AerospaceFan
Topic Author
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Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:12 am

Don't get me wrong. I'm not anti-Bush. But sometimes I think that the President has basically allowed the Pentagon to make cuts in equipment and services that shouldn't have been cut.

Take bombers, for example. We actually had more bombers under Clinton than under Bush.

Or ships. We have fewer active naval ships than at any time in recent history, if I recall correctly. Under Reagan, we were approaching 600 major combat vessels. Under Bush, we're talking about cutting the 12 aircraft carrier groups back to 11 or even 10. Total major active vessels? Seems like we're barely breaking the 200 or so mark, these days.

That's not acceptable.

Let's look at the F-22. From a peak of hundreds, to barely a hundred or so. And the program was recently at risk of cancellation.

All this, while we're fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And in the last decade, we've retired or destroyed thousands of nukes.

I mean, come on!

Personally, I think that these results have been a disappointment. Bush is supposed to be strong on defense. But aren't we weaker today than we were in the last days of Clinton?

Something ain't right.

[Edited 2006-01-03 17:16:04]
What's fair is fair.
 
kiwiandrew

RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:16 am

our military ? I'm not sure .... he might have weakened yours - I dont think he has actually has anything to do with mine
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:17 am

Quoting Kiwiandrew (Reply 1):
our military ? I'm not sure .... he might have weakened yours - I dont think he has actually has anything to do with mine

Obviously, I meant the U.S. military. Sorry 'bout that.

But, anyway, Belgium is part of NATO, no?
What's fair is fair.
 
Klaus
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:21 am

I don't think the formal cuts of troop strength would necessarily be a problem.

Much, much larger problems are:

a) creating unnecessary wars without any sound cause or strategy which overload the otherwise adequately-sized military

b) cutting support from under the feet of soldiers and veterans

Much worse than a slightly undersized military is a demoralized and exhausted one...
 
tbar220
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:22 am

Nukes? The less of them the better in my opinion.

Do we really need hundreds of F-22's? That is an overpriced program in my opinion and I would anyways like to see a smaller military budget.

What is truly weakening to our army is to have it spread so thin. We're fighting two wars with insuffecient equipment (thank you Dumsfeld), insufficient troop numbers, and insufficient strategy. That to me makes our military weak, not the number of bombers or ships or nukes. Rather its the lack of body armor and proper vehicles for our ground troops. Its the complete lack of strategy (so it seems) for keeping the peace in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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RichardPrice
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:24 am

Hasnt the general trend since the end of WWII to be a reduction in a militaries size anyway, as it becomes more complex and technology dependant?

You dont need 100 B-52s to drop one bunker buster on a precision target.

You dont need an aircraft carrier to bomb a foreign country when you can sit off their coast and fire cruise missiles at them from a submarine.
 
dl021
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:26 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
Take bombers, for example. We actually had more bombers under Clinton than under Bush.

Well, to be accurate the number of aircraft has stabilized under the Bush administration, while the Clinton administration presided over the biggest drawdown in our military power in our history. Our military was also rather underfunded under President Clinton with a severe lack of spares and other logistics, as well as a military that was underappreciated in both attitude and pay.

Quoting Kiwiandrew (Reply 1):
our military ? I'm not sure .... he might have weakened yours - I dont think he has actually has anything to do with mine

I know that's the truth.....your military was weakened by your own government decades ago because you were protected by that giant military alliance headquartered in your country (at least where you are flagged). So, actually, yes....we weakened your military because your own government saw that we would protect you and you did not have to spend as much to do so.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
Personally, I think that these results have been a disappointment. Bush is supposed to be strong on defense. But aren't we weaker today than we were in the last days of Clinton?

No, we aren't. We're also talking apples and oranges here, since we are now in a shooting war on multiple fronts.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
Or ships. We have fewer active naval ships than at any time in recent history, if I recall correctly. Under Reagan, we were approaching 600 major combat vessels. Under Bush, we're talking about cutting the 12 aircraft carrier groups back to 11 or even 10. Total major active vessels? Seems like we're barely breaking the 200 or so mark, these days.

Well, we don't need the 600 ship navy any more, nor do we need the giant bomber fleet we had prior to the current strategic situation.

We are planning on greater littoral conflicts, which will call for us to use different tactics than in the past, and calls for a different TO&E.

Our re-enlistment rates are the highest ever, and our military is the most effective one out there. Are we weaker? I guess it's a matter of perspective. Do we need the forces of the 1980s when we faced that bear in the woods? No.

Can we defeat any enemy right now? Yes. It might get ugly, but there it is.

Here's a question for you......who do we need to be prepared to face right now? What forces/equipment will we need in your opinion?
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
kiwiandrew

RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:27 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 2):
Obviously, I meant the U.S. military. Sorry 'bout that.

I was just kidding you .... I did realise that what you meant to say was "Has Bush weakened the US Military?" but I can never resist it when someone leaves me an obvious opening like that

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 2):
But, anyway, Belgium is part of NATO, no?

Belgium is definitely part of NATO ( I go past NATO on my way to work ) ... but I'm not Belgian ... I just live here .

[Edited 2006-01-03 17:28:17]
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:32 am

Quoting Tbar220 (Reply 4):
What is truly weakening to our army is to have it spread so thin.

My reaction to that is to agree -- and to ask you whether we have any alternatives. I'm a guy that agrees with Rummy and the gang that we needed to invade Iraq.

But the fact is that if Rummy and the President knew we needed to do that, and other things, to fight the war against terror, then by God we also need the resources to maintain our forces. I don't get the feeling that Bush or his subordinates are putting enough pressure on the Pentagon (which, from all indications, tends to be a bit deferential) or Congress (which, from all indications, tends to be future-unaware) to fund a force necessary to implement these particular foreign policy objectives. In other words, if you're going to fight, do what Powell did and make sure you have more than enough equipment to overwhelm the enemy. What we have now is insufficient by two measures: We don't have enough to overwhelm the enemy; and we don't have enough to deter future ones.

It's a huge screw-up, in my opinion.

If the Democrats want to win, they ought to point out that Bush hasn't actually built up our military, the way that many of us thought he would, but has, by contrast, allowed Congress to de-fund it on the basis of models that don't take into account the actual costs of the war against terror.

And Bush -- despite his bounceback in polls -- needs to explain to America why the other national priorities (tax cuts, etc.) that Congress has endorsed outweigh the need to provide for both our present and our future defense.

I'm really disappointed with the President's approach to defense, and I wish he would look ten or fifteen years down the line, when future Presidents will have to deal with a rapidly dying bomber force and a fleet constrained by a lack of newer ships. It's not exactly a pretty picture, and I, for one, am royally pissed off.
What's fair is fair.
 
dl021
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:33 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 3):
Much worse than a slightly undersized military is a demoralized and exhausted one...

