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Pentagon Wants Smallest Army since WWII

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by DFWRocket, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. DFWRocket

    DFWRocket Member

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    I'm good with this plan - they way wars are fought has changed and our armed forces are too bloated. Time to close some of the overseas bases and strengthen our tactics instead of relying on shear numbers.

    https://news.yahoo.com/pentagon-wants-smallest-army-since-world-war-ii-051908693.html

    Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is set to unveil a new, proposed Pentagon budget on Monday that considerably reduces the size of the United States military. According to officials who spoke to The New York Times, the budget would "aggressively push the military off the war footing adopted after the terror attacks of 2001."
    The proposal has come about for two main reasons: President Obama's attempts to end the nation's extended wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the federal government's fiscal woes. The resultant downsizing would make the U.S. capable, according to anonymous officials who spoke to the paper, "capable of defeating any adversary, but too small for protracted foreign occupations." In other words, great defense, but a little warier on offense.
    As Hagel phrased it, back in July:
    This strategic choice would result in a force that would be technologically dominant but would be much smaller and able to go fewer places and do fewer things, especially if crises occurred at the same time in different regions of the world.
    That idea of a military being able to fight on multiple fronts has been perpetuated since the first days of the Cold War, when the Pentagon expected to need boots on the ground in both Europe and Asia.
    RELATED: Maryland's Commuters Might Not Get to Ride Trains Run by a Company Involved in the Holocaust
    While the elimination of an entire class of Air Force jets is part of the proposal, other areas will retain much or all of their current support. Those are, specifically, Special Operations and divisions focused on cyberwarfare.
    The plan for an Army of about 450,000 personnel—the smallest since World War II—will likely face a lot of pushback, despite reportedly having the full support of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Cuts to benefits will draw criticism, including pay raise limits, higher fees for health benefits, and smaller housing allowances. War hawks will argue that a smaller military makes the country weaker and more susceptible to attack, and companies and representatives in port cities will oppose measures that slow the shipbuilding industry.
     
  2. Dubious

    Dubious Contributing Member

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    Wars are increasingly mechanized. The lethality of the individual soldier has been multiplied. Ground troops are less expendable, we won't be sending any ground troops as cannon fodder again.

    Logistics are increasingly privatized.

    The lethality, mobility and survivability of Naval and Air assets are reducing the need for ground operations.
     
  3. Kojirou

    Kojirou Member

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    I seem to remember a certain Secretary of Defense who believed this. He thought that with the mechanization of war, you didn't need to have huge amounts of individual soldiers to invade and occupy a country.

    His name's Donald Rumsfield.

    So yeah, color me a tad skeptical.
     
  4. Bandwagoner

    Bandwagoner Contributing Member

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    The real drive is money because for each soldier you now need an uparmored HUMVEE and $50K in gear. It used to be a 500 dollar Jeep and an M1A.

    You cannot give them shoddy tech, so the only way to reduce the defense budget is to reduce the number of soldiers.
     
  5. Mathloom

    Mathloom Contributing Member

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    Outsourcing.
     
  6. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    Hey, those working class men and women with their pay and benefits are just expenses to the military industrial complex.

    Now some juicy drones, old fashioned bombers, cruise missiles even tanks needed or not-- now we're talking.
     
  7. mdrowe00

    mdrowe00 Member
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    Well, Donald Rumsfeld confirmed with his handling of the Iraq Invasion/occupation that he really had no idea how LITTLE the idea of wars and occupying countries had changed, despite America's superior technology.

    I was enlisted at the time of the First Iraq (Kuwait) war. I remember that General Norman Schwarzkopf advised President George H. W. Bush at the time, that with the coalition they had built in the world community because of Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, now was the time to go into Iraq itself and remove Saddam Hussein from his seat.

    The effectiveness of that campaign by the general (I think the entire ground assault, after the Air Force routed what Iraqi resistance there was, took maybe 100 hours, give or take), may have given Rumsfeld and the entire Bush Administration the false belief that we could fight wars without extended engagement.

    "Stormin' Norman" was a master strategist, no doubt. But as the President reminded him, we were in Kuwait primarily to remove Saddam and his forces from Kuwait, with the sanction of the United Nations and a real "coalition of the willing".

