Vets get 1% cost-of-living pension cut in the new budget deal

Budget deal cuts benefits to some vets: Heartless or painless?

Some Republicans criticized the budget deal passed by the Senate Wednesday because it cuts retirement benefits to some veterans. Military cuts are often tough for Congress to stomach. http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/2013/1218/Budget-deal-cuts-benef...

Veterans that can retire after 20 years will take a 1% cut in their pension cost-of-living. Sounds like a sweet deal to retire after 20 years with a full pension and any cost-of-living. The UAW auto workers don't even have cost-of-living and none of the new workers even have a defined pension. After all the attacks on the autoworkers by Republicans why does the GOP not see this as waste? They think it fine to cut our Social Security but any cuts to the bloated military are off the table. When will they learn we can't afford their military contractor buddies and why cut Vet pensions when corporations and wealthy individuals keep their tax loopholes?
http://www.ctj.org/taxjusticedigest/archive/2013/12/murray-ryan_budget_d...

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I can answer this one. Dear DMHI members of the military put their lives on the line in combat situations, auto workers are on the line. Military personnel can be sent to a war zone, auto worker go to the lunch room. Service men and women dodge IED's auto workers try to find a parking spot near the door. The military help keep us free, auto workers want more freebies. Hope that explains the difference.

Any statement I make is the opinion of me exercising my first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is generally permitted.

I would argue that is questionable when the industrial military complex spends almost half our budget on looking for war. Most of our leaders have never been in war including the flat footed talk show host. Why we have our troops in South Korea, Germany, Japan and now Afghanistan is beyond me. All these countries do is get a subsidized security blanket from the United States then send their cars and (drugs in Afghanistan) to this country at artificially low prices. Washington is surrounded by wealthy military subcontractors living in Million dollar houses. Many are former military personal who lobby our government for more tax dollars. President Eisenhower warned of this danger in his farewell address in 1961.

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

Your lack of understanding is apparent. "Why we have our troops in South Korea, Germany, Japan and now Afghanistan is beyond me. All these countries do is get a subsidized security blanket from the United States then send their cars and (drugs in Afghanistan) to this country at artificially low prices."

We have troops in those areas because they protect US interests. The one on the list I feel we should pull out of is Germany. Our forces there are a part of NATO but we should be pushing NATO forces to new NATO countries.

If we pulled our troops from Japan and South Korea those countries would be almost immediately invaded. Look at the hostility China has taken with Japan as of late. North Korea has never not been hostile and has invaded South Korea once already.

You'd benefit from reading on the subject. History tells us it's needed. And the overseas forces is NOT the military industrial complex that President Eisenhower spoke of. It is contractors and their relationship with both the military and congress and the problems that creates.

MikeyA

No they don't! The whole damn thing is upside down. They have national healthcare because we defend their A$$s. There cost of production is less so they sell their crap here and we now have lost our means of production making us impotent. We're a debtor nation with doom facing us. A strong military will do nothing if we get into a war with China. Hell Duh! they make much of our war machine. Its that simple!

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

Your assumption that they have nationalized healthcare because we have a military presence is wrong. There are several countries with nationalized healthcare that do not have a military presence.

Their cost of production has nothing to do with the US military.

We've already been in a war with China. It was a stalemate. That was before we had a strong military as we had severly demobilized from 1949-1951. Again, you should study history.

MikeyA

I thought that exactly... "No they don't". Our interests are not being protected. Not when, for instance, heroin production is now reported to be WAY UP in Afghanistan. Then there's Germany - the enemy that our mis-used U.S. soldiers of the so-called "good generation" defeated in WWII. And then, right after we imported some of their worst war criminals (operation Paper Clip) to the U.S., we embarked on a never-ending quest to toss billions upon billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars down the European-German rat hole, under various guises (Marshall Plan, International Monetary Fund, etc.).

They have national health care because we defend their rear ends... couldn't have put it better myself.

Why do you think that every other industrialized nation in the world has some form of single-payer national health care system funded through taxes? Are they stupid? NO!!
Using tax dollars to fund national health care takes the cost away from businesses. This makes their businesses more competitive on the international scene. What was one of the big concerns when GM and Chrysler were going belly-up? It was the cost of health care to current and retired workers! Does Volkswagen have to worry about such costs? Or Toyota? Or Honda? Or Hyundai? Not in their own countries they don't!
The current plan is a compromise. It's not even close to being socialistic. It's closer to fascist. It uses government subsidies to allow individuals to purchase health care from private insurance companies. If the United States had adopted a single-payer health care plan in the 1990s, such as that put forward by the Clinton Administration, our international businesses would be on much better footing to compete on the world stage. But the health insurance providers made sure that didn't happen. Obama was intelligent enough to come up with a far-from-ideal plan which the health care giants would like. He wasn't about to re-fight a losing war.
Really! Our industries are amazing. Even with national health care lowering costs for foreign businesses, and our own tax dollars being used to "protect" wealthy nations against phantom invasions, U.S. companies are still doing well enough to make our economy the largest in the world! In 2012, the U.S. GDP was greater than that of the number 2 and number 3 nations, China and Japan, combined!
Whatever we may believe and articulate here, it is a huge mistake to underestimate the people of the United States, our entrepreneurs, or our workers! Are the people who run Honda stupid? They have been building motorcycles since 1979 and automobiles since 1982 at their plants in Marysville, Ohio!! They know how great American workers can be when an employer treats them fairly.

What interests are not being protected?

Opium production is actually a good thing for the US and Afghanistan. As long as the Afghani's turn their crop over to reputable buyers for morphine production. The reason the crops are way up is because the Warlords have been pushed out of most areas meaning villagers are free to farm without threat of their crops being stolen so they are farming larger areas than before. Automatically assuming that because opium production is up is a bad thing is not understanding the problem.

The Marshall Plan succeeded in it's goals. It allowed West Germany's economy to flourish while East Germany's did not. The result was it contained communism in Europe. It was such a drastic drop off in societies that the communists had to build a wall around West Berlin to prevent defectors.

We feel the affects today. When the banking crisis hit the country least affect was Germany. Their economy is by far the strongest in the EU.

"They have national health care because we defend their rear ends... couldn't have put it better myself." This is an ignorant statement. We do not defend Germany. Germany has a large army of it's own. In fact on the list of countries that put money into a self defense budget Italy, Germany, and Japan are all in the top 10 and the US holds bases in each. They all defend themselves. We hold forces there for US readiness and troop rotation.

Of these the only bases I feel we should close are those in Germany. Only to redeploy those forces to new bases to support growing NATO membership of Ukraine and Georgia.