Who says our military is demoralized? Portions of it are certainly worn down, which is why they are being rotated as entire units.

Quoting Kiwiandrew (Reply 7):
... but I'm not Belgian ... I just live here .

OK....I was wondering about the Kiwi (NZ) part on the name....isn't there some ice cream shop chain in Belgium that has some Australian name?
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
kiwiandrew

RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:35 am

Quoting DL021 (Reply 9):
OK....I was wondering about the Kiwi (NZ) part on the name....isn't there some ice cream shop chain in Belgium that has some Australian name?

there is , which is really bizarre as everyone knows the best ice cream in the world is made in New Zealand ... and the second best ( or at least the funniest  Wink ) is made at "Fanny Ice Cream" in Hanoi
 
KROC
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:38 am

Quoting DL021 (Reply 9):
Who says our military is demoralized? Portions of it are certainly worn down, which is why they are being rotated as entire units.

If you stop watching newscasts looking for the story that is going to grab your attention and start actually listening to the soldiers who are in the middle of all of this, you would find out that moral isn't low and that its actually fairly high. The media doesn't focus on this because it won't sell or garner as much attention as the stories about low troop moral, or troop deaths, or troop misconduct etc.
 
NoUFO
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:38 am

Even if Bush has weakened your military, it is still almighty, basically invincible and swallows an incredible amount of taxes every year. So no worries.
I support the right to arm bears
 
lesmainwaring
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:43 am

Quoting KROC (Reply 11):
grab your attention and start actually listening to the soldiers who are in the middle of all of this

i would agree to the extent that many soldiers who are making a public statement have to consider the ramifications ... it is safer for them to say publically things are going well, rather than worry about possible reprisals for stating otherwise

its hard to get a good read on it one way or the other, in my opinion, other than look at hard numbers ...
I want something under my wheels thats plenty long and mighty dry --- Vern Demarest
 
KROC
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:48 am

Quoting LesMainwaring (Reply 13):
i would agree to the extent that many soldiers who are making a public statement have to consider the ramifications ... it is safer for them to say publically things are going well, rather than worry about possible reprisals for stating otherwise

If you actually search out stories and news pieces directly involving oour military members especially the pieces that break things down to a personal level, you will see their true moral. Sure not everyone has high moral but the large percentage do. And there is no fear of reprisal for saying "it sucks being over here but we have a job to do..."
 
lesmainwaring
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:52 am

Quoting KROC (Reply 14):
And there is no fear of reprisal for saying "it sucks being over here but we have a job to do..."

i'm not sure that is always the perspective many have ... i think many believe if something negative is said, then there will be negative consequences

i live in ORF, home of the world's largest navy base ... you can't get away from the military here if you tried ... there are tens of thousand of active duty, retired, and military dependents here ...

the tone i get is one of just being tired of it all


...

i will add that i don't think bush has weakend the military, i think the cuts are necessary ... i think some of the problems we've seen with deployments has come from planning issues

[Edited 2006-01-03 17:57:42]
I want something under my wheels thats plenty long and mighty dry --- Vern Demarest
 
propatriamori
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 3:49 am

I think the biggest problem with the U.S. Military today is an over-reliance on Reserve Component and National Guard Forces as part of the "whole package" being deployed on the battlefield today. I also believe this is primarily a problem with one branch of the military, the Army.

As mentioned previously the Navy and Air Force no longer need to rely as heavily on big power projection platforms, so the strategic drawdowns in these areas are appropriate. Also the Reserve components of these branches, in my opinion, are better trained and equipped on the whole and are relied on to a lesser extent than elsewhere in the military.

The Air Force still has a big problem in trying to fund mega-expensive, whiz bang, super platforms to the detriment of the entire military budget on the active side. The Navy has done a better job of trying to restructure to meet the threats of the new world realistically. And the reserve components of both integrate with the active better, "filling in" rather than deploying as whole units.

The Marines, being Marines, have already structured themselves for the new threat environment. They've done it without major changes or increases in funding, using what they have on hand, and have performed their mission superbly in every deployment this century. They've shown themselves as a blueprint of a force ready for any mission, any where. And what amazes me is they consistently perform despite having some of the oldest equipment around, and being the "red-headed stepchildren" of the pentagon funding priorities. Their reserve components perform indistiguishably from active duty forces. A superbly led branch of the armed forces.

The Army on the other hand, has been slow to adopt to what is going to be needed in the 21st century. They too have been guilty of being in love with a few whiz-bang platforms, and have not adopted for the role into which they have currently been thrust. Some units, such as the 10th Mountain, 82nd and 101st Airborne, Spec Ops and others are superbly trained for the missions we now face and perform well. Others, such as the 1st Inf, 1st AD, 3rd INF, 4 INF, 1st CAV, performed exceptionally well during the initial thrust into Iraq, but have shown themselves to be poorly equipped and trained to handle the post war missions. Leadership issues? Probably, but skip the company, battalion, brigade, division levels and go all the way to the Top. These heavy forces are needed for some contingencies our military faces and have shown themselves to be superbly capable for these contingencies. But they are ill prepared for post-war "peacekeeping" missions. But they have to perform these missions because there is no-one else to do so.

Enter now the other component of the Army, the National Guard. Due to troop shortages and rotations these part time soldiers have to fill in. In most cases, these guys are some of the most experienced troops we have, but they are being inadequately trained, poorly equipped, and thrust into a situation they have no idea how to handle. You just cannot take a one weekend a month, two weeks a year soldier with vietnam era trucks, 15-20 year old HMMWVs, train them for 3-6 months and expect them to perform as well as active duty units in Iraq. Casualties in these units only further exacerbate the PR problem. These guys are doing the best job they can with what's on hand but were being pushed into the field as "gap-fillers".

The strategy of using 1/3rd to 1/2 of all deployable soldiers as Reserve/National Guard was a flawed way for past administrations and congresses to justify having a large Army "on the cheap". The Army needs to bring back more Active divisions for the missions we face today, and not "heavy" divisions. Bring back the 7th INF, 9th INF, and 5th INF as forces more structured to deal with humanitarian and Iraq/Afganistan type situations. The National Guard troops will perform honorably in the role they were originally intended for, defending the nations interests in national emergencies and humanitarian deployements at home and abroad.
 
Gilligan
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 5:13 am

Quoting Tbar220 (Reply 4):
Nukes? The less of them the better in my opinion.

Agree. New technology has made the need for thousands of warheads unecessary.

Quoting Tbar220 (Reply 4):
Do we really need hundreds of F-22's?

Yes. Once again the more technologically superiorer you are to your enemy the better off your troops are.

Quoting Tbar220 (Reply 4):
What is truly weakening to our army is to have it spread so thin.

Then you are either advocating a draft or a draw down. I personally don't think they are spread too thin. Combat fatalities in Iraq and Afghanistan don't even come close to approaching other wars save the first gulf war.

