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Conservative writer George Will on defense cuts

Discussion in 'Politics, Elections & Legislation' started by mrskeet410, Feb 9, 2012.

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  1. mrskeet410

    mrskeet410 TS Member

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    Conservative writer George Will on defense cuts -

    Fighting the last war

    By George Will

    'Through 11 presidential elections, beginning with the Democrats’ nomination of George McGovern in 1972, Republicans have enjoyed a presumption of superiority regarding national security. This year, however, events and their rhetoric are dissipating their advantage...

    ...Hours — not months, not weeks, hours — after the last U.S. troops left Iraq, vicious political factionalism and sectarian violence intensified. Many Republicans say Barack Obama’s withdrawal — accompanied by his administration’s foolish praise of Iraq’s “stability” — has jeopardized what has been achieved there. But if it cannot survive a sunrise without fraying, how much of an achievement was it?

    Few things so embitter a nation as squandered valor; hence Americans, with much valor spent there, want Iraq to master its fissures. But with America in the second decade of its longest war, the probable Republican nominee is promising to extend it indefinitely...

    The U.S. defense budget is about 43 percent of the world’s total military spending — more than the combined defense spending of the next 17 nations, many of which are U.S. allies. Are Republicans really going to warn voters that America will be imperiled if the defense budget is cut 8 percent from projections over the next decade? In 2017, defense spending would still be more than that of the next 10 countries combined...

    ...Since 2001, the United States has waged war in three nations, and some Republicans appear ready to bring the total to five, adding Iran and Syria. (The Weekly Standard, of neoconservative bent, regrets that Obama “is reluctant to intervene to oust Iran’s closest ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.”) GOP critics say that Obama’s proposed defense cuts will limit America’s ability to engage in troop-intensive nation-building. Most Americans probably say: Good.

    Critics say that defense cuts will limit America’s ability to intervene abroad as it has recently done. Well. Even leaving aside Iraq and Afghanistan, do Americans want defense spending to enable a rump of NATO — principally, Britain and France — to indulge moral ambitions and imperial nostalgia in Libya, and perhaps elsewhere, using U.S. materiel and competence?...

    ...Republicans who think America is being endangered by “appeasement” and military parsimony have worked that pedal on their organ quite enough.'

    http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will020912.php3
     
  2. stokinpls

    stokinpls Well-Known Member

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    Click the link. It's even in cartoon form for the libs.

    Anything he does, just ask yourself: "How does this benefit the muslim brotherhood?"
     
  3. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    I think it's about time we resigned being the policemen of the world. I mean really. do we really need 10 Aircraft battle groups? What in Afghanistan is really important to the Average American? Do we really need to protect and keep bases in Europe or Japan any longer. I think they can take care of themselves. Remember what Eisenhower said: "Beware, of the military industrial complex." That was in his last public speech before leaving office.
     
  4. mrskeet410

    mrskeet410 TS Member

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  5. bigdogtx

    bigdogtx Well-Known Member

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    flinchy,,,,,,was that like "cutting" the school lunch program that the dems/progressives screamed about 8 years ago???
     
  6. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Deplorable Bitter Clinger in Liberal La La Land
  7. mrskeet410

    mrskeet410 TS Member

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    Are tea party and other fiscal conservatives willing for Defense to take a haircut?
     
  8. crusha

    crusha TS Member

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    I'll take that question.


    I'm a Tea Party Libertarian/Conservative, and I think Defense Spending is the biggest, most wasteful single sacred cow in the entire Federal budget. We taxpayers are not getting value for the dollar out of our defense spending. When the Navy lets out a contract to buy 32 combat ships...and cost overruns result in only 3 getting delivered, something is badly wrong. Every branch of the service is affected. The Air Force is forced (by Congress) to buy C-17s they don't want. The Marines spend 70% of their procurement budget (at one point) on an aircraft that fails to perform as intended, simply because their High Brass Bureaucrats can't admit failure.


    Did anybody read McCain's floor speech from early November? I'll see if I can find the link. Whether you like him or not, you can't deny the waste he highlights in it. He calls it not the "Military Industrial" complex, but rather, the "Military/Industrial/CONGRESSIONAL" complex. He's dead-on.


