View Poll Results: Should we decrease the size of the U.S. armed forces

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  • Yes, by a substantial amount

    18 38.30%
  • Yes, but only a small amount

    11 23.40%
  • No

    12 25.53%
  • We should increase the size of our armed forces.

    6 12.77%
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Thread: Should we trim down our Military????

  1. #81
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    Re: Should we trim down our Military????

    Quote Originally Posted by Manc Skipper View Post
    High tech defence systems didn't work against fundamentalism and boxcutters.
    Concur.....

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    Re: Should we trim down our Military????

    Quote Originally Posted by BCR View Post
    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.
    Where to begin...

    First, the fallacy you're basing your entire notion on is that the only enemies we will have are the enemies we currently have. You follow up that fallacy with the notion that because they're "an ocean away" somehow that means a great deal in this modernized world of both air travel and substantial sea travel. It helps, its not full proof. A large portion of what maintains safety is the belief that it is not worth while to touch you. You generally don't pick fights often with the guy that you're pretty sure could knock you out before a single one of your punches lands. In regards to traditional state to state warfare part of our defense is our strength.

    Second, while we can definitely make cuts to the Military half is absolutely insane. The system shock that would occur in regards to the massive amount of jobs lost, both private and public, along with our current engagements added to looming threats on the horizon would be significant with that large of a cut. Part of why we're so technologically advanced then our enemies is due to the fact we are continually doing R&D, continually trying to improve technology, and continuing to push forward. If we stop that then your statement of us being technologically advanced will fall to the way side pretty quickly. Not to mention normal market pressure suggests if we get out of that business all those technologies and those that make it aren't going to simply vanish, they're going to search out someone else to pay them for it.

    Third, the military is one of the few, unquestionable, unarguable things that the federal government is SUPPOSED to do. It is not clear cut its supposed to be providing welfare, providing health care, paying for museums, giving grants to study polar bear mating, bailing out banks, buying auto makers, or any of that stuff. An argument can be made but its just that, an argument. I've yet to see a single solitary rational person make an argument that the Federal Governments job does not directly and unquestionably involve the Military. They may argue how much, but not of its existance. The protection of our country is one of those things the Federal Government is best suited for above any other entity. I have absolutely zero issue with it being the largest singular portion of our budget because its one of the only clear cut unquestionable things that our government should be doing.

    Fourth, this does not mean cuts can not be made. However, cuts should be made without question. Base closures, both in the U.S. and around the world, should be examined and executed. A major reform in regards to the way we award contracts and some rough guidelines on how to complete those contracts should be done. Military contracts should be done 1st, 2nd, and 3rd because its of benefit to the military and the country NOT because it brings jobs home to a district. That entire process needs to be thuroughly changed and it will likely save a large amount of money. Beyond that its establishing a panel to go through every bit of the Military budget and find any issues of fraud, waste, or redunancy that may be able to removed. Will all this perhaps simply be "window dressing" to some. Sure. However that's fine. Cutting the Military Budget from 23% to 20% of our national budget would not be catastrophic if done right, but I do not honestly believe it should nor needs to go much lower than that, especially in the current climate.

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    Re: Should we trim down our Military????

    Quote Originally Posted by BCR View Post
    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 makes absolutely no sense. You want to cut the Military Budget in half, but you want to do so by keeping the technology apparently which is arguably the most expensive component of the military budget. Not to mention that notion reaches a point of diminishing returns where the amount of technology you have is worthless if you don't have the needed boots on the ground.

    Quote Originally Posted by BCR View Post
    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.
    ....

    You've got to be kidding me.

    So you want to cut military spending...not because we're in debt, not because our spending is too high, but so we can ship that money outside of the country to feed "poor people" and get medicine for people, both of which are so far away from unquestionable activites the federal government should be partaking in that its laughable. So all of this basically revolves around the notion for you that we shouldn't be in Iraq and we need to provide charity to the world. At least it seemed halfway reasonable when it seemed it was due to the amount of money we were spending. Jesus.