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 5):
You dont need 100 B-52s to drop one bunker buster on a precision target.

 checkmark 

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 5):
You dont need an aircraft carrier to bomb a foreign country when you can sit off their coast and fire cruise missiles at them from a submarine.

Or when you have a two man bomber capable of flying half way around the world, dropping percision guided munitions and returning to base.

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 12):
Even if Bush has weakened your military, it is still almighty, basically invincible and swallows an incredible amount of taxes every year.

Not nearly as much tax money as our entitlement programs. The military comes in a distant 4th to those.

Quoting Propatriamori (Reply 16):
The Army needs to bring back more Active divisions for the missions we face today, and not "heavy" divisions.

Many of the cold war "heavy" divisions have gone the way of the dinosaur. Still, you can't beat a tank for knocking down a wall or for taking out an insane terrorist.
http://www.webmutants.com/strategypage/riflevstank.mpeg
But better yet....
http://www.strategypage.com/gallery/...cles/military_photos_200562221.asp


SecDef Rumsfield announced a while back that the military was going to be retooled to take on the 21st century problems of small brush fire wars. They are doing this while engaged in two hot conflicts. Anyone who has had to work with the government knows that the wheels turn incredibly slowly. I don't think our force has been weakened. It is in transition. The force that served us in the cold war will look nothing like the force that is in place after Iraq and Afghanistan nor does it need too. We no longer are facing one gargantiuan foe (unless you include China) but rather small terrorist bands that are much harder to fight. As to the NG and reserve, they are fulfilling their obligations with honor. They are doing what they were designed to do. If it was not for them, then the regular service troops would face a much quicker rotation back to the troubled areas.
Warm winds blowing, heating blue skies, and a road that goes forever, I'm going to Texas!
 
MidnightMike
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 5:37 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
Don't get me wrong. I'm not anti-Bush. But sometimes I think that the President has basically allowed the Pentagon to make cuts in equipment and services that shouldn't have been cut.

Actually, look at what you wrote, the Pentagon is pushing for these cuts, in other words, lettting the Military, take care of the Military......
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dan-air
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 5:39 am

Quoting DL021 (Reply 6):
Well, to be accurate the number of aircraft has stabilized under the Bush administration, while the Clinton administration presided over the biggest drawdown in our military power in our history. Our military was also rather underfunded under President Clinton with a severe lack of spares and other logistics, as well as a military that was underappreciated in both attitude and pay



Quoting DL021 (Reply 6):
Well, we don't need the 600 ship navy any more, nor do we need the giant bomber fleet we had prior to the current strategic situation.

How'd we do in Afghanistan in 2001 DL? Did we win that one?

Sure we did. With Clinton's military.

The "drawdown" from cold-war force strength was begun under Bush 41 with Sec.Def. Dick Cheney- - the "peace-dividend" that resulted from Reagan telling Gorbachev to "tear down this wall" (or more likely, the East Germans wanting more MTV and fewer breadlines). Or did you conveniently forget that in your "Clinton bad, Bush good" rant?
 
KSYR
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 5:58 am

I don't believe that we should be cutting the number of nukes/ships/aircraft in our military much (if at all). Better to be well prepared and ready in case something happens then to have to try and play catch-up when every second counts.

Besides, who can really know what the future holds anyways? If you polled Europeans in 1900 could any of them have foreseen the massive conflicts that would ravage their continent within half a century?

The "Big Stick" policy has worked well since TR's days, why stop with it now?
 
dl021
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 6:05 am

Quoting LesMainwaring (Reply 13):
i would agree to the extent that many soldiers who are making a public statement have to consider the ramifications ... it is safer for them to say publically things are going well, rather than worry about possible reprisals for stating otherwise

Soldiers will say what they feel, indeed many would not take kindly to being silenced by command, which does not do much of that anyway. They do tell troops to not divulge classified or sensitive data, but we would be seeing it in big print if there were a large number of unhappy soldiers.

Quoting KROC (Reply 14):
And there is no fear of reprisal for saying "it sucks being over here but we have a job to do..."

Indeed we hear that, and many jump on that as a sign that the troops are demoralized and worn out.

Quoting LesMainwaring (Reply 15):
i'm not sure that is always the perspective many have ... i think many believe if something negative is said, then there will be negative consequences

Again....I don't think that's the case. Ask the next group of soldiers you see. I do wonder whether the Navy and Air Force are experiencing the same pressures. I know that many sailors are spending more time deployed than usual, and that Air Force guys are being told to expect to be gone for long periods from their home bases each year.

Remember....we are in a war, and people will be more tired. They need our support and encouragement to carry on.
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
lesmainwaring
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 6:10 am

Quoting DL021 (Reply 21):

Soldiers will say what they feel, indeed many would not take kindly to being silenced by command, which does not do much of that anyway

they may say it to their family and friends, but not to the media, and not on record ... not a lot of them, trust me, i've seen it around here, but they are no different than a lot of people ... it's really CYA

Quoting DL021 (Reply 21):
Again....I don't think that's the case.

again, maybe not to family and friends, but yes, to the public at large and to the media, yes

Quoting DL021 (Reply 21):
Remember....we are in a war,

we are in something, for sure ...

Quoting DL021 (Reply 21):
They need our support and encouragement to carry on.

totally agree --- i have volunteered locally with the USO, VFW and a few other agencies ... i completely support the men and women of the military, just as i do all public servants like police, fire and teachers ... even if i don't support the 'war'
I want something under my wheels thats plenty long and mighty dry --- Vern Demarest
 
propatriamori
Posts: 131
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2000 6:42 am

RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:08 am

Quoting Gilligan (Reply 17):
As to the NG and reserve, they are fulfilling their obligations with honor.

I agree and never said otherwise...

Quoting Gilligan (Reply 17):
They are doing what they were designed to do.

In my experienced opinion, That design (or strategy) and especially its execution are fundamentally flawed.

Quoting Gilligan (Reply 17):
If it was not for them, then the regular service troops would face a much quicker rotation back to the troubled areas.

That's why I advocated an increased active duty component, and an increase in the overall army size. Or up funding for the Marines and let them get the job done, but I think they've always resisted increasing the overall size of the Corps.
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:59 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 3):
b) cutting support from under the feet of soldiers and veterans

 checkmark 

Quoting Tbar220 (Reply 4):
What is truly weakening to our army is to have it spread so thin.

 checkmark  Again

Quoting Tbar220 (Reply 4):
We're fighting two wars with insuffecient equipment (thank you Dumsfeld), insufficient troop numbers, and insufficient strategy

 checkmark  yet Again

Quoting Klaus (Reply 3):
Much worse than a slightly undersized military is a demoralized and exhausted one...

 redflag  demoralized
 checkmark  exhausted
Show me where you can find a demoralized US soldier . . .