MikeyA

Military spending around the world.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures

http://demilitarize.org/fact-sheets/federal-budget-fiscal-year-2013-pie-...

Our country spends more on defense then all other countries combined.
50 percent of Americans pay no income tax yet we spend almost half our budget on military. You think there isn't waste in all this spending? How long before the other 50% who pay for all this rebels when congress think they can cut social security and keep spending on military?

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

Can those other countries respond to a crisis anywhere in the globe within 48 hrs?

MikeyA

Who cares if it bankrupts America!

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

Social Security is just as guilty of bankrupting America. However you don't want a single change to that program. First, I am willing to maintain reasonable cuts to the military budget but you pretend that we don't get something for our money.

Additionally, we spend more money on Social security and Medicaid/Medicare. http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=1258 and yet you refuse to discuss any changes to those programs. And those are growing at much faster rates than our defense budget. You're totally disingenuious with your argument.

So what's bankrupting America again?

MikeyA

Social security along with almost all our budget problems are caused by economic stagflation and income inequality. If we raise the cap on social security then all this goes away. If we renegotiate these Wall Street trade agreements and have our trading partners pay tariffs to our military for their protection then maybe we could compete in the world's markets. But being saddled with the costs of world policing is bankrupting us and causing wide spread unemployment.

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

I agree with you that Germany, with the 4th highest Gross Domestic Product in the world, is wealthy enough to defend itself. However, I would disagree about your assessment of poor little Japan and South Korea not being able to defend themselves. Japan "only" has the third ranking GDP in the world, even ahead of Germany. South Korea is #15, but still ahead of such NATO allies as the Netherlands and Norway. And the United States would not pull out in any immediate way. The transition would be announced at least a few years before it would take effect.
And that Korean War, to which you refer, was 60 YEARS AGO! Since then, North Korea's relationships with its main sponsors in that war have deteriorated dramatically. While the Soviet Union sent money and weapons, you might have read about that handful of some 1 MILLION CHINESE VOLUNTEERS sent into Korea during the Korean War? The current North Korean king barely gets along with China, and the Soviet Union doesn't even exist any more!
And, when Japan and South Korea spend less on defense, they can hold down taxes on their businesses, or even supplement businesses directly, as they have been known to do! Taxpayers of the United States are subsidizing South Korean and Japanese businesses by having thousands of unnecessary troops in those relatively well-to-do countries! And how many so-called patriots who post here drive an automotive vehicle with either a Japanese or South Korean nameplate? And how many of them will state that the main reason they purchased one of those Asian vehicles is because the price was low?

Dale, I agree with your assessment from a GDP standpoint.

However Japan and South Korea are an island and an isolated peninsula. That means if attacked there are only two ways to support them. Naval support is time intensive until supply lines are established, this was the problem for the US at the begining of both WWII and the Korean War.

Much like Vietnam, China would benefit from the US having to invest a large troop movement into South Korea.

Once again the link between our military and the private business expansion in those countries is not a strong one. Only in Japan's case could you rationally use it because they didn't have any form of military for decades, they do now. Likewise we benefit just as much from our military being in those countries as they do for us. It's called Maritime Pre-positioning Forces. We also do it in Norway, Kuwait, Diego Garcia, and we are starting in other countries like Yemen.

What that enables us to do is when we respond to a crisis whether military conflict or humanitarian mission we can respond faster and with working equipment. That is how the US Military can respond to almost anything in the world within 48 hours. That's a great response time. Imagine if the post office could guarantee you your mail that fast, they wouldn't be going broke. In fact, the MPF concept was copied by Amazon.com and that's why Amazon Prime can guarantee 2 day shipping on many of their products.

MikeyA

None of that matters MikeyA we're broke and we can't afford being the world's police. Japan just this year devalued the Yen to sent more of their cheap crap to the USA, putting more Americans that pay taxes out of work. This scheme has gone on too long and our country is a debtor nation ill able to afford these extravagant military campaigns. So talk of what most Americans could care less about, foreign policy and the imperial American state, doesn't resonate to a country that has become a third world banana republic. Other countries and Wall Street have played the American public long enough. Bring home the troops let China rule an set regulation on the thieves on Wall Street so this greed thing doesn't happen again.

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

However, when you classify the U.S. as a "third world banana republic,' you show a great deal of ignorance about how so many of the people of the world live. We do resemble a "banana republic" in the distribution of wealth, but we don't have millions of people living quite literally IN garbage dumps, as they do throughout much of South Asia, and south of our own borders.
The U.S. is still the largest economy in the world. Unfortunately, too much of our wealth is in the hands of a tiny percentage of people. What we need is a more nearly level "playing field" for the children who will become tomorrow's adults. That's why we need a national health care system, better traditional public schools, and better protections for those children from abusive home and neighborhood environments.

Oh Mikey, here you go again with your rightwing nonsense. And you were doing so well in recent debates, too. Tch.

"We have troops in those areas because they protect US interests."

It's not in the interest of a republic to have troops occupying other sovereign nations. If we truly valued liberty (note, we do not) then we'd leave these other nations alone, relying instead on alliances.

"If we pulled our troops from Japan and South Korea those countries would be almost immediately invaded."

Firstly, no. The worldwide military response to a Chinese invasion of Japan or SK is easily foreseeable, hence China won't do it. Secondly, sovereign nations must defend themselves. Our role as the "world cop" has bankrupted us. Due to our adventurism and imperial reach, we're already at a huge risk of another civil war, or at least a Balkanization by various means. The price of being the world cop was too high. And it hardly served the interests of the common folk of the United States. No, it served the interests of American and international corporations. You know, rich people.

... rich people who really hate you, Mikey, and myself. Don't let your uniform fool you into thinking they think better of you. They hate the lower classes (i.e. anyone less than themselves) and after they complete their planned destruction of the American middle class, people like you will generally find yourself in a Praetorian Class that's too narrow to hold you all. If you're really into gladiatorial contests to whittle down your numbers while others scream for your spilled blood, then fine. But I can tell already that you aren't.

GZ, I'm sorry I disagree. And unlike the others I can back up what I've said.

"It's not in the interest of a republic to have troops occupying other sovereign nations." It's not occupation if two conditions are met 1) we do not exert military control over the area and in all those cases we do not 2) it's not occupation if there is a SOFA agreement and in all cases there is.

"The worldwide military response to a Chinese invasion of Japan or SK is easily foreseeable, hence China won't do it." Where is the world wide response? http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/26/world/asia/china-us-b52s/ http://swampland.time.com/2013/11/25/meanwhile-3500-miles-from-iran/ The only two I see standing up to China are the US and Japan.

