Thursday, August 7, 2014

Solving the military reduction in force problem

Chris Lynch points out this Commentary Magazine article about how the Military is being spread dangerously thin by the reduction in funding:
The panel also found that currently contemplated reductions in Army end-strength go too far. “We believe the Army and the Marine Corps should not be reduced below their pre-9/11 end strengths–490,000 active-duty soldiers in the Army and 182,000 active Marines,” the panel concluded. Yet on the current trajectory the army is likely to wind up with 420,000 soldiers and the Corps with 175,000 marines.
So the Army and Marine Corps are 75,000 heads short, or will be soon.  The solution?  Scale back the mission.

We have that many troops in Europe.  Bring them home, and let Europe pay for its own defense.  This doesn't solve the problem of the impending retirement of 50% of the Air Force planes and the 20% drop in Navy ships over what's needed, but pulling out of Europe will cut the mission requirements for those services as well.

Given that (as the article points out) all the Republicans care about is not raising taxes and all the Democrats care about is not cutting entitlements, de-scope the mission.  Especially since it's a mission that is protecting bloated socialist welfare states that mostly don't much like Americans anyway.

It's high time for a Peace Dividend that benefits Americans.  The Cold War has been over for a quarter century now.  Declare victory in Europe and get out.

15 comments:

Dave H said...

But the one thing both Republicans and Democrats do like is pork barrel spending. With that many fewer troops and smaller mission profiles, a lot of constituents are going to be put out of work.

Ken said...

Got my vote, boss.

Old NFO said...

A problem is that there has been NO reduction in operational requirements...

Glen Filthie said...

And - once the World Cop is gone - the world's turdies will come out in full force and start preying on American civilians and their interests abroad. If things REALLY go for a shit - you are looking at WW3.
A power vacuum is a very dangerous thing, BP - and if America doesn't want to do the job others will. I don't think the situation is that simple.

Overload in Colorado said...

It would be interesting to see if the EU countries increase their defense spending to roughly match what we'd be withdrawing. I doubt it.

The same question could be asked about why we still have so many troops in Korea.

Borepatch said...

Glen, if Europe won't spend money to keep the peace in Europe, why should we? Surely they are more motivated than we are.

Brad Richards said...

Of course, the US still spends more than most of the rest of the world put together. Any shortages, or being "spread thin" have to do with too many fingers in too many pies.

There is no reason for US troops to have remained in Europe after the fall of the USSR. There never was a valid reason to invade Iraq, or Libya; even Afghanistan should have been a raid, not a full-blown deployment. US troops are currently deployed in more than 150 countries around the world.

Bring 'em home. Problem solved.

knottedprop said...

Yes because getting out of Germany is a really good idea, what could possibly go wrong. While you are at it why not Japan and South Korea.

Glen Filthie said...

You may not need the Euros...but you really, really need their markets and trade right now, considering the idiot you have in the Whitehouse.
Hmpfff - let us consider the economics too: what will it cost to bring all those men and their equipment home? How many men are we talking about? Once they're home, what will they do? Will you lay them off? Great - America's brightest and most capable patriots get dumped into a stagnant economy with no jobs.
I don't see the win in any of this myself.

newrebeluniv said...

We aren't "spread thin" by any competent measure. This is a fabrication made by people who still use old cold war models to justify our force structure. We aren't at war with anyone.

Goober said...

Glen;

What are your thoughts about "leaving a power vacuum" in Europe when you consider that our troops aren't really expressing any power right now, and aren't really doing anything there?

A power vacuum in a place where that power is being used is one thing.

It's like if I were routinely patrolling my backyard with a .30-06 slung over my shoulder, and one day, my wife said "Honey, i don't think that's really necessary. There aren't any bad guys here, and you've been patrolling the yard for 15 years now with absolutely zero to show for it. Just stop,"

And my reply is "But if I stop patrolling my backyard, that will leave our backyard open for SOMEONE ELSE to patrol it, and you have NO IDEA who that person might end up being!"

The plain and simple fact is that no one is going to patrol my yard after I stop doing it. Any hand-wringing to that effect is just that - hand wringing about something that will never happen.

Old NFO said...

I absolutely cannot believe some of the comments... sigh...

Glen Filthie said...

I would say they most certainly DO project power Goober.
Bill Whittle is talking about something else - but he offers excellent insight and background into who and what the Russians really are:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5QTjg2HI5Y

Those guys murdered thousands of their own without a second thought. Some considered it fun and amusing.

Do you want to seriously tell me the Russians aren't like that anymore? Do you want to tell me that Putin is a nice guy and that we can trust him?

Sure, bring home the troops, guys. Europe - utterly defenseless, will fold like a cheap tent if Putin decides to take a swing at it. Hell, he would be nuts NOT to! Sure, maybe Putin IS smarter than that. What about the rest of them?

It ain't right that all this crap falls on America. Yes, the Euros SHOULD be taking their defense seriously. No, America shouldn't be the only life line Europe has. No, the world should not need America to keep the animals on leashes and see they get curbed...
but nobody else is stepping up boys.
America called it quits in Iraq and they are beheading children now. Do you think the people doing that will look at Americans in a kinder light now that they've gone home?
NFO, I know you are a distinguished veteran and I mean no disrespect to you or your people. I merely worry that by bringing the troops home prematurely we maybe deferring a wretched body count and inflating it by acting in haste.
I'll say no more except that bringing the troops home - to my mind - will be sending the wrong message to the wrong people and we will end up regretting it.

Borepatch said...

Glen,

I'm not arguing that Putin is a nice guy. I'm arguing that Europe should be much more invested in preventing Russian expansionism at their expense and much less invested in institutional anti-Americanism.

Old NFO said...

Glen, you're right... But the real problem is treaties, agreements, mutual aid pacts etc. that 'require' us to have troops there, or provide defensive support. And the administration is doing NOTHING to change any of those...