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US Military at Dangerous Point in History

Sometimes I like to read commentary by foreign press about American issues. We’re at a point where all media has an axe to grind, and it’s sometimes nice to get an outside view.

This is an interesting article by Britain’s Daily Telegraph which says that America’s armed forces are at a breaking point.

The ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are going on longer than anyone thought they would, and we are trying to do it with fewer numbers. Our armed forces for the Vietnam war was 3 times what our numbers are today even though our population has increased 60% since that war.

We witnessed second hand that the troop surge in Bush’s final months did wonders for the war in Iraq. For whatever reason, the US is now getting ready for an even greater reduction in Armed Forces than when Clinton was in office in the 1990’s.

Military personnel are being required to take multiple tours of duty.

Military divorces are way up, as are cases of mental illness and disorders for our soldiers.

Soldiers are opting out of renewing at astounding rates, making those that stay in — even the worst performing soldiers — able to be promoted to leadership positions.

Suicides involving military personnel are way up.

National Defense is a serious issue that needs to be part of the next election process. Take a minute to read this article about more poor decisions by the Obama White House on our national security. Why make this a partisan issue? Isn’t this the President that sold America on his ability and willingness to not play party politics? Why is Obama willing to risk our nation’s security over partisan politics?

  1. Jeff
    July 20, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    This nation has one thousand (1,000) foreign military bases around the world. Even if half of them are in Afghanistan, Iraq, and surrounding “ally” nations (Saudi Arabia, for example), there are 500 bases which means that we are in every nation on earth besides China and Russia. This is expensive, detrimental to our moral authority in the world, and indicated in the unrest around the world.

    The soldiers who are doing the heavy lifting are the SF guys; they are watching these things happen in the past 7 months alone:

    1) SEALS charged with murder for death of an enemy combatant (uh, hello?)
    2) Rules of engagement in enemy territory changed in favor of rules that will give “positive image for Coalition Forces”, meaning that dangerous buildings and known combatants aren’t to be engaged (what are we doing there?), and that buildings aren’t to be bombed – even though the men on the ground KNOW that the buildings are, a) empty, and b) booby-trapped and left to kill Americans. Just happened last month – see Rolling Stone magazine article. Men are dying because politicians (and bankers) don’t want a ‘win’. See Viet Nam…
    3) Lack of political commitment to the task the soldiers think they’ve taken on: kill bad people who are trying to kill and subjugate another people. It is clear that the “Terrorists” (what we call any bad guy these days)are imported fighters from Saudi, Egypt, and Syria. It is clear that they are fighting dirty to terrorize the local population. But we are reducing the troop count, so what message are our guys getting?

    Bottom line is that SF guys and committed, trained, excellent officers and troops can see a losing proposition as well as anyone else. They are leaving because they won’t work for That Guy (and all his Guys).

    This will end up being an excellent example of the Law of Unintended Consequences; intelligent, committed fighters being treated like pawns come home to the US and try to re-engage in the civilian life. If the things they were fighting for – the things which they watched their brothers die for – things like life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, freedom of speech, peaceful assembly, religion, bearing of arms, etc. start to be infringed here (US) instead of over there, you will see the general discomfiture of the duped turn into the focused and righteous anger of those who learned a hard lesson at a high price, and finally know what the game’s rules are.

    Ha! Let me adjust my tinfoil hat…

    • July 20, 2010 at 3:17 pm

      I believe there will be a lot of unforeseen things that come out of the decision to a.) screw our military, b.) weaken our national defense, and c.) play party politics over national security.

      I am falling in love more and more with blogging and the internet every day. We are able to find out about stuff like what you wrote about even though major media outlets in the US won’t report on it. Thanks.

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