More on this later when I'm awake . . . and the flaming will start way back with Bush 41.
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
upstatedave
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 9:27 am

I don't understand why the US needs to have a large military. Let's face it, the old world of the constant Soviet threat is gone. And the new threat of terrorism sparks from our own way of life. No military might is going to deter or change the hatred towards us that causes terrorism. If anything the use of our military only serves to intensify that, and create more hatred where it previously didn't exist. Until the culture of the US changes (and I'm not saying it needs too, I happen to like our way of life for the most part) we will be the target of terrorism and we will need to deal with that in the future.
"Once you fly, you will walk with your eyes skyward. For there you will go again." Leonardo da Vinci
 
dl021
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:54 am

Quoting LesMainwaring (Reply 22):
Quoting DL021 (Reply 21):
They need our support and encouragement to carry on.

totally agree --- i have volunteered locally with the USO, VFW and a few other agencies ... i completely support the men and women of the military, just as i do all public servants like police, fire and teachers ... even if i don't support the 'war'

 thumbsup 
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
tbar220
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 11:04 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 8):
My reaction to that is to agree -- and to ask you whether we have any alternatives. I'm a guy that agrees with Rummy and the gang that we needed to invade Iraq.

I guess thats fundamentally a difference in opinion between you and me. I feel the war in Iraq was a complete waste of tax dollars and troop strength. That's obviously been discussed to death so we won't go into that. You talk about resources, but is it really that we lack military funding or efficiency? More than half of our entire budget is miliatry spending, perhaps the money is improperly spent and not going to the right things. When I see BILLIONS of dollars going into missile defense and the F-22 program, but see our soldiers driving thirty year old vehicles and lacking body armor in Iraq, I question where the priorities lie.

Then again, I also feel that our military is too big and get frightened by the size of the military industrial complex in our country. I feel that education, science, research, reason, and diplomatic cooperation should come first. Eisenhower warned us about the massive growth of the military industrial complex and how it would harm our nation. There's so much shit in this country; there's so much that needs fixing in the United States. I want to see our military budget drastically cut and that money used in productive ways to fix our own problems first before those of Iraq and other countries.

My alternatives are pretty straightforward. Finish up this war in Iraq, shift the funding from there to infrastructure projects in the United States. Improve the quality of life in our country first and stop fiddling and meddling in other nations. Do that, and maybe we just won't have as many enemies around the world that won't require our military to fight against.

Quoting Gilligan (Reply 17):
Then you are either advocating a draft or a draw down.

Not advocating a draft; what is a "draw down"?
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tbar220
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 11:28 am

I just thought of something else.

Why isn't it possible to have a smaller, more advanced, more efficient army, with the pretext that it will only be fighting one war at a time? At the same time, I think with this kind of army we need a severe shift in our policy which includes sound plans on securing the peace in a country and withdrawing our troops from there quickly. The longer our army stays in a country, the more the view of them is shifted from "liberators" to that of "occupiers" and even "oppressors", even though they may not be. A while back, one of the German members on the forum posted the following article:

http://www.sftt.us/HTML/article07072005a.html

I believe that "Third Generation Modern Warfare" as we know it doesn't exist anymore, based on both the above article and the happenings around the world. But I believe one of the core problems of our armed forces and those in charge is that this hasn't been realized yet. The perfect example is the failure to secure the peace in Iraq. Perhaps its time to shift to a more infantry oriented, high tech, smaller and efficient army; one that is also culturally educated.

Btw, the article I linked above is an extremely good read, but can take about 45 minutes. If you have the patience to read it, please do and I think you will find it very enlightening..

[Edited 2006-01-04 03:28:39]
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ANCFlyer
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:01 pm

Quoting Tbar220 (Reply 28):
Why isn't it possible to have a smaller, more advanced, more efficient army, with the pretext that it will only be fighting one war at a time?

No prblem at all except that was NEVER the plan. The plan was always to be able to handle two major conflicts in two regions of the world and maintain a troop presence elsewhere. That plan was fucked up from the start. It relied too heavily on technology (technology only works if there's a soldier* to push the buttons). *Soldier: I'm going to use this as a generic term through out this thread so don't any of your squids, jarheads and flyboys take offense  wink .

Quoting Tbar220 (Reply 27):
what is a "draw down"?

Elimination of forces through attrition. It's what has happened since Bush 41 and the end of the Cold War. SHortsighted politicians called for extreme drawdowns in all the branches of the military with a major shift in CS and CSS troops to the Reserves and National Guard. (CS=Combat Support, Engineers, etc. CSS=Combat Service Support=Medics, Cooks, etc) This looked really good no paper - but in practice it hasn't worked at all. Hence the outrageous number of National Guard and Reserve troops currently deployed. Furthermore, it's being changed with a reintegration of CS and CSS into the active components once again.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s when all this was coming to pass - at the end of the cold war, the entire country was relieved that we didn't have the Soviet Hordes to worry about any longer, but failed to expand their thinking beyond the typical European theater style war. And certainly never thought seriously about a post 9/11 conflict like we're in now . . . Desert Storm notwithstanding.

Actually - IMO the powers that be learned very little from Desert Storm as it was - in relative terms - a cakewalk in the desert. Best live fire range I ever attended. But as soon as the troops were home, it was back to the cutting and shedding of military strength with - again IMO - no foresight on the future.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 3):
b) cutting support from under the feet of soldiers and veterans

And that has occured in a big way . . . I could make lists of the things but you can do a search at va.gov to find out for yourself. And it's going to get worse. With the wounded coming home and requiring long term care, there simply isn't the $$$ there to support it.

Part of the problem . . . the Chairwarmers in the House and Senate that never ever served a day in any uniform except perhaps for the Prep School they attended. With few, damned few exceptions, our legislators preach the gospel but relish the sin of screwing every solder at every opportunity. Some members, Carl Levin, John McCain, John Warner (off the top of my head) are truly sincere in their dealings with the military. . . . then of course, there's the opposite side of that coin (but I won't say Ted Kennedy cause this is an a-political post).

Quoting Klaus (Reply 3):
Much worse than a slightly undersized military is a demoralized and exhausted one...

a) It's way undersized. The Army by at least - at least - three combat divisions. The Air Force by a minimum of one - perhaps two - Flying Wings.
b) It is not a demoralized military. Where you got that I don't know - it's nonsense.
c) It is exhausted . . . .caused by a above and lousy leadership (Dumsfeld)

Quoting Tbar220 (Reply 4):
What is truly weakening to our army is to have it spread so thin. We're fighting two wars with insuffecient equipment (thank you Dumsfeld), insufficient troop numbers, and insufficient strategy. That to me makes our military weak, not the number of bombers or ships or nukes.

