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Sun Jan 27, 2013, 07:13 AM

How much military is enough?

http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2013/01/28/130128crat_atlarge_lepore?currentPage=all



How much military is enough?
by Jill Lepore
January 28, 2013

Sixty-two legislators sit on the House Armed Services Committee, the largest committee in Congress. Since January, 2011, when Republicans took control of the House, the committee has been chaired by Howard P. McKeon, who goes by Buck. He has never served in the military, but this month he begins his third decade representing California’s Twenty-fifth Congressional District, the home of a naval weapons station, an Army fort, an Air Force base, and, for the Marines, a place to train for mountain warfare. McKeon believes that it’s his job to protect the Pentagon from budget cuts. On New Year’s Day, after a thirteenth-hour deal was sealed with spit in the Senate, McKeon issued a press statement lamenting that the compromise had failed to “shield a wartime military from further reductions.”

The debate about taxes is over, which is one of the few good things that can be said for it. The debate about spending, which has already proved narrow and grubby, is pending.

The United States spends more on defense than all the other nations of the world combined. Between 1998 and 2011, military spending doubled, reaching more than seven hundred billion dollars a year—more, in adjusted dollars, than at any time since the Allies were fighting the Axis. The 2011 Budget Control Act, which raised the debt ceiling and created both the fiscal cliff and a Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, which was supposed to find a way to steer clear of it, required four hundred and eighty-seven billion dollars in cuts to military spending, spread over the next ten years. The cliff-fall mandates an additional defense-budget reduction of fifty-five billion dollars annually. None of these cuts have gone into effect. McKeon has been maneuvering to hold the line.

~snip~

Either the United States rules the world or Americans are no longer Americans? Happily, that’s not the choice the 113th Congress faces. The decision at hand concerns limits, not some kind of national, existential apocalypse. Force requires bounds. Between militarism and pacifism lie diplomacy, accountability, and restraint. Dempsey’s won’t be the last word.

8 replies, 1147 views

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Arrow 8 replies Author Time Post
Reply How much military is enough? (Original post)
unhappycamper Jan 2013 OP
orpupilofnature57 Jan 2013 #1
Left Turn Only Jan 2013 #2
think Jan 2013 #3
Left Turn Only Jan 2013 #5
think Jan 2013 #7
think Jan 2013 #4
bemildred Jan 2013 #6
Macoy51 Feb 2013 #8

Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 07:50 AM

1. In the beginning a dire need, for about 100 yrs now

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:25 AM

2. Representative Democracy?

What would be the percentage of Americans who would be in favor of getting out of Afghanistan and building roads, hospitals, schools, etc., here, instead? How many Americans would be in favor of not getting into Africa and spending the money to improve security at our ports, airports and borders, something that would go a lot further in protecting us from terrorism? Would the majority of Americans prefer closing military bases in other countries and placing those personnel in newly built border stations, spending that money here on our people and providing jobs for Americans? Would most people agree with the fact that since we are constantly spending money we don't have to stop giving money to other countries (except for humanitarian aide), giving us the perfect excuse to get out of the politics of the Middle East and, thereby, eliminating the cries from both sides that we are helping their enemies?

If we were a country that minded our own business like Scandinavian countries, for instance, wouldn't that cut down on our need to combat terrorism? Do we really want to cut back on our own people's safety net to spend money outside of our own country while our allies have universal health care, college tuition, etc.?

Just thinking....

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Response to Left Turn Only (Reply #2)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:29 AM

3. Spot on ......

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Response to think (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:43 PM

5. I signed your petition

For those who haven't signed the petition, it's easy; let's do it.

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Response to Left Turn Only (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 10:58 PM

7. More guns less butter. Worse yet though is when

when we can't even count our guns and have lost some of the butter....

Thank you for signing. It is a cold run but one ever knows. Be it this petition or another petition drive, with some organization it might hit the new thresh hold of 100k.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:32 AM

4. Outstanding article. Some great insites as to why we are where we are.

Thank you very much for posting.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 01:04 PM

6. Generally, very little.

It's impossible to anticipate what you will need when the time comes, things change very fast now, and so one does better to focus on intelligence, surveillanece, capability demonstation, and forecasting. All youi maintain is cadre and technical expertise.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 06:43 AM

8. 25% of the World Military Spending Sounds Right

 

I think America should account for 25% of the total world military spending. That way we will always be strong enough to take on any foe, or group of foes, who threatens us. Of course this will mean cutting our current military spending in half.


Macoy

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