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Independent panel says American military is too small

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Posted: 08/03/2014 11:05 AM

Independent panel says American military is too small 


"Après moi le déluge" Louis XV
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Posted: 08/03/2014 11:22 AM

Re: Independent panel says American military is too small 


I think the time is overdue for the condemnation of complete European withdrawal from the absolute colonial mess it made of the world. What about ITS military? Or lack thereof?

If you want the last two centuries in 50 words or less, Europe spread its racism all over the Third World, then battered itself into pieces in one extended (1914-1945) war, and left the whole mess for the original anti-colonial power to clean up. For good measure, it invented Marxism along the way, which is a gruesome parody of the consensual (ususally democratic) government to which most human beings aspire. It never has, and never will, free itself from the authoritarian, class structure engraved on the marrow of its bones.

My mother used to tell me, "Elwood, in this world, you must be oh, so smart or oh, so nice."  For years I was smart.  I recommend nice.  You may quote me. - Elwood P. Dowd

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Posted: 08/03/2014 1:47 PM

Re: Independent panel says American military is too small 


1) so-called independent panel is anything but
2) panel's conclusions belie Gates' 2009 comments
3) US navy still bigger than next 13 combined, and 11 of those 13 are 'friends'
4) US spends 40% of world expenditures on military spending
5) we're still spending more as % of GDP than we did at the end of the Cold War
6) the panel is just a shill for Big Military; what we need is re-designed military to handle asymmetric existential threats; it's OK to hit on Obama for not doing more in this regard, but to hit on him for not having a *bigger* military is just self-serving political stupidity

Finally, I like GR's observation.
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Posted: 08/03/2014 3:18 PM

Re: Independent panel says American military is too small 


Members of the panel:

William Perry, former Secretary of Defense

Retired General John Abizaid

Retired General James Cartwright

Eric Edelman, former Undersecretary of Defense, former ambassador

Michele Flournoy, former Undersecretary of Defense

Retired General Frank Kearney

Retired General Michael Maples

Jim Marshall, former Congressman

Retired General Gregory Martin

Jim Talent, former Congressman and Senator

Perry, Abizaid, Cartwright, Kearney, and Martin appear to be board members of, or consultants to, defense contractors.
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Posted: 08/03/2014 5:26 PM

Re: Independent panel says American military is too small 


That's actually quite a panel. I don't think it would be possible to assemble a group of defense experts who did NOT have some ties to the defense industry.

My mother used to tell me, "Elwood, in this world, you must be oh, so smart or oh, so nice."  For years I was smart.  I recommend nice.  You may quote me. - Elwood P. Dowd

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Posted: 08/03/2014 6:27 PM

Re: Independent panel says American military is too small 



Genuine Realist wrote: I think the time is overdue for the condemnation of complete European withdrawal from the absolute colonial mess it made of the world. What about ITS military? Or lack thereof?

If you want the last two centuries in 50 words or less, Europe spread its racism all over the Third World, then battered itself into pieces in one extended (1914-1945) war, and left the whole mess for the original anti-colonial power to clean up. For good measure, it invented Marxism along the way, which is a gruesome parody of the consensual (ususally democratic) government to which most human beings aspire. It never has, and never will, free itself from the authoritarian, class structure engraved on the marrow of its bones.
Absolutely agree with both paragraphs.  But I don't see Americans en masse condemning the Europeans, particularly given the amount of admiration that they attract from one quarter or another.  And the Euros have some pretty good arguments against militarizing.

That last sentence of yours is interesting.  I would agree, if it were left up to the Euros whose families were natives at the start of the colonization period.  But given the relative vast numbers of colonial immigrants (my grandfather having been one of them) who have arrived over the past decades, I wouldn't be surprised to see that class structure topple.
"Après moi le déluge" Louis XV
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Posted: 08/03/2014 8:16 PM

Iron Law of Bureaucracy 


by Pournelle:  Link.

I did not say the panel members weren't respected.  I said they weren't independent.  Members from across society, especially foreign affairs, economics, trade, science and technology, even historians and moral philosophers, would comprise an independent panel; a panel consisting only of defense experts is not independent.  

But I'm not going to win that argument.

What is true, however, is this:  USIP organized the preparation of the QDR, and a senior USIP member managed the process.  The NDP committee was co-chaired by Perry and Abizaid.  (No doubt some members of the committee have some of the perspectives and expertise which I advocate, above.) The report makes serious assertions, although contrary to the WT link, the President is not named as cause for the reduction in budget, rather a bill of Congress is named (which of course requires the President's signature).  

It is worthwhile reading the report, or at least the Executive Summary.  I do not agree with many of its implicit and explicit assumptions, and I do not agree with its conclusions.  I especially do not agree that the external threats are somehow worse today than in 1939, or 1959, or 1969, or even 1989: I can't think of a SECDEF over my lifetime who didn't claim we lived in, in effect, the most dangerous of times, and therefore needed to increase our defense spending.  

But it is worth your while, nonetheless.

It would probably be worthwhile trying to look at all the QDR's, and see how their advice has evolved over time.

Last edited 08/03/2014 8:21 PM by mendicant98

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Posted: 08/03/2014 8:38 PM

Re: Independent panel says American military is too small 


I would say that the US military is an abject failure insofar as they have lost the last three major wars, Viet-Nam, Iraq and Afghanistan.  They are FUBAR
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Posted: 08/04/2014 10:30 AM

I'm so confused! 


Dennis

If memory serves correct, you have stated on numerous occasion that each of these three wars were unwinnable.  If that's the case, then the US military can't be FUBAR for failing to win unwinnable wars.

