade if we are exporting surpluses we don't need at home.
    that is true in a way that you don't mean it, and false in the way that you do.

    If we have to sacrifice in other areas to allow that trade, then we should quit producing surpluses and use the land and workers for things we need at home. Besides, all this "economic necessity" is just a lie to export jobs and make huge profits for a small group of Americans.
    no, trade is good for Americans across all income spectrums, especially the poor.

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    Re: Should the US reduce its global military presence?

    Quote Originally Posted by Voltaire X View Post
    This is totally false. The world would be fine without us. Sorry, but it's true. Free trade is great for us, I agree with you there, but we don't need to have a global military force in order to keep it.
    Yeah, I've seen that claim before. I will copy/paste my reply to someone who earlier complained about our presence in the middle east in those terms, because I don't have the time to write it all out again


    1. the Middle East remains a strategic center of gravity in the world for two major reasons: the oil and the canal, and huge chunks of the world economy are dependent on both of those. instability in the region threatens those two facets, thus threatening the world (and our) economy.

    2. the Middle East is inherently unstable, as demonstrated by nothing better than recent events. Tyrannical governments keep their populace in line with the stick of the mukhaberat and the carrot of the welfare state based on revenues generated from nationalized resources (read: oil and the Suez). But that rentier state carrot is intensely vulnerable to falling revenues and - as the Iranian Shah and Mubarak learned to their chagrin - can rapidly inspire revolution followed by replacement by radical (and themselves inherently destabilizing) elements. Internally, the Middle East is a bubbling cauldron, and the resources upon which much of the worlds' economy is based right there in the middle.

    Internationally, among the Sunnis, Egypt and Saudi Arabia both consider themselves the natural leaders, and have already proven willing in Yemen to shoot at each other over that disagreement. The Iraqi's also consider themselves the natural leader of the Arab world, but lately they haven't been a serious contender. The Saudis are currently attempting to take control over the region through the exportation of Wahabism, which is itself inherently destabilizing, as it preaches the overthrow of the National-Socialist model governments left over from the 60's and 70's in Egypt (check) and Pakistan, (as well, obviously, as the democracy - as much as it exists - in Lebanon and in Israel) followed by the violent unification of the region under a single banner, followed by an invasion of the rest of the world. They aren't kidding about that part, and we are idiots if we fail to take them at their word, especially as they seem to have just succeeded in part A of step 1, the removal of the Mubarak regime.

    The Iranians are the largest terror-exporting nation in the world, and they are very, very good at it. The IRGC, and in particular the Quds forces, have fostered the growth of Hezbollah (the real deadliest terrorist network in the world - Al Quada was their student, not the other way around), Hamas, and even (through proxies) Al Quada. They are currently waging a campaign to destroy the Lebanese government, and are strengthening ties with Syria and Turkey in an attempt to build a base with which to challenge the US and Saudi Arabia for dominance of the region, part of that struggle (they assume) including the destruction of Israel. The leadership of that nation Really Believes that the 13th Imam is coming soon, and that they must kick off international Jihad in order for him to arrive and bring about the End Times - and again, we are fools if we fail to take them at their word on that.

    3. the region, thus, needs an overpowering, hegemon if it is to remain stable enough to ensure the non-collapse of the world economy. Someone has to impose order and keep these nutjobs from destroying the ability of the world to access the oil and the suez. There is only one nation currently on the planet with the capacity to perform this task: the US. The US Fifth Fleet, currently headuquartered in Bahrain, is the major (and perhaps only realistic) force for stability in that region, contending with numerous, powerful forces for instability.

    4. Withdrawal or severe downdrawl of US Forces would create a power vacuum and kick off fights within the sunni community and between Iran and Saudi Arabia for regional dominance. Shiite Iran is seeking to get nukes. Syria has had a nuclear facility already destroyed by the Israelis. Sunni Pakistan (see: Wahhabi plans for governments, the overthrow and replacement of) already has them. In the face of a US Withdrawal, Saudi Arabia certainly would start developing her own.