" No, it served the interests of American and international corporations. You know, rich people." I will now challenge you to show me how the US could provide a full military response WITHOUT maritime pre-positioning forces? How is the US supposed to respond to a crisis with a full military response in a timely manner (remember neither WWII or Korea were we able to support our forces until almost a year in both cases until we established a supply/administrative chain).

MikeyA

Well, you can disagree, but when you support the empire anyway you and I arrive at odds.

1. Your definition of occupation is amusing. You can't reach sovereign agreement with an occupying force. Do you know what "duress" is? You probably even believe there's an Iraqi national government, for instance. (Note: There is not. Iraq is an occupied territory of the American Empire.) Military control is assumed. No sovereign nation allows foreign bases to be established within its borders, by definition of 'sovereign'.

2. I can't help what you believe about political realities of the world. But the fact remains that a Chinese invasion of nations like SK and Japan would produce a coalition of naval forces that would head to the Western Pacific as a show of force. The Chinese government is many things, but it's not actually foolish. That's why Taiwan after all this time remains uninvaded. These are the facts.

3. The United States military maintains the world's largest navy, with the world's best response infrastructure. The USA spends more on its military than all other nations combined. Mikey, can you seriously tell me that our ELEVEN carrier groups, which probably cost $20 billion each on average, are unable to sufficiently respond to a threat event? If so, then the question simply begs: What the hell did we gear up eleven carrier groups for?

GZ

GZ, on 1 and 2 we clearly just fundamentally disagree and see the same problem through different lenses so I'll leave it at that.

I will touch on #3.

Mark my words on this. Our Carrier groups are inadequate. You heard it here first.

They can be struck fatally by missles from farther away then they can defend or the planes can counter attack.

We are clinging to a old and outdated model for our navy that has been slow to adapt to the changing geopolitical landscape. Likewise our Air Force doctrine is in badly need of being revamped (B52's flying Cold War nuclear patterns are a waste).

So your question of "What the hell did we gear up eleven carrier groups for?" is a very good one. This is a prime example of how politics create waste that affects our military readiness. I'm all for making cuts but making cuts that make sense. What Paul, ZC, and FG are advocating are just cuts not cuts that make sense.

MikeyA

Some good insight. It took the military a while to get away from the paradigm of armor. It wasn't just the acknowledgment that the best form of armor is "don't get hit". It was also the admission that there's little point in armoring up, when the armor will get penetrated anyway, and it's too heavy anyway. Naval ships today have pretty much given up on using armor. They rely on stealth and countermeasures.

The military had to get away from the concept of brick forts, once cannon technology proved it could penetrate them anyway. No bunker on Earth is safe from a sufficiently expensive and high-tech delivery system. Although not used yet, a nuclear bunker buster can shut down any bunker regardless of depth, since a bunker that's super deep can just have its lines of communications cut from the buster's explosion. No effective military installation today can avoid being taken out by a sufficiently advanced cruise missile. Heck, I worked in NORAD, under the mountain, and it would be dead easy for a cruise missile to make it down the tunnel to detonate just in front of the blast doors, making the entire exercise of the mountainous protection pointless.

Back to the economics of the issue at hand, I can't see our political system making ANY rational set of cuts. The miltiary is just too huge. No one in a position of authority has the stomach to cut it. The same with Medicare/Medicaid. The same with Social Security. The same with the debt interest. Well, that's 95% of the revenue budget, so that's that for the game of rational adjustment.

If the goofy among us allows the senate to become Republican then the military will win the day and social security (that all of us paid for) will be cut to fund the albatross of the obscene in waste called our military industrial complex. We'll all live in poverty like the Hunger Games while the military defends multinational corporations around the world with the blood of our children.

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

Uh, let's go over the facts:

Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, military, and the debt interest generally consume over 95% of the revenue budget. I call them the "Big Four". Borrowing is at least 25% of the spending budget. Check the 2012 figures for yourself. So making cuts in the budget to actually bring it into balance would have to make cuts in one or more of the Big Four.

Note: I just checked 2012 budget wiki specifically and it's worse than put here, if you accept that the DHSS is part of the entire problem, to wit:

revenue $2469 billion
spending $3796 billion
borrowed $1327 billion (35% of spending, 54% of revenue)

SS $829 billion
DHSS incl. M/M $872 billion
military $688 billion
interest $225 billion
TOTAL $2614 BILLION (69% of spending, 106% of revenue)

Get it yet, you miserable Liberal moron? The Big Four consume all the revenue, and in 2012 it's "all the revenue and then some". You could cut the military IN HALF and you'd still need to make cuts in Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid (the DHSS) in order to actually balance the budget. And with the opposition from Americans and within the Congress, you're not going to get anywhere near a 50% cut in the military.

All you cretins keep defending your turf in the budget, and predictably what happens is that almost nothing is cut, and in fact spending tends to grow overall. The Big Four have become untouchable.

You Liberal retards keep intimating that the Republicans will make us into a "Hunger Games" society, but the REALITY is that the two-party system is what's doing that eventually. We'd be at the HG scenario by now if it wasn't for heavy borrowing. The USA is now around 100% debt-to-GDP ratio, and that's a nation crasher. The Democrats did nothing to stop that, and in fact did more than their share of working towards it. The public debt under this horrific Democratic President has just about doubled. You can't sanely sit there and pretend that your class of political partisan isn't part of the problem. The Liberals are fully one-half PLUS of the problem. America needs to stop listening to your blather. The figures are too simple to hide a lie. Liberalism is crashing the nation.

GZ, I agree with you that we need to make cuts. In the military as well. We could probably cut 15% of the military budget without affecting readiness, and that's what I'm against affecting readiness. As you'll note from our discussion on carrier groups.

The problem is there are many in here who think the military is just subsidizing free healthcare in other countries. This is untrue. For those countries where we have forward deployed troops and equipment it's actually a symbiotic relationship and we do gain an advantage from it. Those who argue against it are both ignoring historical examples and have a limited knowledge about military readiness.

MikeyA

A lot of military contracts could be cut since they're allegedly preparing for a future that's simply ridiculous. Like a bad scifi novel churned out by some hack like Kevin J. Anderson. So 15% is the very least we'd demand. But guys like you and myself are too rare. The military and its supporting industrial complex have too many involved and dependent hands. Just like with Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid.

So into the future, the federal government is very likely to try increasing taxes instead of cutting the budget. The middle class will naturally be hit the hardest by these increases, since the lower class and the upper class are natural dodgers of taxes.

Inside the Pentagon's Trillion Dollar F-35 Embarrassment
http://gizmodo.com/inside-the-pentagons-trillion-dollar-f-35-embarrassme...