If any of these three wars were winnable, what should the US military have done differently in order to win each of those wars?  
 
dennis1361 wrote: I would say that the US military is an abject failure insofar as they have lost the last three major wars, Viet-Nam, Iraq and Afghanistan.  They are FUBAR

Last edited 08/04/2014 10:39 AM by navy9t1

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Posted: 08/04/2014 10:39 AM

US military is too small for what we ask it to do 


The US military is too small for what we ask it to do.  We either need to grow the end strength and size of the US military to match the commitments we have made and missions we have tasked DOD with, or reduce the commitments and missions.

A good place to start would be to dismantle NATO.   I am all in favor of partnering with European nations that can actually deploy military forces, but the stay at home continental Euros have been getting a completely free ride for the last 25 years, and a mostly free ride for 40 years before that.  

What, exactly, are US forces in Europe defending against?  If we need to maintain a logistical force structure in order to facilitate deployments, okay.   But for that, you need only have a basic base operations crew in place, not fully deployable combat units.  

The continental Euro economy gets the security benefit of having US combat forces deployed there, and the economic benefit of having US forces spend paychecks and support contracts there.  What is the US getting out of that?  


Mick1 wrote: What do you think?

http://www.washingtontimes.com...ure-security-p/
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Posted: 08/04/2014 11:01 AM

Re: US military is too small for what we ask it to do 


Amen.

Let us toss in an arrogant and incredibly vacuous intelligentsia for which anti-Amerticanism is a reflex as well as a social requirement and you have it all. If it weren't for the fact that caliphatism is an incredibly dangerous phenomenon to the United States, I'd leave them to it.

My mother used to tell me, "Elwood, in this world, you must be oh, so smart or oh, so nice."  For years I was smart.  I recommend nice.  You may quote me. - Elwood P. Dowd

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Posted: 08/04/2014 11:11 AM

Re: Iron Law of Bureaucracy 


As to independence, as with most complex subjects, no one who pretends to any knowledge of the subject can attain that while being indepenent.

Independence is one factor to be considered in evaluating an opinion, but not disqualifying. 

To reiterate what I've posted elsewhere, the real issue is that the US is being asked to police the world (e.g., why does a dispute between Russia and the Ukraine require a response from the United States? If it is an issue beyond merely local concern, why isn't Western Europe involved)? 

The time has come to ask European states to employ some resources. 

I am an unapolgetic hawk. I do think that when American force impacts a society, the impact is invariably positive. I believe it to be the case in Iraq and Afghansitan. But believing that and believing there is some sort of duty to intervene always and everywhere are two different things.

My mother used to tell me, "Elwood, in this world, you must be oh, so smart or oh, so nice."  For years I was smart.  I recommend nice.  You may quote me. - Elwood P. Dowd

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Posted: 08/04/2014 11:32 AM

FUBAR is not the word 


Dennis, the military won those three wars, despite well publicized errors and set backs.  The losses have been political. 

The military does have its own bureaucratic self-interest, and the military has certainly had its share of scandals and fiascos.  It is a fair topic for criticism.

But it continues to amaze me that people keep signing up to lay their life on the line when our political leadership, from both parties, has so often squandered their sacrifices.

FUBAR is not the word.  The only "repair" our fighting men have ever needed was a good commander and a clear set of orders. 

If we keep leading them the way we have of late, there may come a time when patriots understand the the majority electorate does not value their brand of patriotism.  Then it will be our country that will be FUBAR.

"Nothing is more effective than sincere, accurate praise."
--Bill Walsh

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Posted: 08/04/2014 11:39 AM

Europe's dependency 


Give Eurpope a little credit for quietly accepting Bush's invitation to Afganistan.  But the two major times when Europe tried to take lead on actual fighting that the US was not pushing, in the Yugoslavia war in the 1990's and Libya recently, the Euros have had to come running to the US for help to organize, communicate and eventually to execute. 

Japan now seems a little more motivated since China is directly threatening Japanese territory. 

It's time all of our competitors pay their fair share.

"Nothing is more effective than sincere, accurate praise."
--Bill Walsh

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Posted: 08/04/2014 12:01 PM

True enough 


Some Euros did help in AFGH.  But is that alone reason to keep the NATO construct intact?  The day the EU stood up their "EU battlegroups" the US should have left NATO.  

Japan is starting to snap out of their pacifist slumber, but they will age out and die off pretty quickly.  They are approaching demographic free fall.
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Posted: 08/04/2014 12:10 PM

Re: US military is too small for what we ask it to do 


+1.  Well put.

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.
---Hunter S. Thompson

 

I'm willing to admit that I may not always be right, but I am never wrong.

---Samuel Goldwyn

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Posted: 08/04/2014 12:11 PM

Japan 


Doesn't Japan need to step it up more than a bit with China being more increasingly aggressive in the region?

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.
---Hunter S. Thompson

 

I'm willing to admit that I may not always be right, but I am never wrong.

---Samuel Goldwyn

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Posted: 08/04/2014 1:50 PM

Re: Japan 


Japan's military budget as percent of GDP is 1%, and has been so for some time. US has been high 3 to 5 percent for many decades.

Israel, under existential threat, spends around 7% of GDP.

World average is 2.4%. Europe spends sustantially less than average.

en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...ry_expenditures
www.zerohedge.com/news/trends-us-military-spending
www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/w...in-four-charts/
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Posted: 08/04/2014 3:03 PM

A reconsidered command structure would help 



The USAF will changes its procurement ways!




Abolish the Air Force?

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Posted: 08/04/2014 5:32 PM

Re: Japan 


Japan has a problem with the pacifist constitution.  In 40's it did not seem like a bad idea.  Right now it's killing us, but it's highly controverial to raise the issue in Japan. Eventually, their self-interest in self-presevation may catch up with their self-interest in not paying their own way in defense.

"Nothing is more effective than sincere, accurate praise."
--Bill Walsh

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