    Imagine a Mexican standoff, except that 3 of the 4 players are A) paranoid schizophrenics facing opponents they violently hate, B) convinced that death will be a net benefit for them, C) convinced that their souls are in peril if they don't shoot, and D) potentially armed with nukes (the 4th Player is the unfortunately-located Israel). I think everyone here can agree that that is not a "stable" situation, particularly when you add in E) these countries are not internally stable, but may feel forced into an external war in order to solidify internal support and F) at least two of the players (Iran and Saudi Arabia) are held hostage by their own extremists, who feel free to act without permission, are nearly impossible to stop, and are most desirous of the conflict. And I feel that A) deserves rementioning.

    FUN FACTS WORTH NOTING: China (also nuclear) is rapidly becoming a good, good friend of Iran, and is semi-distancing itself from Pakistan (whom it largely views as a foil against India). China is also heavily invested in East Africa. It is possible that China would seek to intervene in the region to tilt the balance in Iran's favor as the US did in Saudi Arabia's. If that happens, then the newly Taliban (and nuclear!) Pakistan - which is deeply paranoid, xenophobic, and a wierd mixture of Wahhabist and neo-Deobandi - becomes an ally of Saudi Arabia, and our players are all now holding two pistols even as their inner demons scream at them to shoot first. BEST CASE SCENARIO here is that China is able to stabilize (kinda) the region, and merely takes all the oil for itself - only partially collapsing the world economy. but that's the "best" case, not the "most likely" one. it's not even really a "sorta likely" or a "semi likely" one.

    5. The West is dying. Literally - our creation of an entitlement culture and our devotion to materialism have left us with birthrates below replacement level. In both Europe and America the solution has been mass immigration - but both have had issues with assimilation. America here is comparatively lucky, her immigrants share many of her cultural assumptions. But Europe is not - the West in Europe is being replaced by a high-birthrate Islamic culture which does not accept the Enlightenment. As the immigrant populations threaten to break the local safety nets and culture, the backlash they provoke isn't what we would recognize as classic liberalism, but rather classic fascism. Nationalist groups are springing up all over Europe, though they are doomed by their own inability to breed to dying out after sparking conflict. All those aspects of the West that we consider dear; the rights of the individaul, limited, secular government, free markets... they are doomed to wither and die as the culture that upholds them does.



    The situation at current cannot sustain indefinitely - eventually the destabilizing elements that are currently inherent in the Middle East will win, and the price of loss is not just a world wide economic collapse, but the slide, decline, and perhaps fall of the West. The long-term solution is therefore to change the rules of the game. The destabilizing elements in the Middle East must be replaced with stabilizing ones. Tyrannies must (carefully) be replaced with representative governments that give public pressure an outlet other than violent overthrow. Rentier societies that encourage stagnation, revolution, and hostility abroad must be replaced with market economies that encourage trade, growth, and a politically active middle class with a vested interest in stability. Radical Islam must be replaced with a new ideology that allows Muslims to recoup their pride and independence without striking at others. In short, we need to allow the Enlightenment to do to Islam what it has done to Christianity.

    Even with our presence, US pursual of that strategy (again, as we see today) is not guaranteed, and even with US pursual of that strategy, sucess is not any kind of certain.... but if the US withdraws before these things are accomplished (or, at least, accomplished enough to become self-feeding cycles), then the game is up. the match is struck. Europe falls, China moves to become hegemon, nukes possibly fly, and back to the Dark Ages we go, but this time with much, much better weapons with which to massacre each other in the name of God.

    THAT's why i would suggest that "oh well let's just leave and let em fight it out amongst themselves" is a bad idea.





    In the short run, a world without a global US presence is merely one in which Iran, India, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt all compete against each other for control over the worlds' critical choke points, turning our current global system into a series of mercantilist blocs. In the long run, a world without a global US presence in the short run is a much, much, uglier place. But hey, if you have evidence that the CCP leadership isn't a bunch of Nationalist Corporatists willing to sacrifice nigh on anything to retain power, and is in fact a bunch of misunderstood liberal, free-traders who stay up late at nights reading Locke, I'd be glad to see it.