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    Re: Should we trim down our Military????

    Neither
    Its a changing world, with different wants and needs.
    The fighting of wars in faraway places is stupid.
    The decision makers, including Obama are living in the past.
    Natural and un-natural disasters are not being handled as well as they could be - this is where we need to improve.....no easy task, either.
    Anyone have better ideas than mine?

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    Re: Should we trim down our Military????

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    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.
    I lived in Jacksonville at the time and remember well the debate about lost civilian jobs and potential damage to the local economy. Not sure of the effects, though, as I left soon after.

  6. #86
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    Re: Should we trim down our Military????

    There are basic ways of cutting down cost without reducing our force-numbers, readiness, efficiency and so forth.
    Some of these approaches DC is already taking in a variety of venues. . . but some (like outsourcing debt) are done so with the idea that somehow it's cheaper Sadly, they're taking this 'cut spending' and, instead of actually tightening up the belt, they're just apply that same spending to other avenues - their overall goal is to restructure NOT to reduce. True budget-reduction is done by actually formulating a new budget, tackling waste, sticking to new rules, and then NOT using that saved money for ANYTHING else - and, if the government played these cards right - it should pass that reduction down to us by lightening up on taxes.

    However, if they were quite serious about actually REDUCING overall spending - without taking that 'savings' and applying it in a different venue of government - they have options:

    Office-supplies: This is frequently harped on. Pencils, papers, copiers and computers. . . if they were more attune to using slightly cheaper sources and were more organized, thus, reducing the need for *more* paperwork, then that would significantly reduce the amount of money dumped into the hole.

    Organization: Needless to say, the Military is such a large and multi-armed octopus of a creature that one, two or five copies of a form aren't enough, especially if individuals fail to file it properly to begin with.

    "Use it or lose it loophole" - ammunition and otherwise: Every time my husband leads at the range they spend quite a lot of time emptying loads of shells mindlessly downrange to simply use it up. Why? Well - to avoid paperwork and to keep that budget-fluffed . . . it's a common practice, everyone does it. "Use it or lose it" - if their budgeted 10,000 rounds of ammunition for 2 days of range rage and only use 7,000 rounds - they should be encouraged to hand it over to a following unit or something of that nature, Instead, they spend up the rest in order to maintain that same level of budget for the next year. Basically - the budget system needs to be reworked seeing as how it has this very very wasteful loophole threaded in it.

    Travel reduction/base-funded transportation: This is a black hole more massive than anything else, in my opinion. My husband would be pissed at me for this because he's frequently traveling by this means.
    So - Around the clock military-related events are held: seminars, conferences, classes, training sessions - so on and so forth.
    Often these events are held off-base and utilize non-military transportation (civilian airlines, auto-rentals from places like Hertz and a rental of rooms from the Hilton)

    #1 There should be no event what so ever held at a non-military location unless it's pertinent. . . and these events should be organized together - rather than sporatic. Say - if a conference and training seminar need to be held near Ft Hood they should be held IN FT HOOD . . . not "nearby"
    #2 There should no non-military transport. No civilian airlines, no rental at Hertz rent-a-center.

    If such things were held ON base then food would be readily available and more affordable (no need for a $50.00 food allowance while gone). Sleeping arrangements shouldn't be including a $60.00/night room at the Hilton - average cost for on-base rooms is $30.00 or $40.00 (sometimes less). Transportation is possible to and from events either by driving a military-vehicle (which my husband does 1/2 the time) or by sticking a flight via military craft (not always possible) . . . thus, by securing military-existing transportation the excessive expense of flying and renting civilian is nipped.