The jet that ate the Pentagon

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

Of all the ignorant arguments you've made over the years DMHI I have to say this one is top five material. What you're saying with yet another video post, since you can't seem to find the words, is that the brass and elected officials have made huge mistakes in how they run the Pentagon. They have overspent, built unnecessary product, and now find themselves in a huge deficit hole. You expect the rank and file to suffer because of this.
The Big Three bosses and union bosses made huge mistakes in how they ran the auto industry. They overspent, built unnecessary product, and found themselves in a huge deficit hole. You expected to get a raise, and your entire pension. You expected the taxpayer to bail you out. See the hypocrisy DMHI?

Any statement I make is the opinion of me exercising my first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is generally permitted.

You admit that Germany can defend itself, but I will go further. Germany and its European allies CAN DEFEND THE ENTIRE AREA, INCLUDING THE MIDDLE EAST!!
You still don't admit that Japan and South Korea, as I believe, can defend themselves. But I will take it a another step further here as well. JAPAN AND SOUTH KOREA CAN DEFEND THEMSELVES AND REACT MILITARILY TO ANY PROBLEM THAT WE AND THEY BELIEVE CONCERNS BOTH THEIR INTERESTS AND OURS!!

They world is no longer poor and defenseless, as it was OVER 60 YEARS AGO, following the devastation of World War II! It was never imagined to be the job of the United States, even under the Marshall Plan, and Truman's containment policy, for the United States to be the policeman of the world INDEFINITELY!!

NO! This does not mean I am an isolationist. NO! I do NOT believe that the United States has no role in this process. The United States should aid and support our allies in the European areas, and aid and support our allies in Asia, while doing the main work of protecting the Americas from disasters with some aid from our allies. This should be the new reality for the world.

The soldier robot will make killing painless for the United States and other countries. Now we have leaders who never served in the Military but soon it will be without political risk to kill our so-called enemies. Look for this in our future.

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

You are smoking something if you think this will replace soldiers with robots.

New technology will be utilized but nothing will replace a soldier. A "faceless enemy" only emboldens enemies, we've seen this time and time again through history.

In 1955 people were predicting that the Air Force's strategy air command and it's nuclear capabilities would replace the Navy. That was not the case and the airborne nuclear deterrent did little to end conflicts.

MikeyA

Robots are the not-too-distant future of war
http://theweek.com/article/index/254203/robots-are-the-not-too-distant-f...
Quote:
"Soldiers may actually have a "use-by date." In 20 to 30 years, we may inhabit a planet where foot soldiers are no longer necessary and robotic equipment has replaced them."

Automation replaced many autoworkers and as the military personnel price themselves out of the international war market robots will take over. MikeyA needs to be competitive and give up his defined pension and cut healthcare costs to compete with dollar a day foreign mercenary fighters. Look what happened in Detroit? Cutting pensions is the logical road when the government is broke.

Look for a surge of cheap foreign made robot imports in the near future. The beauty of it is the PR war will be won. No troops raping the women, no dead GIs to morn in the motherland. Only problem is the urge to kill indiscriminately without any moral compass. Just hope China doesn't win this race!

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

Paul you are comparing apples and oranges.

Would I rather deal with a kiosk at McDonald's where I place and verify my own order or deal with a kid who doesn't want to be there and has horrible customer service? That is why automation is replacing workers.

Now when it comes to solving conflict who would you rather face as a civilian in a war torn area? A faceless robot that doesn't discriminate and only follows programming or a soldier who can show empathy? If the American public hasn't learned yet that the way to win wars is to win the support of the war torn populace. Robots will not accomplish this. People do.

Now that's not saying there isn't a place to use automation on the battlefield. Having convoys that drive themselves frees up more spaces for groud troops without increase troop levels. Especially if it's to enable logistics.

"MikeyA needs to be competitive and give up his defined pension and cut healthcare costs to compete with dollar a day foreign mercenary fighters." I'm all for automation but if you think robots will replace ground troops you are mistaken.

MikeyA

It could reduce the number of pilots in all branches of the service though.

"DTOM" {1776} " We The People" {1791}

For pilots DTOM. However that's not what's being discussed.

Paul posted a picture/video intended to replace ground forces.

It's as futile as those who thought air superiority would be enough to stop our enemies. The "faceless enemy" didn't work in North Vietnam, Bosnia, Iraq, or Somalia. Ground forces will always have to play some part. Over 150 years ago during Napoleonic campaigns it was wondered if artillery would replace hand to hand combat. It didn't.

Drones are best viewed as a force multiplier. Allowing us to do more with less. But it does not remove the

MikeyA

All these sweet deals that benefit the working class, must come to an end. The federal government is bankrupt. It borrows 25%-40% of its budget annually. Its debt load is 100% of the GNP. The top four budget items (military, SS, Medicare/Medicaid, debt interest) are considered "untouchable" but consume 95% of revenue.

Something must be cut in the untouchables.

Murray-Ryan Budget Deal Avoids Government Shutdown but Does Not Close a Single Tax Loophole, Leaves Many Problems in Place
http://www.ctj.org/taxjusticedigest/archive/2013/12/murray-ryan_budget_d...

Quote from article:
The Murray-Ryan deal does not close a single tax loophole for corporations or individuals. A bill recently introduced by Reps. Lloyd Doggett and Rosa DeLauro demonstrates exactly how this could be done. The DeLauro-Doggett bill basically borrows the loophole-closing provisions from Senator Carl Levin’s Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act and uses the revenue savings to replace sequestration for two years.

To take just one of many examples of how it would work, the DeLauro-Doggett bill would close the loophole allowing corporations to take deductions each year for interest payments related to the costs of offshore business even though the profits from that offshore business will not be taxable until the corporation brings them to the U.S. years or even decades later. This reform is estimated to raise around $50 billion over a decade. Another provision would reform the “check-the-box” rules that allow corporations to tell different governments different things about the nature of their subsidiaries and whether or not their profits have been taxed in one country or another, resulting in profits that are taxed nowhere. This reform is estimated to raise $80 billion over a decade.

These two reform options appear on a list of potential loophole-closing measures released by Senator Murray’s committee (as well as in the DeLauro-Doggett legislation). The committee’s list also included others that Citizens for Tax Justice has championed, like closing the carried interest loophole to raise $17 billion over a decade, closing the John Edwards/Newt Gingrich loophole (for S corporations) to raise $12 billion, closing the Facebook stock option loophole to raise as much as $50 billion, and several others. (Many of the reforms on the budget committee list are explained in this CTJ report.)