    I don't know what it was, but President Bush 41 didn't want the conflict to go on any longer than it absolutely had to. In fact, much of the Iraqi resistance at the time was expecting the Coalition forces to move into Baghdad and help them remove Saddam. For that matter, neither did General Schwarzkopf. He had seen enough wars in his time to not want to drag one on unnecessarily. But the general did regard Hussein, at the time, as a legitimate threat.

    After the end of Desert Storm effectively neutered Hussein, the general softened his position a bit. He was as much a diplomat as he was a soldier, and while I didn't always agree with his politics, I understood much of his outlook on international affairs. He understood that the nature of warfare would change, if it hadn't already.

    This was all in 1991 and 1992.

    One of the mistakes that the George W. Bush white house made is in defining the Iraqi incursion as a "liberation". The sentiment of liberation among the populace had changed greatly since the end of the first gulf war, with America largely seen as a negative in the region (the sanctions imposed on the Hussein regime were supposed to, at some level, foster a revolution among the populace that would unseat Saddam from within, but Hussein's wealth and connections made that impossible).

    I believe they say the Iraq "war" as the type of conflict that the Persian Gulf War was. Operation Desert Storm was basically fought to REPEL an invading country, and as such, the conflict could be defined as a victory with such a definite endgame.

    Invading a country is another matter entirely, and the only way to win a war with another country in conflict like that is to destroy the country.

    Norman Schwarzkopf fought in the Vietnam conflict, and like any soldier who suffered through that morass (or any soldier who had fought in war), he did not at all endorse the idea of war being frivolous, and particularly the type of war the Bush Administration had (unknowingly or unwittingly) committed the country to.

    We still require manpower as a key component in national defense. We just don't need it at the levels and at the posture that we've grown accustomed to since the end of World War II. Probably haven't needed that footing since the fall of the Soviet Union.

    But war, like a lot of things in America, is big business.

    Not necessarily GOOD business, but hey...what do I know....

    ...I got enough to worry about...being outed as an Al Sharpton-lover....
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Johndoe804

    Johndoe804 Member

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    Probably the best thing that's happened while Obama's been President. Its incremental, but it seems that incrementalism is the way of the world these days. Lets hope they continue to cut the defense budget and make the Department of Defense more for defense and less for war.
     
  9. Dubious

    Dubious Contributing Member

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    The only thing you need large numbers of troops for in 2014 is occupation and nation building. And I think we are officially out of the occupation and nation building business on the large nation scale after Viet Nam and Iraq.
     
  10. Phillyrocket

    Phillyrocket Member

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    This: a significant cut would actually be one of his greatest accomplishments.
     
  11. mc mark

    mc mark Contributing Member

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    Wonderful news!

    But how does the Pentagon spend an additional $1.5B over the next 5 years? Does this really cut the budget?
     
  12. Cohete Rojo

    Cohete Rojo Contributing Member

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    Sounds like misdirection. Are they looking to cut enlisted numbers but keep spending the same? No specific numbers were thrown around in the article.
     
  13. Bäumer

    Bäumer Contributing Member

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    They need to buy more tanks.
     
  14. mc mark

    mc mark Contributing Member

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    I'm sorry, $115 billion more in defense spending over five years.

    But yeah, I guess robots are more expensive than humans.
     
  15. Dairy Ashford

    Dairy Ashford Member

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    Jesus ****ing Christ, forty years too late but thank goodness.
     
  16. rhadamanthus

    rhadamanthus Contributing Member

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    Congress will never approve that. Never.
     
  17. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    This is the key to look for. Otherwise just more mililitary industrial complex and being policeman of the multinational corporate world.
     
  18. Mathloom

    Mathloom Contributing Member

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    Is this even a question? Of course they're not going to cut spending. They're just going to give your taxes to corporations who will provide soldiers and weapons. Obviously they will continue to do the accounting for this in a way that doesn't really show what's going on, and then tell the auditors to go F themselves. In the interest of national security, of course.

    All in all, someone in a PR office in Washington is laughing their assess off about how this kind of story actually convinces many Americans that they will recoup some money to fix domestic problems.
     

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