Saturday, May 28, 2011


Sanity in Military Force Reductions

Just where might we become involved in a war?

1. Defending Israel from the Arabs, after the Arabs have built up their military further.

2. Defending South Korea from NK aggression yet again.

3. Intervening in Pakistan to neutralize their nukes, if not also to protect our logistics trails.

4. In the short term, carrying out the plans and operations for Iraq and Afghanistan.

5. Defending Europe once again in five or six+ years from now?

If we experience force reductions, say to a 500,000 man army, a 6 carrier navy, and a 40 wing air force, or roughly a 50% reduction from current levels, it would tax that remaining force massively to take on any one of these conflicts and hope for success, while maintaining other military commitments within the US and worldwide. If, any other of these possible conflicts were to pop up at the same time, we would be obliged to ramp up massively once again and call up the reserves, or else let fate take its course, which would be not only more expensive than keeping a sufficient force at the ready, but it also allows a large time penalty in favor of any aggressor before we can show up in force.

So what exactly is the right capability level for our forces? A 25% reduction? A 33% reduction al la Clinton and his peace dividend that was spent before it was actually realized, and cost us when we had to ramp up again a bit later more than was actually saved? What should we allow for RDT&E of new weapons, and what should we allow for stockpiling of weapons and ammunition? What should be allowed for initial or continued production of new combat and transport aircraft, ships, tanks, armored vehicles, artillery, missiles (large and small), and other military goods. What should we allow for continued intelligence gathering by all of the current organizatrions involved? And, not to forget, what is to be allowed for continued training of the standing force, and continued maintenance as things break?

Obviously, given that it can be found in the military and its procurement channels, waste, fraud and abuse of funds should be eliminated, as should weakly justified or totally unjustified studies and procurements. One estimate I saw reckoned that perhaps a billion dollars a year could be saved by tightening up on the oversight of expenditures.

In my opinion, rather than engaging in sweeping and generalized statements about reducing the military forces, we should delve into the realities of our needs, element by element., situation by situation, and forecast by forecast and plan by plan of our future military needs worldwide, and then rack up the score and the bill. This is what Bill Gates is doing right now, and he should be heard out fully.

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In addition to you last paragraph I suggest, putting an end to "police actionts" and "peacekeeping missions". In addition we need to stop giving money to countries which are not our allies. When a country offends us such as pakistan sheltering Bin Ladin, we should cut aid until they prove their worth as allies. We would save significant moneys without sacrificing defense.

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