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Thread: Proposed reduction in the size of the US Military

  1. #1
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    Default Proposed reduction in the size of the US Military

    I heard on the radio yesterday that someone high up in the system in the USA ( I missed the name, was sanding off a filled seam on a stitch and tape build at the time) is proposing that the US military be reduced in size to pre WW11 levels, and that it can maintain its effectiveness with its technological advantage.

    Now as an outside who is a regular visitor to the USA, I've a view that is perhaps different from those who'd say that the taxes that maintain the military would be better used elsewhere, although I feel that there are plenty of things that would benefit from better funding.

    Here goes. There are many towns in the USA that are essentially "company towns" whos economies are maintained by a nearby military base, or a factory that produces materiel for the military. The "machine" is so big that the whole countries economy would be affected by the change.
    Each and every one of the people employed by "the machine" , and those employed to provide those people with housing, services and goods etc could find themselves looking for jobs on a difficult job market. The usual "multiplier" in cases of comparing the effect of direct employment with overall societal effect is around 4/1. I suspect that in a case like this it takes a lot more than that to support a soldier, airman, pilot or seaman in service so a reduction of ( wild guess) 200,000 in the military could see a couple of million unemployed, a burden on the system, no longer paying taxes or contributing to society.
    Each of those people support a little bit of many jobs, the local supermarket, the teachers who teach their kids, the corner cafe and the mechanic who services their car and on and on. The ripple effect would be enormous and the reduction will, should it happen, need to be very gradual, and managed very carefully .

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

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    Default Re: Proposed reduction in the size of the US Military

    All true. Further, if you have dependence on make-work programs, why not "work" on something else? Pay them to teach or something, fix roads.

    1. Because people would not look upon that as "real work".

    2. Military supplies and training are valuable currency in diplomacy, not to put too fine a point on it. Where else where Paraguay get its jet fighters? What do they have that we want? What do we want them to do or stop doing? Would they mind if we snatched some people off their streets and sent them across the globe to be "interrogated" and "detained"? Would they mind less if we gave them 100 tanks with ammo and training for the crews? How about we just build the detention facility there, outside the reach of US law? Or maybe just rent one they might have to spare.

    Make these proposals to Paraguay's legislature and they will explode in outrage. Make them to the Prez and things will happen quickly.
    America cannot survive another four years of Barack Obama. -- Governor Chris Christie (R) New Jersey

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    Default Re: Proposed reduction in the size of the US Military

    True enough John... and some savvy economists agree with you. We're not going to manage it perfectly, and the dislocations will be painful to the economy as a whole, and to the populations you mention in particular. In the end, I'm hoping we find more productive uses for those funds. We have a lot of work to do on the infrastructure. Those, just as one example, can be decent paying jobs, with good multipliers.

    Of course, the smart time to begin this transition would have been before the 9/11 inspired ramp up. Far less of a slowdown would have been in store. But the politicians of the time had anything but on their minds. <sigh>
    David G
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    Default Re: Proposed reduction in the size of the US Military

    All true, but the problem with military spending is that unless the weapons are used, they just sit and pile up. Once they're made, the weapons add nothing back to the economy. They aren't used to produce more goods and services like other manufactured products So while military spending is a very important part if the economy because it keeps lots of people employed, it really is nothing but a government subsidy. We'd be better off reducing the size of the military and redirecting subsidies to projects and business that add long term value to the economy and society.
    Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

    - Dwight D. Eisenhower

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    Default Re: Proposed reduction in the size of the US Military

    It has to happen, it always does after periods of war.

    I'd suggest they not cut so many family and individual benefits, but rather expensive and needless programs.
    "Simple minds discuss people, Average minds discuss things, and Great minds discuss ideas".

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    Default Re: Proposed reduction in the size of the US Military

    The current US military machine is sized to fight a "two-front" war. The potential for that went away when communism fell. The downsizing idea has been around fairly long but real cuts would involv real politcal pain and those effected will fight to the last.
    What's really amazing is the detestation RED states proclaim for the federal government while they suck on the military teat for all they are worth. TEXAS is the biggest military hog of all and the loudest anti-washington oinker.

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    Default Re: Proposed reduction in the size of the US Military

    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyahoga Chuck View Post
    The current US military machine is sized to fight a "two-front" war. The potential for that went away when communism fell. The downsizing idea has been around fairly long but real cuts would involv real politcal pain and those effected will fight to the last.
    What's really amazing is the detestation RED states proclaim for the federal government while they suck on the military teat for all they are worth. TEXAS is the biggest military hog of all and the loudest anti-washington oinker.
    Do they make the connection between military and government ? is the military just the military ?
    Try to work out what the marketing guy wants you to do then do precisely the opposite.