Instead of closing tax loopholes, the Murray-Ryan deal raises revenue through fee increases that are not technically tax increases but would probably feel like tax increases to the people experiencing them. For example, fees on airline tickets that pay for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) would increase to $5.60 per ticket, raising $12.6 billion over a decade. The premiums paid by companies for the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (to guarantee employee’s pension benefits) would increase, raising $7.9 billion over a decade. Another provision would increase federal employee pension contributions, raising $6 billion over a decade. These are just a few examples.

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

The 1% cut is a reduction to an increase. Military retirees won't lose any money.

What does suck about it is those who are survivors of deceased military members are affect by the way the retirement and indemnity is structured.

MikeyA

Google is planning to conquer the world!

Dale,

I'm going to respond to you in this because it's getting hard to read.

You are wrong. We cannot defend the Middle East and Africa from Europe. This was the mistake we made.

When we invaded Iraq we assumed we'd be able to take our equipment through Kuwait and Turkey. This did not occur.

"Germany and its European allies CAN DEFEND THE ENTIRE AREA, INCLUDING THE MIDDLE EAST!! This is wrong. Just because one country gets attacked doesn't mean that we can unilaterally use our bases to defend. http://israelmatzav.blogspot.com/2012/01/turkey-wont-let-nato-use-its-te...

"You still don't admit that Japan and South Korea, as I believe, can defend themselves." South Korea, probably, Japan, no. Japan's military is very young and does not have a developed leadership core to defend itself.

JAPAN AND SOUTH KOREA CAN DEFEND THEMSELVES AND REACT MILITARILY TO ANY PROBLEM THAT WE AND THEY BELIEVE CONCERNS BOTH THEIR INTERESTS AND OURS!! So you believe that Japan will be the best to protect American interests and will fight to the death for them? This is very naive if it is what you believe.

MikeyA

Japan did a fairly good job preparing itself for wars 100 years ago, when Japan was mostly a rural, agricultural society. How did that Russo-Japanese War go in 1905? Now, Japan is the 3rd largest economy in the world! Add this to the economic surge in South Korea over the past 40 years, and we have two powerful nations, who are our allies, and are both tested in war. And I state again, I am not advocating isolationism. I am not advocating an immediate pullout of our troops. But the transition, which should have been started decades ago, should begin immediately.
Mikey...you're stuck in outmoded model of the world. This model sees the United States as the great savior, acting in a paternalistic way toward our poor, weak, unfortunate allies. Our allies are more than capable of taking care of themselves, and providing the primary defense of their geographic spheres.
As far as "the" invasion of Iraq is concerned, it depends upon which invasion. Under Bush #41, we had almost the entire world on our side, and we had few problems getting our military into Iraq. Under Bush #43, we had little support, because most of the world did not buy that government's fallacious and fictitious fear of WMDs which never existed.
And when you state your concern for America's interests, what recourse do we have when, as happened under Bush #43, the world is lied to, and/or gross errors are made in accessing America's interests? This resulted in the death of thousands of America's finest young people along with tens of thousands of Iraq's indigenous people. But, worse than all that, and that's awfully bad, we removed from power a regime in Iraq which fought toe-to-toe against the extremists who ruled Iran. IMHO, that makes our nation and our European and Middle Eastern allies less safe than we were with Sadam Hussein in power. Some great policy you're supporting, Mikey!

"and we had few problems getting our military into Iraq. Under Bush #43, we had little support, because most of the world did not buy that government's fallacious and fictitious fear of WMDs which never existed. Little support? We actually had about 50,000 troops from four other countries during the military invasion and over 30 post invasion. That doesn't sound like little support. And the failures of the UN resolution of 1991 led to the 2003 war.

" But, worse than all that, and that's awfully bad, we removed from power a regime in Iraq which fought toe-to-toe against the extremists who ruled Iran. IMHO, that makes our nation and our European and Middle Eastern allies less safe than we were with Sadam Hussein in power. Some great policy you're supporting, Mikey!" So you believe the current leaders in Iraq are pro-Iran? You don't think the world is better off with today's Iraq than 2003's?

Just so you know, we have a closer partnership today with Kuwait, Bahrain, the UAE, and Jordan than we were pre-2003. Those countries right now represent some of the fastest growing wealth in the world, and are becoming more western than their Persian counterparts. While these are small countries they are influential, very influential. What you are seeing is they are becoming more contemporary by the day. In fact, US Central Command is currently in Florida but it's being relocated. Guess where and guess why?

Pre-1991 Lebanon and Turkey were where US MPF was located. Post '91 it was Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Kuwait. Today it's Turkey, Yemen, Kuwait, Iraq, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Kyrgyzstan (to some extent Djibouti). Don't be surprised to see India added to the list. Now go look at a map. Highlight those countries. What do you find interesting about it?

MikeyA

Earlier you argued that our strategic position before the Bush #43 invasion was weakened and we had difficulty getting our troops into Iraq. Now, you argue that we had this great support . Which is it? UN resolutions mean little one way or the other.

No Muslim leader was so despised by Iran than Sadam Hussein. Remember that little war between Iran and Iraq throughout the decade of the 1980s? It is estimated that between 1/2 million and 1 million people died on both sides combined. With a majority of Shiite Muslims in Iraq, especially outside the area controlled by the Kurds, there is a greater possibility than with Hussein in power that Iran and Iraq could form a partnership. How would that fit in your global view? We may disagree about this, but IMHO the world is a less safe place, and U.S. interests are less safe, because Sadam Hussein is not around to counterbalance Iran. I would never state that somehow Sadam Hussein was a good man or a good leader. But the fact is, he hated Iran and they hated him. Another fact is that Al-Qaeda hated Sadam, and he hated them.

Bush #41 was the one who strengthened U.S. relations with the smaller Muslim states in this area by forcing Iraq out of Kuwait. Please don't diminish what this great leader did! If his son had bothered to read Bush #41's book, (Bush #43, himself, claims that he never read the book), Bush #43 would have never entered Iraq and removed Hussein from power. In fact, Bush #41 warned about the quagmire that was Iraq then, and is Iraq now.

In addition, you ignore the fact that all of these strategic military postings should be the primary responsibility of the European powers, with limited assistance from the U.S.! You just can't get away from that outdated world model of the paternalistic United States helping our poor, devastated World War II allies and enemies! This is 2013. World War II ended 68 YEARS AGO!! The Marshall Plan worked!! Most of Europe, Japan, and South Korea are more than capable of protecting their own best interests and those of their allies.

Our world views are obviously quite different. I respect our military and the service you and others give. I just want to make sure that we do not put Americans in harms way for dubious goals, and/or when the primary role should be played by our most successful allies.