    Unfortunately, Defense spending is so structurally, inherently, fatally inefficient, I have no confidence it can be fixed. Contractors and the Pentagon will continue to line their pockets at taxpayer expense. There are tons of mostly useless people working there who haven't done a lick of serious work in years...and taxpayers are paying six figures for these peoples' efforts.


    The crap of it is, if we actually did manage to cut the likely 25% of the Pentagon budget that ends up as outright, pocket-lining waste...it would all probably just get absorbed into wasteful social programs, just like the liberals always wanted.



    So I say hell with it. I'm willing to see it cut, but not unless the Democrats are willing to take a bullet for it also, and give up an equal number of jobs from THEIR districts - AND apply the savings to deficit reduction, NOT stupid social programs. And so far, I don't see very many of them pushing for this. They're still too busy forcing the Air Force to buy planes they don't want (like Claire McCaskill of Missouri), or convincing the President to buy Marine Presidential helicopters he doesn't want (like Chuckie Schumer of New York). Or (fill in the blank)...or (fill in the blank)...
     
  9. Pocatello

    Pocatello Active Member

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    I'm coming up on 66 years old this summer. The bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki less than a year and a week before I was born. Do we still need massive numbers of troops in Japan and Europe? To end the Soviet threat? People born after the Berlin wall came down are now old enough to vote! The Korean Armistice was in place before I finished the first grade. I earned a PhD in math almost 40 years ago, after 20 years of schooling. Can't the South Koreans defend themselves yet from the poorest country on Earth? I have grandkids born after we entered Iraq and Afghanistan. Do we still need to prop up corrupt dictators in Asia so their friends can get rich selling drugs? Admiral Bull Halsey supposedly said that when WW II was over Japanese would be spoken only in Hell. Turns out he was wrong, but we should make it clear to Iran that if they make a nuke that is used on us we will massively retaliate in kind so that the same statement will be true of Farsi. Mutually assured destruction worked to restrain the Soviets for 50 years - it should work to restrain Iran, only in that case the destruction would be much more one-sided.
     
  10. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    Well, I'm about as conservative as one can get. And it appears others like me feel the same way. Eisenhower an McCain may have been right.
     
  11. mrskeet410

    mrskeet410 TS Member

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    Good points Buzz-gun, Pocatllo, shot410ga. The original spontaneous, serious, and fundamental tea-party members expected everybody to take a haircut.
     
  12. John Galt

    John Galt TS Member

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  13. crusha

    crusha TS Member

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    I'll expand further, since I see this as being of critical importance to America's fiscal future.


    It's not just a matter of cutting programs. This waste is built into EVERY PROGRAM and contract the government puts out. The politicians want us to believe cutting defense spending is just a matter of rounding up the "inefficient" programs into a corral and issuing a "Terminate for Convenience" letter for them. That's like a 400-pound guy losing 40 lbs. by cutting off one of his buttocks - then continuing to eat just as much as before. He needs to eat less and shrink his whole body...and in the same way, the Pentagon needs to eat less, and have really competent cost-control management in every facet of what they do. Their stupid Earned Value Management protocols aren't working. The Defense plants of America are still operating like 1964 South Carolina textile mills. They think lean manufacturing doesn't apply to them. They are protected from foreign competition by ITAR restrictions (which I mostly agree with, for national security reasons). But they exploit this protected position. The whole rest of the world has gotten more efficient, but it has all passed the defense industry by. The facility where I worked was supposedly a "production facility"...and yet, they have SEVEN SALARY EMPLOYEES for every one person on the floor actually building product. Think about that for a moment. The money they make doesn't come from sending product out the door, for the most part. It comes from salary people CHARGING HOURS to government project cost accounts. Their product isn't hardware delivered to the American soldier; it's BILLABLE HOURS. Just like a big flippin' law firm.


    Pentagon "cost control" amounts to: cut a few programs, in essence lop off one of their buttocks...then, once power changes hands a few times in Washington, that missing buttock magically grows back, plus 10 more pounds, and they're right back where they were.



    The fat is interstitially inserted into every organ of the Pentagon's body. The whole flipping thing needs to go on a diet. And I don't say this as a soft-on-defense lefty, I say it as a former employee of one of the "Big 5" defense firms. Contractors are ripping off the taxpayers every single day. Halliburton is only the tip of the iceberg. Halliburton didn't do a single thing that Boeing, Lockheed Martin, General D, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon don't do every single day, on a much bigger scale.
     
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