Well said. I'm impressed.  wink 

Quoting DL021 (Reply 6):
the Clinton administration presided over the biggest drawdown in our military power in our history. Our military was also rather underfunded under President Clinton with a severe lack of spares and other logistics, as well as a military that was underappreciated in both attitude and pay.

Again, not meaning to throw barbs at Pres. Clinton - but this is cold hard fact. Period. No discussion.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 8):
If the Democrats want to win, they ought to point out that Bush hasn't actually built up our military, the way that many of us thought he would, but has, by contrast, allowed Congress to de-fund it on the basis of models that don't take into account the actual costs of the war against terror.

Never gonna happen. THe military and the Democrats haven't shared a brotherhood since Roosevelt . . . not Truman, not Kennedy, certainly frickin' not Johnson, and by God, never Clinton. So don't hold your breath for this to come to pass . . . .

Quoting Propatriamori (Reply 16):
I think the biggest problem with the U.S. Military today is an over-reliance on Reserve Component and National Guard Forces as part of the "whole package" being deployed on the battlefield today. I also believe this is primarily a problem with one branch of the military, the Army.

Spot on, and I discussed this earlier in this post . . . very shortsighted planning years ago. And the military - especially the Army - is paying a heavy, heavy toll right now.

Fortunately, that's turning around.

Several things. Although combat divisions will remain - the "new" buzz is the Brigade Combat Team and Force Stabilization. Smaller, tighter, faster, all-capable (almost) and force stable Brigade sized units capable of rapid deployment. Force stabilization is as important to any military as the bullets they fire. The Army's practice of bouncing members all over the globe one unit to another every 18-24 months (sometimes less) is/was inherently hurting it's capabilities. Now you can expect to remain with the same unit - developing force cohesion and team tactics - for a decade. Smartest move I've ever seen.

Quoting Gilligan (Reply 17):
Still, you can't beat a tank for knocking down a wall or for taking out an insane terrorist.

Very, very true. Lesson learned in Somalia (no thanks to Pres Clinton) and damn sure proven in Desert Storm and right now in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Tank is THE combat arm of decision. A hundred regular* grunts can't lay down as much devastation as one platoon of Abrams tanks. *Regular grunts as opposed to the Snake Eater Special Operations types - in deference to my friend DL021.

And for a bit of posterity . . . heres me and my boy a couple years back.



Quoting LesMainwaring (Reply 22):
i have volunteered locally with the USO, VFW and a few other agencies ... i completely support the men and women of the military, just as i do all public servants like police, fire and teachers ... even if i don't support the 'war'

Thanks, for my brother in Iraq and for every other military person out there.  thumbsup 

Quoting Tbar220 (Reply 27):
Then again, I also feel that our military is too big and get frightened by the size of the military industrial complex in our country. I feel that education, science, research, reason, and diplomatic cooperation should come first. Eisenhower warned us about the massive growth of the military industrial complex and how it would harm our nation. There's so much shit in this country; there's so much that needs fixing in the United States. I want to see our military budget drastically cut and that money used in productive ways to fix our own problems first before those of Iraq and other countries.

We need all of the above TBar. I will be the first to agree our country's infrastructure is in trouble. I will dispute your theory that the military is too big. Let's fix the infastructure by cutting off the BILLIONS of $$$ we send to every little piss ant country on the planet and get our own house in order first!!! Until that's done, we will be stalemated. Afterall, if you and your neighbor have bills to pay, you won't pay his first and hope like hell you have enough left over for yourself now will you??? Simple analogy - but effective.
We - this country - must come first. Arrogant perhaps, but that's the deal.


Sorry - long and rambling - just got to the station - and it's a great thread.
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tbar220
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:23 pm

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 29):
Never gonna happen. THe military and the Democrats haven't shared a brotherhood since Roosevelt . . . not Truman, not Kennedy, certainly frickin' not Johnson, and by God, never Clinton. So don't hold your breath for this to come to pass . . . .

Maybe this is changing. With something like 12 Democrat Iraq War veterans running for the house or senate compared to only one Republican, perhaps a landscape change is in order. Political beliefs aside, wouldn't you rather see a Democrat with real military experience on the relevant congressional comitees rather than a Republican armchair chickenhawk general who hasn't served in the armed forces?

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 29):
We - this country - must come first. Arrogant perhaps, but that's the deal.

Not arrogant. I've always said that even if this noble cause of spreading democracy and freedom to Iraq was the reason we went there in the first place, I think we should come first.

So then why do I support foreign aid? I think that as one of the richest countries in the world, we have a responsibility to help other countries. Not with our military, but rather with our mighty dollar. I still support responsible foreign aid, with oversight, I'm not a complete isolationist. But I can't support preemptive war by our armed forces.

Btw, have you ever read the article that I posted? Its a superb read for anybody, military or not.
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ANCFlyer
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:40 pm

Quoting Tbar220 (Reply 30):
Political beliefs aside, wouldn't you rather see a Democrat with real military experience on the relevant congressional comitees rather than a Republican armchair chickenhawk general who hasn't served in the armed forces?

Tough question - on the surface - no other qualifiers . . . yes. One reason I voted democrat in the US Senate election here in Alaska last time. Knowles (D) v Merkowski (R). One a decorated veteran, former ANC may, former Alaska Governor (2 terms) and a democrat. The other - well - an idiot. In that election however - I voted FOR Tony Knowles - democratic party be damned. I voted for the person.

Quoting Tbar220 (Reply 30):
So then why do I support foreign aid? I think that as one of the richest countries in the world, we have a responsibility to help other countries.

So do I - BUT not at our own expense. When ALL the kids in the US can go to clean schools that are in good repair, and have a decent meal; when we can drive over bridges on the interstate without fear they'll collapse; you get the idea . . . then I'm all for spending large amounts of $$$ elsewhere.

Quoting Tbar220 (Reply 30):
But I can't support preemptive war by our armed forces.

I understand your point - and disagree of course. At least we can agree to disagree . . . .

Quoting Tbar220 (Reply 30):
Btw, have you ever read the article that I posted? Its a superb read for anybody, military or not.

I read every article posted - especially if I'm going to reply about it. What you think this is Civ-Av???  wink 
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Boeing4ever
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 2:04 pm

Quoting UpstateDave (Reply 25):
Let's face it, the old world of the constant Soviet threat is gone.

Let's think of Russia like a dormant volcano. They'll be back...their sham of a democracy won't hold forever...especially not with the likes of Putin in charge.

Aside from that though, we must remember that we face China on the horizon. The era of a real shooting war with all the gee whiz killing tools isn't dead yet...rather on hiatus. Terrorism though a real and persistant threat, is but a distraction from the really big fish upstream.

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Twistedwhisper
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:25 pm

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 24):
Show me where you can find a demoralized US soldier . . .