I am not arguing two sides. Troop movement and MPF issues are different than additional troop levels provided by other countries. We didn't/don't have operational control over those units. "UN resolutions mean little one way or the other." Actually they don't. The justification for invasion was based upon the 1991 UN resolution.

"there is a greater possibility than with Hussein in power that Iran and Iraq could form a partnership. How would that fit in your global view?" It hasn't happened. We have had major military operators out of Iraq for over 3 years. The relationship you suggest has not manifested. Why would it suddenly occur?

" Please don't diminish what this great leader did!" I didn't. I spoke from a pre-91 and post-91 standpoint. I merely gave facts. If you disagree with them please describe where/why.

" If his son had bothered to read Bush #41's book, (Bush #43, himself, claims that he never read the book), Bush #43 would have never entered Iraq and removed Hussein from power." You cannot be this stupid. You seriously don't think they talked about it? You seriously think picking up a book is less effective than picking up a phone. Also note a lot of the same advisers 43 had were present in 41's administration.

"In addition, you ignore the fact that all of these strategic military postings should be the primary responsibility of the European powers, with limited assistance from the U.S.! " Why? Primary responsibility? None of these areas fall under the colonial control of the Europeans anymore. Why is it/should it be the primary responsibility of European countries to protect American interests?

MikeyA

Yes. You are making two opposing points about the Bush #43 Iraq coalitions. In addition, only three countries contributed a significant number of troops to the Bush #43 invasion, while over a dozen did so in 1991. There is really no comparison between how the two invasions were viewed by most of the world, the difference in the objectives, and the fact that Bush #41 had an exit strategy, and Bush #43 had none. In addition Bush #41 didn't lie about the ability of Iraq to attack the United States itself with WMDs. Bush #43 did! Without the lies, Bush #43 would have had NO international help AT ALL, and the Bush #43 people knew that. Bush #41 had a clearer vision of what was needed and of what would and wouldn't work, than almost anyone in the world. Along with making it a point that he didn't read his father's book, Bush #43 stated that he did NOT seek his father's counsel on any of his invasion plans. Was Bush #43 lying then, too?
As far as Bush #43 advisors being the same as Bush #41 advisors, that is very misleading. By all accounts, Bush #43 did not re-employ any Bush #41 advisors who were cautious, or as Bush #41 liked to say "prudent" about U.S. foreign policy. Bush #43 always thought that his father was much too cautious about the use of America's military might. Could the differences between the two have anything to so with the fact that Bush #41 was a veteran who had been in a real war situation, and had been shot down and thought killed in a late WWII battle; while Bush #43 was busy defending Texas from invasion during the Viet Nam War? I don't know.

Sadam Hussein was an awful man. But Sadam Hussein was a counter to Iran. He's dead. IMHO the world is less safe because a Hussein-led Iraq is no longer a counterbalance to Iran. As far as Iraq and Iran eventually having some form of coalition, the final chapter is long from being written in this scenario caused by the foolish, wasteful Bush #43 invasion of Iraq.

Again, your world view is one of the world in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The members of the European Economic Union now have a combined GDP higher than ours! How long must the United States continue to take primary responsibility in funding and supplying troops to areas the EEU can handle as well or better than we. And they're geographically closer by a few thousand miles, too! The U.S. should be a partner, but the Middle East is even more important to Europe than it is to us! Although most of the time the EEU interests in the Middle East parallel those of the U.S., the "interests" they would be protecting are primarily THEIR OWN.

Good thing W got rid of Sadam Hussein. The Middle East is so much more stable, now!
Yet another example of how skewed your world view is, Mikey.
It is said that the border between Iraq and Syria is so wide open, it does not really exist. How long will it take before the majority Shiites in Iraq ask for help from their fellow Shiites in Iran? (Al-Qaeda is an extremist Sunni-Muslim group.)
With your world view, do you want to return U.S. troops to Iraq, and maybe send them into Syria as well?
To me, if military action in this region is needed, it's up to the EEU to take the lead.

So you're saying Fallujah is under AQ control?

"Good thing W got rid of Sadam Hussein. The Middle East is so much more stable, now!" Is Iraq the cause of the instability? I think not. In fact, Iraq is no longer a threat to US interests. Do you think they will invade any of the countries that I mentioned before?

" How long will it take before the majority Shiites in Iraq ask for help from their fellow Shiites in Iran? (Al-Qaeda is an extremist Sunni-Muslim group.)" They already did. The help has not come. The nationalism in both countries run stronger that Shiite-Sunni relations.

"To me, if military action in this region is needed, it's up to the EEU to take the lead." Again, you give no reason as to why.

In fact, it was Europe who took the lead in the foray into Libya. Let's compare Libya and Iraq today, where would you rather travel? And Libya was a less precarious situation without a major enemy on it's borders.

MikeyA

The issue is: are we safer now than we were when Sadam Hussein ruled Iraq? In case you missed the old news, W admitted that the U.S. never found any WMDs in Iraq! Without Sadam in Iraq, extremist Shiite and Sunni are more influential than ever. That makes us all less secure!
Today, there are reports that Iraq has become a war zone between those backed by Saudi Arabia and those backed by Iran. Better read up on your intelligence reports, Mikey. Iran is definitely helping the Shiite majority in Iraq!

I already gave reasons why the EEU should take primary responsibility for the problems in North Africa and the Middle East. But to review for you:
1. Europe is comparatively wealthy, with a total GDP about the same as the U.S.
2. The European powers are well armed.
3. Europe is geographically much closer to this area than is the United States.
4. As the U.S, has become less dependent upon North Africa and the Middle East as a source of energy this past decade, Europe still relies heavily upon this area for its energy supplies.
5. In almost any scenario one can imagine where U.S. interests are involved, the interests of Europeans are as great or greater than ours.
6. Why must it always be the U.S. who is the primary combatant in these situations? Why must it always be our American youth who die fighting for the security of rich, powerful Europeans?

As for your last question, the answer is quite simple. I will not be traveling to either location. As a U.S. citizen and as a Jew, I would be in double trouble. And I have a hard time feeling sorry for those, not under U.S. government employ, who find themselves as victims of kidnapping, then expect our government to rescue them! Most often, they get paid an enormous amount of money to work in a zone considered to be dangerous, but when the danger proves to be real, they act like innocent, naive victims! You couldn't pay me enough money to get me to go either place!

You say "The issue is: are we safer now than we were when Sadam Hussein ruled Iraq?"