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    Re: Should the US reduce its global military presence?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    Yeah, I've seen that claim before. I will copy/paste my reply to someone who earlier complained about our presence in the middle east in those terms, because I don't have the time to write it all out again
    Look at the list of numbers I provided on the front page. Kuwait is the only middle eastern country on that list (excluding Afghanistan, the war there is a whole different story). I can understand why we have troops there. It's the number of troops in Germany/Japan/Korea/UK/Italy that really pisses me off. There would be no "power vacuum" if we withdrew from those countries. South Korea has a large military; it's not like the North Koreans would suddenly gain total control of the region. And I don't consider China an enemy of the US, given that we are each other's #1 trade partner. Every major US bank has offices in Shanghai and Hong Kong, providing all sorts of services to Chinese companies (and other multinationals with operations in China).

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    Re: Should the US reduce its global military presence?

    Quote Originally Posted by Voltaire X View Post
    Look at the list of numbers I provided on the front page. Kuwait is the only middle eastern country on that list (excluding Afghanistan, the war there is a whole different story). I can understand why we have troops there. It's the number of troops in Germany/Japan/Korea/UK/Italy that really pisses me off.
    You are looking at land bases. Japan/Korea are absolutely vital not only to supporting the ROK's, but also to projecting force into the PACOM AO via 7th Fleet. Germany/UK/Italy all support not only the efforts in Afghanistan, but the 5th Fleet in Bahrain. The 5th Fleet is probably the single most critical subordinate military command that we have, simply because of it's stabilization capability in the Gulf States Region. Forward deployed bases are less used today as a means of employing force and have instead been drawn down to the point where they are now enabling force.

    There would be no "power vacuum" if we withdrew from those countries.
    Not for long, certainly. One thing about nature is it abhors a vacuum.

    South Korea has a large military; it's not like the North Koreans would suddenly gain total control of the region. And I don't consider China an enemy of the US, given that we are each other's #1 trade partner.
    That's nice. When should we tell the Chinese that? Because they think that we are their #1 enemy, and given their aspirations for hegemony, they are right.

    When we mirror-image other cultures and assume that they, too, will subordinate their desires for national pride to desires for wealth derived from free trade, we make a dangerous error. The Middle East is currently the global strategic center of gravity / critical vulnerability. The PACOM AO is becoming the global strategic cog/cv. Both us and the Chinese know that, which means that either China will dictate world events, or we will.

    Every major US bank has offices in Shanghai and Hong Kong, providing all sorts of services to Chinese companies (and other multinationals with operations in China).
    Yup. You know whose trade relationship mirrors that of the US/China as far as depth in each other's economy etc. is concerned?

    Britain and Germany. In 1913.





    But why don't you tell us who you think would step in to fill the 5th Fleet's role in the Middle East? Who would ensure that the Iranians don't seize the Strait of Hormuz? Who would provide the savior-of-last-resort guarantee that keeps Israel on the leash (which is something I didn't bring up above, but should probably be mentioned)? Who would keep the newly Islamist Egyptian Government from seeking to squeeze the world by restricting access to the Suez Canal? Who would keep Saudi Arabia and Iran from entering into a nuclear arms race where both sides are controlled by their fanatics?



    That's merely the cost to us. The cost to the world will be much, much heavier. On top of global depression, on top of the increased danger of instability and resultant loss of investment capital, on top of damage wrought by war, they've now lost their back-stop response to natural disaster. There is no US Navy Response to tsunamis' in Indonesia or Daichi without a forward-deployed 7th Fleet. Without those bases we cannot sustain that projection of force and materials. The Phillipines get no help when floods wipe away their people. Haiti might be close enough so that we can do something - but the units that we have been sending to Haiti are the Marine Expeditionary Units, which are assigned to the 5th and 7th Fleets that you would strip.
    Last edited by cpwill; 09-12-12 at 11:56 PM.

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