Your playing with high stakes, aren't you?
Out of the thousands of soldiers currently in Iraq, all we have to do is to find ONE?
Well, I think that seeing your friend getting his/her brains blownout is not considered to be moral-boosting.

What about the fellow soldiers of Sgt. 1st Class Jason L. Bishops and Staff Sgt. Christopher J. Vanderhorn in the As Siniyah area who saw their friends die in a car bomb 3 days ago. I think it's safe to say that they are demoralized, although I haven't talked to them.

I'll wait until the next "Abu Ghraib" if you don't mind, it will be so much easier when I can show you pictures of them as well.
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ANCFlyer
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:35 pm

Quoting TWISTEDWHISPER (Reply 33):
Your playing with high stakes, aren't you?
Out of the thousands of soldiers currently in Iraq, all we have to do is to find ONE?

Even you can't be this naive Whisper . . . I'm painting with as broad a brush stroke as my friend Klaus did. Certainly, obviously, of course, somewhere out there in military land there's disgruntled, disheartened, demoralized soldier, sailor, airman, Marine, Coasty. . . I'm not stupid. . . and neither are you . . . so why the coy questions here?

Quoting TWISTEDWHISPER (Reply 33):
Well, I think that seeing your friend getting his/her brains blownout is not considered to be moral-boosting.

Yup, pretty demoralizing - ever pulled a body out of a burning vehicle that a minute ago you were conversing with on the radio? Ever pulled a troop from a crashed helo? Sure it's demoralizing . . . damn sure is . . . but you're getting into two different - how shall I say - scenarios here. The type and effect of the loss of a friend/comrade in situations like I mention here are entirely and wholly different than the feeling that I believe you're attempting to describe - one of utter despair? One of total loss? Different entirely. In a lot of cases, the circumstances I describe above (that I've personally experienced) while causing me personal grief - demoralising me - steeled me even further toward accomplishing my mission.

Quoting TWISTEDWHISPER (Reply 33):
What about the fellow soldiers of Sgt. 1st Class Jason L. Bishops and Staff Sgt. Christopher J. Vanderhorn in the As Siniyah area who saw their friends die in a car bomb 3 days ago. I think it's safe to say that they are demoralized, although I haven't talked to them.

Saddened, hurt, angry - a whole host of emotions . . . see my immediate previous paragraph.

When you talk to those two soldiers - and I'm sure you won't - you're just putting words in their mouths - ask them if they're demoralized. I'll bet you I can already give you their answer . . . .

But then I don't think you really care either way.

Quoting TWISTEDWHISPER (Reply 33):
I'll wait until the next "Abu Ghraib" if you don't mind, it will be so much easier when I can show you pictures of them as well.

Whatever . . . .  sarcastic 
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Thorben
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Thu Jan 05, 2006 1:05 am

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 29):

I'm so proud of you.

Great job of liberating the free and democratic Kuwait, (and its oil fields). They deserved that, especially after the US ambassador to Iraq told Saddam that they would regard the invasion as an internal matter.

Mission accomplished!
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propatriamori
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Thu Jan 05, 2006 1:38 am

Quoting Tbar220 (Reply 28):
Perhaps its time to shift to a more infantry oriented, high tech, smaller and efficient army; one that is also culturally educated.

I agree with everything you've said, except that the force needs to be smaller. Smaller forces do not allow the flexibility needed to meet missions like those in Iraq/Afghanistan. I think more (many more) Divisions/ Brigade Combat teams are needed, with a force mix tailored to include more Infantry, Civil Affairs, and Military Police.

As for efficiency, in my experience with some levels/areas of the Army the leadership is lacking a warfighter mentality and that leads to serious waste of resources. I could tell you many horror stories of how HMMWV's and other equipment sat in the motor pool without tires, batteries, and other mission essential items while the battalion/brigade/post leadership spent the unit budgets ordering shiny new desks and conference room tables for the HQ. This is BS and needs to be stopped, although I do not believe this is a combat arms problem.

Quoting Tbar220 (Reply 28):
think with this kind of army we need a severe shift in our policy which includes sound plans on securing the peace in a country and withdrawing our troops from there quickly.

I think recent events have definitively shown any strategy that relies on a quick exit belongs "in the dust bin of history". Lack of postwar planning and this kind of thinking is in my opinion THE serious flaw in the current administration's Iraq/Afghanistan war policy. Sound planning is the key here, but sound planning does not include a quick exit.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 29):
The Tank is THE combat arm of decision.

Absolutely. Heavy divisions/forces in the numbers we currently have are needed for some of the contingencies our nation faces, and will always be the ultimate "big stick" on the battlefield. And no heavy forces in existence are better trained, equipped, and led than those of the U.S. Army.
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Thu Jan 05, 2006 1:54 am

Quoting Thorben (Reply 35):
Great job of liberating the free and democratic Kuwait, (and its oil fields). They deserved that, especially after the US ambassador to Iraq told Saddam that they would regard the invasion as an internal matter.

I guess I don't understand this kind of comment. Are you saying, then, that we shouldn't have invaded Kuwait?

Please answer the question.

Please keep in mind that there are those who say that American "interference" with internal affairs is forbidden.

Let's look at this logically.

The logical alternative to invading Kuwait would have been to allow Saddam to occupy it. Would this have been your personal preference? I'm simply asking, here, because of what you said.

If not, then are you saying that the fact that Kuwait is not democratic is a reason for us not to have invaded it?

Again -- please be logical. The fundamental question is whether Kuwait's current (and prior) state as a non-democratic country (in your view) a reason to criticize American and worldwide decisions to liberate it.

This -- and pardon me, but it's part of the whole forest-for-the-trees thing -- is what drives me absolutely insane about criticism of the U.S. and our military actions. Assuming that one cannot defend the position that post-facto developments serve as reasons not to have acted, then it seems to me an inescapable conclusion that one cannot defend the similar short-sighted belief that because there was a "peace dividend", one must necessarily cut the military.

The "peace dividend", if anything, should be used to reinforce our military to insure that revanchism does not occur.

It seems to me that the military is subject to the vagaries of the changes in the direction of the political winds, and that the Pentagon -- with the drawdowns and so forth encouraged by the civilian leadership -- has passively accepted the idea that we must reduce our forces to the bare minimum. I accept and promote the idea of civilian leadership, but I also ask and expect the military to vigorously present the idea of security -- now and present -- to Congress and the President. I'm not sure that the Pentagon has actively (albeit respectfully) resisted the changes that have brought to fruition such things as the hereinabove-references to over-reliance on reserve forces, etc.

I am more confident today in our forces than yesterday or the day before, because I now know that our Congress has approved continued production of the F-35, not to mention the F-22, and that real, nuts-and-bolts defense programs that can help us today (the latest Longbow block, for example) have received significant funding. But I am still unhappy that we are far too deferential to the bean-counters of the world who don't seem to care that there are threats that can develop against us who would render nugatory our substantial superiority in military assets, merely because our superiority is not as great as it could, and should, be.