"Without Sadam in Iraq, extremist Shiite and Sunni are more influential than ever. That makes us all less secure!" You have yet to show how it affects the we in your statement. A influential Shiite or Sunni leader in Iraq doesn't really equate to a bigger threat than a dictator with a full army and air force. If you're going to make that statement you need to prove it.

I'd be more worried about Iran's assistance to Syria because Syria has chemical and nonchemical weapons and effective delivery systems. Yet you seem to ignore that conveniently. The troops and equipment placed in Jordan and Iraq because of the Iraq War do act as a deterrent to the Syrian Civil War spilling over. We have CIA operatives and military advisors training the rebels in Jordan, we didn't have that pre-2003.

"As a U.S. citizen and as a Jew, I would be in double trouble. And I have a hard time feeling sorry for those, not under U.S. government employ, who find themselves as victims of kidnapping, then expect our government to rescue them! Most often, they get paid an enormous amount of money to work in a zone considered to be dangerous, but when the danger proves to be real, they act like innocent, naive victims!"

There are a lot of factors you are failing to consider that occur. For instance, a flight to another country gets diverted and now a US citizen finds themselves in a country they never planned. How about ships that are boarded and diverted (more common than you'd probably think). Or nongovernmental service organizations who do peace corps like functions, normally these individuals operate without harassment but it does occur and they're providing humanitarian assistance.

Please spare me your "great debating move, change the issue" please look at the name of the thread we're posting in.

MikeyA

Iran's influence in the region has grown. Your point about Iran's involvement in Syria meshes perfectly with my point about Iran's influence in Iraq.
Again, I'll state clearly, IMHO Sadam Hussein was a terrible man. However, his government was a counterbalance to the power of Iran, much of whose military power was the result of several American presidents and congresses sending and selling thousands of the then latest technological weapons to Iran, until the fall of the Shah. We were warned by Bush #41 that removing Sadam from power would suck us into the quagmire that is Iraq for an indefinite period of time. W paid no attention to this.

The Middle East is now less stable than it was in 2002, and that's saying A LOT!! The more unstable the Middle East is, the less safe we and all of our allies are. You may continue to deny this, but I stand by this assessment.

As far as travel is concerned, you obviously missed [or purposely ignored] my point COMPLETELY! If any American finds her or himself in trouble because they inadvertently end up in a situation that is unlikely, because of some type of nefarious act in a friendly, relatively safe nation, or because of being kidnapped and brought to an unfriendly nation or region, the U.S. should do everything possible to obtain their release. However, when Americans are warned about the danger of travel to a particular country, and go there anyway, usually to receive an enormous salary specifically because that place is dangerous, how can I fell sorry for them if they find the trouble about which they were duly warned?

than Findlay is to Toledo! You're right, though. Iraq is quite a safe place to visit...NOT!

http://rt.com/news/iraq-qaeda-fallujah-insurgents-254/
‘Tribal warfare’

The White House said Monday it would hasten delivery of aid to Iraq in its fight against Al-Qaeda. The shipments, to arrive in coming months, will include 100 Hellfire missiles, 10 ScanEagle surveillance drones and, later this year, 48 Raven surveillance drones. Yet the US said Sunday that it would not send troops to Iraq.

Iran has also offered military assistance to help quash the militant uprising.

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

Not only was Saddam a bitter enemy of Iran, Al-Qaeda hated him, too, even though Saddam and the Al-Qaeda extremists are both among the Sunni sect of Islam. The Al-Qaeda extremists are "true believers" who closely follow their religious rituals. Saddam was so secular that they hated him for being so secular, and he thought they were crazy for being so inflexible about religion. When we removed Saddam, against the express advice of Bush #41, we removed both a counterbalance to Iran AND a strong opponent of Al-Qaeda. Bush #41 and I thought that was plain foolish!

"Japan did a fairly good job preparing itself for wars 100 years ago, when Japan was mostly a rural, agricultural society. How did that Russo-Japanese War go in 1905? Now, Japan is the 3rd largest economy in the world! Add this to the economic surge in South Korea over the past 40 years, and we have two powerful nations, who are our allies, and are both tested in war. And I state again, I am not advocating isolationism. I am not advocating an immediate pullout of our troops. But the transition, which should have been started decades ago, should begin immediately."

Japan spent the better part of two decades modernizing it's Navy to establish itself as a world naval power. It also went to war with China pre-WWII that while it failed it grew the non-commissioned officer leadership abilities. By the time 1940 came around Japan was ready for war and if not for a few ships missed during Pearl Harbor almost took the US completely out of the pacific and was mounting an invasion of Alaska. In 1932 Japan was looked at as a joke of a military.

So the road to almost Japan dominace took 20 years and an early test of leadership before it was ALMOST successful.

MikeyA

Unlike what you wrote, Japan was extremely successful fighting a very weak China in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Japan was able to force China to allow Japan to take over the Island of Formosa, and China had to give up all claims to Korea which was an admission of Japan's actual control of Korea. In the early 1900s, Japan continuously increased its influence in the areas of China it controlled by agreement with the United States and European powers (spheres of influence). In 1931, Japan invaded Manchuria, and within 5 months declared it to be the "independent" state of Manchukuo in 1932. Manchuria had large deposits of coal and iron ore which Japan needed as an independent source of raw materials to build more instruments of war.
Japanese incursions in China continued until the full-fledged invasion of China proper in 1937. Only after the U.S. was brought into WWII, did China get enough help to halt the Japanese. By the time this happened, the Chinese government and the Chinese Communists had fled far inland, away from China's most prosperous and highly populated areas, which Japan would control until the Japanese defeat in 1945!!

Again, this was all done by a nation which -- at that time -- was primarily agricultural, and a "late-comer" to the industrial revolution. Today, Japan has the third largest national economy in the world!! They are hardly helpless. Primarily because of this bitter history, and the growth of Japan as an economic powerhouse, China has good reason to still fear Japan!!

I need no further support my assertion that the world and particularly the US did not think Japan was capable of any military might than this sentence of yours. "Unlike what you wrote, Japan was extremely successful fighting a very weak China in the late 1800s and early 1900s."

Japan was not viewed as a significant threat. Their invasion into China and Manchuria did not raise their standing as a threat in the view of the US. You concede this point with what I quoted from you. So I stand by my initial assertion.

MikeyA

Since you're not old enough to remember most of those Americans who fought against the Japanese, and heard about the Japanese from the Chinese who had been fighting the Japanese for decades before WWII, I guess you'd better read some more. If I am wrong, please quote your source for stating that in 1932 Japan was, "...looked at as a joke of a military." Have you ever read anything about how the U.S. military was assessed by most world leaders in the early 1930s?
You know that I respect your military background, but that doesn't mean that your assessment of the various military powers of 80 years ago is valid.