    I have some real numbers on this (a trip my husband recently took) to give a good idea of how much $$ it costs to do things in this unorganized and non-military way.
    Flight to Corpus Christi: $350.00. (it would be cheaper if arrangements could be made further in advanced but often things are last-minute)
    Auto rental for 5 days: $300.00
    Hotel rental for 4 nights: $240.00
    Food allowance/day: $250.00
    Gas for auto rental: $80.00
    Total for trip to non-military installation via civilian transportation: $1,220

    Is this paid out of our pocket, though? Of course not! We don't have $1,220 laying around for such things. . . leading us to:

    Outsourcing debt: Instead of covering the cost of transportation, food and so on upfront (which would be the case if military personnel traveled through military-only means and stayed/ate on base) the usual means is to give the frequent-traveler a credit card to charge all these items onto. Then, after processing paperwork . . . more paperwork . . . and more paperwork. . . the military eventually pays off the balance of the credit card which was slightly MORE than the original charges due to INTEREST. . .and this is smart?

    Watching out for their bottom dollar: In business this is called waste management. Shopping around for the most affordable means - and having someone actually examine and approve transactions and doing research on a company-quietly-to monitor costs - all in order to avoid price-spiking things Like this and this
    Last edited by Aunt Spiker; 06-21-10 at 11:08 AM.
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  7. #87
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    Re: Should we trim down our Military????

    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Spiker View Post
    I feel comfortabel arguing that a lot of other countries, like Saudi Arabia - which is highly dependent on the US - don't spend enough.

    Why Saudi Arabia spends around 40 billion dollar and the only real threath Iran only spend 9 billion dollar? To launch an invasion of Saudi Arabia Iran has to go through Iraq something I believe USA would not take lightly on. The problem is much more that Saudi Arabia is a brutale dictatorship that uses the military to suppress their own people, but of course the same goes for Iran.

  8. #88
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    Re: Should we trim down our Military????

    Quote Originally Posted by mac View Post
    What do you think could be done to push it farther, faster? Keep in mind that almost every new defense system usually faces an extreme justification process through congress.....
    We need a real step foreward on the cybertechnology front. We live in a DIGITAL era and from what I can see, our forces are not prepared to deal with threats over cyberspace nor are they able to protect the US on the digital front.
    Iraq Insurgents Hack U.S. Drones For Under $26

    We're sinking a lot of money into standard forces and equipment for them when the reality is we probably wont fight a "standard" war in the vein of Desert Storm ever again. We need more specialized forces to deal with the kind of irregular warfare that's being carried out in the modern world as the standard mode of fighting. The fact of the matter is the US is probably the best in the world at a stand-up slug-fest, so no country is going to be stupid enough to engage us in what we're good at.

    Another necessary direction is in tactics. I dont see a lot of tactics coming out of the military. The last eight years have been a string of one terrible idea after another with regards to Iraq and it doesnt seem like the military is acting proactively, rather they are REacting to moves our opponent is making and in the basic rules of war, once you start doing that, you've lost.


    With the congressional oversight, part of me agrees because I dont think the military should have carte blanche to spend whatever on whatever they want but at the same time I recognize that this process often makes simple tasks much harder and ends up costing MORE in the long-run. As far as I can see, perhaps imposing time limits or requirements on congress for making decisions about spending with regards to the military or requiring input from a military advisory body that doesnt stand to gain from the spending.
    Last edited by Hoplite; 06-21-10 at 01:46 PM.
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    Re: Should we trim down our Military????

    Quote Originally Posted by BCR View Post
    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.
    Well, the military is beeing cut and I support that because I think US need to think more about themselves and less about the rest of the world.

    However, cutting military is not going to colve the budget problems. The budget problems is mainly due to two budgets. The health budget and education. Both of them cost way more than what they perform. I made chart here to show why

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    Re: Should we trim down our Military????

    Quote Originally Posted by Camlon View Post
    Well, the military is beeing cut and I support that because I think US need to think more about themselves and less about the rest of the world.

    However, cutting military is not going to colve the budget problems. The budget problems is mainly due to two budgets. The health budget and education. Both of them cost way more than what they perform. I made chart here to show why
    So, compare our approach to healthcare and education in contrast to your country, New Zealand - what better approach to these things can your country suggest?
    A screaming comes across the sky.
    It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now.
    Pynchon - Gravity's Rainbow

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