I ask you: What use is a tax rebate, if it means that a thousand servicemen die who should not have?

My interest is in the lives of Americans, not the indirect benefits of tax cuts to the economy. My interest is in the lives of our soldiers, not on helping out businesses that need illegal aliens for their livelihood, which, by the way, is Bush's latest initiative du jour. (Kick the illegals out first, and deal with the economic consequences later, is my philosophy.) My interest is in America's safety, and less so on the bleating of anti-military people on the left. And I suspect that there are a great many people whose dissatisfaction with Bush has to do with his relatively weak position on defense -- almost as much so as with Congress's -- as with anything else on our list of national priorities.

There is nothing so important as the security of this nation, because without security, all the civil liberties we enjoy mean little. In a sense, a safe, secure, and future-protected America is the greatest civil liberty of all.

And, in my humble opinion, you can take that to the bank.

[Edited 2006-01-04 18:01:32]
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NoUFO
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Thu Jan 05, 2006 1:57 am

Quoting Thorben (Reply 35):
Great job of liberating the free and democratic Kuwait, (and its oil fields). They deserved that, especially after the US ambassador to Iraq told Saddam that they would regard the invasion as an internal matter.

That's rubbish. The war was more than justified no matter what the lady said to the Iraqis, let alone how the Iraqis interpreted (and maybe missread) it.
As for the oil fields: The U.S. barely shopped for oil in Kuwait. Most came from Saudi Arabia nd Iraq, the country they attacked, ranked second.
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tbar220
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Thu Jan 05, 2006 2:33 am

Propatriamori,

Perhaps I would like to see a more infantry oriented army. I don't think the size of our infantry is too many, I just think we're concentrating too much on getting more and more high tech when our enemy is about as low tech as can get. What use are thousands of missiles, planes, ships, artillery, satellites, etc. etc. when the enemy speaks a different language and uses bombs made out of fertilizer?

I'm not saying fight at their level, but we need to have a "smarter" military, specifically on the infantry level. We need a more culturally educated and linguisticaly (sp?) educated army. We need better public relations at a time when our troops are coming off as bored rednecks to our enemy (i.e. Abu Gharaib, torture scandals, etc.). Most of all, we should be providing our soldiers in the field who are doing the actual up close fighting with the best equipment they can get. No more lack of body armor, no more using thirty year old vehicles, etc. etc.

I don't know enough, but I can only imagine that with all the freakin money dumped into the military complex in this country, a LOT of it is wasted.
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propatriamori
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Thu Jan 05, 2006 3:16 am

Tbar, I think we for the most part agree...

I believe the strategy I have advocated will allow for an Army that has units with the right "force mix" for the kinds of things they need to be doing for the mission in Iraq, and potentially other missions down the road. Infantry, Civil Affairs, MPs, Linguistic support, etc. But it takes an increase in the Active component to have the necessary flexibility to do this with a professional force. I'm sorry, but the NG units out there are not getting the training, material, and support they need to do it right without having to be activated for years on end, and long activations are only going to hurt the "one weekend a month, two weeks a year" crowd. These guys never expected these kinds of deployments and have to make sacrifices we can't imagine to fulfill that obligation. We need a well supported and trained Reserve and Guard Force to meet some contingencies, but not for contingencies like Iraq.

I also strongly agree that it is close to criminal to send troops out in the field to perform a mission without the proper training and equipment, and current funding priorities for the military are all wrong and not at all in line with the realities of the battlefield.
 
KC135R
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Thu Jan 05, 2006 4:04 am

Quoting DL021 (Reply 6):
and pay.

The pay thing is a myth - pure nonsense. I have been in since 1995 and we have been getting very consistent pay raises throughout that time.

The exception has been the last 4 or 5 years, but not because of why you might think - I would say despite what you may think. Beginning in 2000 and ending in 2005 pay has been increased considerably because of a provision in the 1999 Defense Authorization Act (<--before Bush, passed by a Republican controlled congress and signed by Clinton) that set out to get rid of out of pocket housing expenses and catch up basic pay to meet civilian standards. That all ended with last year's raises, for 2006 we are back to the standard low 3% range to keep pace with inflation.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 6):
Our military was also rather underfunded under President Clinton

Funding and budget cuts have been a bigger problem since Iraq - not to say Clinton loved or heavily funded the military, but money problems have been much, much bigger in the last 3 years than all of the 7 I served before that combined.

Quoting Propatriamori (Reply 16):
I think the biggest problem with the U.S. Military today is an over-reliance on Reserve Component and National Guard Forces as part of the "whole package" being deployed on the battlefield today.

 checkmark 

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 29):
It is exhausted . . . .caused by a above and lousy leadership (Dumsfeld)

 checkmark 

I think our biggest problems are:

-As mentioned above, relying too heavily on the Guard and Reserve, especially in situations they were never meant for, beyond initial surge or the actual war. As an example, in the next few years almost 1/3 of the active tanker fleet will move to the guard and reserve.

-SO much money being dumped into Iraq that it is hurting other weapon acquisition programs that are much needed - such as the F-22, C-130J, and the KC-???.

-With all the Iraq rotations the Army (especially) is stretched too thin. As an example, last year during the Katrina debacle, my co-worker told me about a friend of his in the Washington Guard. She had just come back from Iraq but got orders to N.O. before she ever made it home - why? Because the Army is stretched so thin, most of the rest of it was either deployed or getting ready to deploy so they could only tap those who had just come back to help.

But it's not just the Army it's also in less visible places - in the USAF we have a critical shortage of cops. I read in the Air Force Times that 40% of USAF cop taskings are in support of the Army because they are so short of people.

In the long term this (and the fact that VA benefits have been cut pretty severely in the last few years despite a huge surge in people who need VA care due to the war) and some other factors will also, IMO, greatly impact recruiting. Already the Army has had to severely lower standards of age, education, and test scores in order to meet (and in some cases they still don't) recruiting goals.
 
Thorben
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Thu Jan 05, 2006 5:07 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 37):

The thing is that the US set up a trap for the Iraqis in order to get the thing they had unleashed before back into the bottle. The US had supported Saddam as long as he fought the Iranians. After that cease-fire, he was useless, even more, a threat to Israel and to the stability in the region. Therefore the US told him that they wouldn't mind an attack on Kuwait. After he did, the US declared that it had to intervene. Result was a massive bombing if Iraq which made the people suffer for a long time, the US could have troops in the region, get the oil, sell weapons, etc. So it is not about weather Kuwait is a democracy, or weather it should have been liberated, it's just about that trap.
France 1789; Eastern Germany 1989; Tunisia 2011; Egypt 2011
 
Falcon84
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Thu Jan 05, 2006 5:46 am

I think he's weakend our military, but more importantly, I think he's weakened our nation. He's damaged it's good name and reputation; he's done harm to long-standing friendships and alliances we've had; and he's damaged the trust many around the world have in the United States.