There were several military advisors in Japan and China warning about the military threat Japan was posing. Not just in the US but the UK and Russia as well. These were primarily ignored (save Russia) because it was not viewed as credible.

You have yet to prove I was wrong and your statements support my claim as I noted. I have ignored nothing of history. What I stated was accurate. If Japan was viewed as strongly as you claim then why did the US and British Empire not effectively train and equip their forces to combat a Japanese threat? Japan almost had total control of the pacific rim and majority of Asia before circumstance intervened.

MikeyA

history. You have left out a key element, to which I previously alluded. More in the U.S. than in the UK, there was a strong isolationist movement. Our ambassador to England was Joe Kennedy starting in 1938. He was a well known isolationist, even arguing against the U.S. helping Britain as the 1940 "blitz" bombings started! Most Americans fully supported isolationism then. Under Neville Chamberlain, Britain had even ignored the threat of Nazi Germany, for heavens' sakes!! That's how strong the isolationist movement was!

Simply put, after WWI, the vast majority of Americans wanted to ignore the rest of the world, whether it was in Europe or Asia! Joe Kennedy even stated to the Boston Globe, on November 10, 1940, "Democracy is finished in England. It may be here [the U.S]." In that context, the growing power of Japan was not considered to be a "joke," as you state, it was ignored for isolationist reasons, just as the growing threat of Germany was ignored. We simply had no stomach for war!

Actually Dale you are correct but you'll note the US still developed and was developing warfighting doctrine to combat another war in the European theater. Germany was the aggressor in the scenarios. As an example look at the advancements in armor and aircraft from 1920 to 1938. The US supplied technical advisors to the UK prior to 1942. The US had a Task Force replacing UK forces in Iceland months PRIOR TO PEARL HARBOR. Even with the policy of isolationism military doctrine was still advanced in expectation of a European war which history shows us most countries plan for the war they just fought. It's quite common.

Now, war with Japan because of geography HAD to be naval driven operations. Yet, the navy had not received major upgrades. All of the focus was on air and armor operations which would be limited in a war with Japan. The only naval advancement was a congressional order of battleships, however, this was nothing but a continuation of the European style of warfare that was inadequate for what was needed in a island hopping strategy.

I'd suggest reading The American Way of War by Weigley. It's standard for LtCol/LtCmdr ranks throughout the US Armed Forces. It's long but a good read and shows not just the military strategy but the internal military politics and how it drives decisions.

MikeyA

I will read it.
I suggest that you read Churchill's 6 volume series on WWII. Not only was Churchill correct about the danger of Hitler, but he also correctly warned about Stalin and Russian expansionism in a post-WWII world.
The military buildup to which you refer was relatively small. Even at that, FDR had to fight very hard for it. The U.S. involvement to aid Britain to which you refer was also vigorously opposed by many in congress and even many in the FDR Administration. Joe Kennedy was far from alone in his isolationist beliefs!

I will check it out. If Churchill is as candid on paper as he was in real life I'm sure I'll enjoy it.

MikeyA

himself in the history of the use of the English language. These books are, in essence, his personal diary of the years leading up to, during, and shortly following, WWII. When people praise Churchill's ability to see into the future, there are actual speeches he gave which prove he saw through Hitler and Stalin as well.
Churchill gave the best short description of Hitler I have ever read. Churchill called Hitler, "a maniac of ferocious genius." I am posting this with the understanding that there is the danger of someone (not you, Mikey) totally misrepresenting Churchill's words. After Germany attacked the Soviet Union, the UK House of Commons was asked to support a compact with the Soviet Union to coordinate efforts to fight Hitler. One of the many things I admire about the parliamentary system is that the Prime Minister is a member of the House of Commons and must answer questions posed by other members. Churchill was asked on the floor of the House of Commons how he could make a deal with an awful man like Joseph Stalin. Churchill answered, "I would make a pact with the devil himself to defeat Adolph Hitler."

I saw a Middle East government official on the 6:30 news tonight. He voiced the concern that the wars in Iraq and Syria would soon spread throughout the region because extremists of the Sunni are being supported by Saudi Arabia and extremist Shiite are being supported by Iran. As much as both you and I agree that Sadam Hussein was a terrible man, Bush #41 warned us that removing him from power would create a power vacuum. Bush #41's main concern was that the U.S. would have to remain in Iraq indefinitely. Now that we have withdrawn from Iraq, the government official talked about how the power vacuum is being filled by the Saudi and Iranian-backed extremists.
Really, Mikey, how much evidence you need that Bush #41 was right to not remove Sadam from power?

Dale the problem is you are not explaining how this is negative to US interests. In fact I'd say Iran having to support fighters in other countries is high likelihood of a losing battle.

You are correct that I was in favor of removing Hussein. I would have removed him for violations of the UN treaty that were not WMD's but that's me, there was more than enough justification for it. Removing Saddam from power was/is a good thing. He was willing to use chemical weapons on a civilian populace. Removing Assad would be a good thing for the same reason. I need no further justification.

If I stand by and let a tyranical dictator kill innocents without intervening then I am just as guilty. It's a holocaust. Should we have looked the other way with Germany in WWII because Germany falling to communisim MIGHT have been as bad? No. You take your risks and it is a gamble that the next regime will be better.

If I had to outline a mistake Bush 43 made I'd say it wasn't in Iraq but Afghanistan. When we installed Karzai as President we should have done it on the agreement that he be unable to run for President in the first free elections. We didn't. The result is we installed a dictator. He's a profiteer. Now he may not be killing people but I don't think he is looking out for the best interests for Afghanistan.

THAT decision will eventually bite us in the ass probably more than any decision on Iraq ever did.

MikeyA

Remember, I am supporting the position of Bush #41. You are supporting the position of Bush #43. I'll take Bush #41 over Bush #43 every time!

Are you serious? You really don't think that a wider war in the Middle East will affect the United States? You really don't believe that energy prices would be negatively affected; thereby negatively affecting every industrialized nation in the world?
But, worse than that, the pressure would build upon the United States to send our young people into the area once again, to control the chaos. More American blood could be shed for dubious goals.

Finally, I have no more confidence in the effectiveness or the honesty of the government in Iraq, than both you and I have for the government in Kabul! Finally, Iraq has the fifth highest proven reserves of oil in the world, almost equal to #4 Iran. If the two would combine, they would be a close #2 in the world next to Venezuela. Afghanistan has little if any oil. Mistakes in Afghanistan are bad. Mistakes in Iraq are much more disastrous!

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