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    Cool Re: Proposed reduction in the size of the US Military

    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyahoga Chuck View Post
    TEXAS is the biggest military hog of all and the loudest anti-washington oinker.
    America cannot survive another four years of Barack Obama. -- Governor Chris Christie (R) New Jersey

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    Default Re: Proposed reduction in the size of the US Military

    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyahoga Chuck View Post
    . TEXAS is the biggest military hog of all ...
    No idea why people post things that are factually untrue and so easy for others to check. I suppose it is because they assume that we are all lazy and they have built up some sort of trustworthiness that places them beyond question. Regardless...

    Defense spending in California (2009): $59.3 B
    Defense spending in Texas(2009): $46.7 B

    source: http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/...g_by_state.php

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    Default Re: Proposed reduction in the size of the US Military

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterSibley View Post
    Do they make the connection between military and government ? is the military just the military ?
    No; yes.
    America cannot survive another four years of Barack Obama. -- Governor Chris Christie (R) New Jersey

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    Default Re: Proposed reduction in the size of the US Military

    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    No idea why people post things that are factually untrue and so easy for others to check. I suppose it is because they assume that we are all lazy and they have built up some sort of trustworthiness that places them beyond question. Regardless...

    Defense spending in California (2009): $59.3 B
    Defense spending in Texas(2009): $46.7 B

    source: http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/...g_by_state.php
    OK second biggest oinker.
    America cannot survive another four years of Barack Obama. -- Governor Chris Christie (R) New Jersey

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    Default Re: Proposed reduction in the size of the US Military

    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    OK second biggest oinker.
    I think the correct phrasing might be "Second biggest millitary hog and loudest anti-Washington oinker"
    Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

    - Dwight D. Eisenhower

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Proposed reduction in the size of the US Military

    We are back to pre Ww2 levels. During the war we had 140 aircraft carriers, 33,000 heavy bombers, 60 plus combat divisions. We built more airplanes in 1943 than we have since. We conquered Syria over a long weekend.

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    Default Re: Proposed reduction in the size of the US Military

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianW View Post
    It has to happen, it always does after periods of war.

    I'd suggest they not cut so many family and individual benefits, but rather expensive and needless programs.
    But the expensive and needless programs are a testimony to our magnificence.

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    Default Re: Proposed reduction in the size of the US Military

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianY View Post
    I think the correct phrasing might be "Second biggest millitary hog and loudest anti-Washington oinker"
    You're right, it's a combo thing like the biathlon.
    America cannot survive another four years of Barack Obama. -- Governor Chris Christie (R) New Jersey

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    Default Re: Proposed reduction in the size of the US Military

    hmmm.... trying to think if I can be pro-Washington about anything right now..........no I can't, so what is wrong with anti Washington. If someone wants to suggest something to be happy about in Washington maybe..........Michele's Blue dress? Did Congress refuse to raise the debt ceiling? or vote on a new motto? come on some one.........???




  17. #17
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    Default Re: Proposed reduction in the size of the US Military

    It was Chuck Hagel, the Secretary of Defense. And not to worry John, it is only in the USA that a 26 billion dollar increase can be considered a "reduction," read especially the last paragraph.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...0eb_story.html

    Quote Originally Posted by john welsford View Post
    I heard on the radio yesterday that someone high up in the system in the USA ( I missed the name, was sanding off a filled seam on a stitch and tape build at the time) is proposing that the US military be reduced in size to pre WW11 levels, and that it can maintain its effectiveness with its technological advantage.........snip........
    Each of those people support a little bit of many jobs, the local supermarket, the teachers who teach their kids, the corner cafe and the mechanic who services their car and on and on. The ripple effect would be enormous and the reduction will, should it happen, need to be very gradual, and managed very carefully .

    John Welsford
    Steve Martinsen

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    Default Re: Proposed reduction in the size of the US Military

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterSibley View Post
    Do they make the connection between military and government ? is the military just the military ?
    Only God knows. Certain buzzwords make them react like trained seals.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Proposed reduction in the size of the US Military

    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    No idea why people post things that are factually untrue and so easy for others to check. I suppose it is because they assume that we are all lazy and they have built up some sort of trustworthiness that places them beyond question. Regardless...

    Defense spending in California (2009): $59.3 B
    Defense spending in Texas(2009): $46.7 B

    source: http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/...g_by_state.php
    I stand corrected. But Californians are not inclined to take gobs of federal money and talk about SESSON at the same time.
    My state has but one military base and that is because the Air Force took over Hoffman Prairie where the Wright brothers developed the first practiclal airplane.

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