Not exactly a sparkling record, despite the incessant nodding by his erstwhile supporters.
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RAMPRAT980
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Thu Jan 05, 2006 6:40 am

You should ask that about his predecessor
With gun control there can be no democracy.. With gun control there can be no Freedom
 
Thorben
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Thu Jan 05, 2006 7:31 am

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 43):
I think he's weakend our military, but more importantly, I think he's weakened our nation. He's damaged it's good name and reputation; he's done harm to long-standing friendships and alliances we've had; and he's damaged the trust many around the world have in the United States.

That is very true. As someone from an allied country I can assure you, the the US' reputation has probably never been that low since Vietnam. Maybe even lower than in those times. Sad, but true. The next administration will have to glue a lot of porcelain.
France 1789; Eastern Germany 1989; Tunisia 2011; Egypt 2011
 
KC135R
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Thu Jan 05, 2006 7:42 am

Quoting RAMPRAT980 (Reply 44):
You should ask that about his predecessor

Why does everyone do that all the time? We are talking about Bush - not Clinton. Who cares what Clinton did? He's been gone for 5 years now.
 
RAMPRAT980
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RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Thu Jan 05, 2006 9:34 am

Quoting KC135R (Reply 46):
Why does everyone do that all the time? We are talking about Bush - not Clinton. Who cares what Clinton did? He's been gone for 5 years now.

True and the damage done by slick willy is still evident
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ANCFlyer
Posts: 21391
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:51 pm

RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Thu Jan 05, 2006 9:37 am

Quoting KC135R (Reply 46):
Why does everyone do that all the time? We are talking about Bush - not Clinton. Who cares what Clinton did? He's been gone for 5 years now.

To be honest - in this case, CLinton and Bush 41 deserve credit where due . . . this Thread Title asks "Has Bush Weakened Our Military". The simple answer is YES. But it isn't entirely Bush 43 . . . it goes back through eight years of Bill Clinton and back into Bush 41. That's when the downsizing and restructuring started. The groundwork for it laid under Bush 41 and perpetuated - to the extreme under Clinton - and continued under Bush 43 . . . it has, however, come to a screeching halt since we're up to our collective asses in the big sandbox.


SO, in short - bring Clinton and Bush 41 into this thread is, in this case, quite right.

Quoting Thorben (Reply 35):
I'm so proud of you.

Great job of liberating the free and democratic Kuwait

Geez, Thorben, I didn't know you cared. You're quite welcome  sarcastic 

Quoting Propatriamori (Reply 36):
I think recent events have definitively shown any strategy that relies on a quick exit belongs "in the dust bin of history". Lack of postwar planning and this kind of thinking is in my opinion THE serious flaw in the current administration's Iraq/Afghanistan war policy. Sound planning is the key here, but sound planning does not include a quick exit.

As I've said a dozen times here in the past - the invasion of Iraq was text book . . . clearly demonstrated taht US/UK/Other forces have, without a doubt, superiority on the ground and in the air.

What has been - IMO - a cluster has been any followon activity. No plan for that . . . seat of the pants activity . . .

Quoting Thorben (Reply 42):

Malarkey . . .  redflag  Not wholly unexpected from you though Thorben.
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halls120
Posts: 8724
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2005 3:24 am

RE: Has Bush Weakened Our Military?

Thu Jan 05, 2006 11:25 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
Take bombers, for example. We actually had more bombers under Clinton than under Bush.

Last time I checked, I didn't hear the Pentagon complaining about the lack of bombers. We didn't need all the bombers we used to have.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
Or ships. We have fewer active naval ships than at any time in recent history, if I recall correctly. Under Reagan, we were approaching 600 major combat vessels. Under Bush, we're talking about cutting the 12 aircraft carrier groups back to 11 or even 10. Total major active vessels? Seems like we're barely breaking the 200 or so mark, these days.



Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
All this, while we're fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Tell me, how would 600 ships help us fight a ground war in Iran and Afghanistan?

The 600 ship navy was a pipedream - one we could never afford. And given the shrinkage of the Soviet/Russian Navy, there is no real need for that many ships. That said, we are coming dangerously close to too few ships, but that is more a function of not being able to afford the manpower necessary to run the ships. The Navy is mothballing relatively young ships because they don't have the manpower to fill them.


Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 5):
You dont need 100 B-52s to drop one bunker buster on a precision target.

You dont need an aircraft carrier to bomb a foreign country when you can sit off their coast and fire cruise missiles at them from a submarine.

 checkmark  Instead, you need to have boots of the ground to hold the territory you occupy.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 9):
Who says our military is demoralized? Portions of it are certainly worn down, which is why they are being rotated as entire units.

Agree. Retention is exceeding predictions, especially in the deploying units. Demoralized soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen don't reup if they are demoralized.

Quoting Propatriamori (Reply 16):
The strategy of using 1/3rd to 1/2 of all deployable soldiers as Reserve/National Guard was a flawed way for past administrations and congresses to justify having a large Army "on the cheap".

While you are correct as to the strategy, you are wrong about the reasons behind it. It wasn't a cost matter - it was because Creighton Abrams and his successors wanted to ensure that the Army would never be mired in another conflict without popular support. They purposely made it impossible to deploy the regular army overseas for an extended period of time without calling up the reserves and NG.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 29):
Quoting DL021 (Reply 6):
the Clinton administration presided over the biggest drawdown in our military power in our history. Our military was also rather underfunded under President Clinton with a severe lack of spares and other logistics, as well as a military that was underappreciated in both attitude and pay.

Again, not meaning to throw barbs at Pres. Clinton - but this is cold hard fact. Period. No discussion.

During the Clinton administration, the Navy was so short of spare parts for the F/A-18's that they had to cannibalize front line fighters stateside to keep the deploying squadrons fully stocked with spare parts. At one point in the early 90's, we were so short of 9mm ammunition that domestic training ammo was being rationed.

Quoting Thorben (Reply 45):
That is very true. As someone from an allied country I can assure you, the the US' reputation has probably never been that low since Vietnam. Maybe even lower than in those times. Sad, but true. The next administration will have to glue a lot of porcelain.

I get a good chuckle every time I read a comment like this. 75% of my professional life is devoted to international engagement, and over the past decade, the requests we get from other countries to provide assistance in the way of materials, money, training, and policy support have grown every year. I was in Europe at an international meeting when we attacked Iraq. Not ONE person in an official capacity said anything that could be interpreted as being consistent with your claim. The one individual who did express your view - in a private capacity - was roundly criticized by his European peers for his undiplomatic behavior.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography

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