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Military reduction of size and strength
By Jim Killebrew

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[February 27, 2014]  We talk about morality and character in our country and expect it to be present in the people we do business with and friends, family and associates with whom we interact. We simply take it for granted that people should tell the truth simply as a matter of living their lives. Telling the truth builds integrity and reputation. We seek out those whose reputation is such as to lead us to believe they will not cheat us when we hire them for a job or pay them money for a project around our homes. We take our cars to a garage where the reputation for honesty is known far and wide since we don’t want to be “taken” when we get to the bottom line. We depend on truth every day of our lives.

A couple of weeks ago the Afghanistan President released about 65 prisoners who had been linked with killing Americans and had been linked with terrorist activities. The U.S. military said that some of those men who were released were linked to attacks that wounded or killed 32 American or coalition members.

The President of Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai, has repeatedly criticized the United States for not supporting the release ...of the prisoners. Karzi stated, "Afghanistan is a sovereign country. If the Afghan authorities decide to release a prisoner, it is of no concern to the U.S. and should be of no concern to the U.S. And I hope that the United States would stop harassing Afghanistan's procedures and judicial authority and I hope that the United States will now begin to respect Afghan sovereignty."

The President has now sent orders to the Pentagon for the Joint Chiefs of Staff to establish a plan to remove all US forces from Afghanistan by the end of the year. Perhaps that is a wise thing to do, but is it sending a signal to the rest of the world we may not be able to work effectively with world leaders, and they too should turn their negotiating attention to terrorist avowed enemies of America? We are not only experiencing a military withdrawal from the region; we are also being told the Administration wants to weaken the strength of the US military across the board.

Given the world climate with the Middle East regarding Egypt, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, along with the issues in Ukraine and Russia, coupled with the tensions in North Korea, nations with organized political government structures, is it a wise consideration for Chuck Hagel and President Obama to make plans to reduce the military down to pre-WWII levels of between 440,000 to 450,000? This does not even consider a world-wide effort on the part of terrorist organizations that have the Western world in their sniper sites, ready for destruction any way they can. In addition to the reduction, the plans also include reducing the salary of those who remain on active duty.

If the major function of the federal government is protection of US citizens, does this plan seem the most prudent for accomplishing that task? If we have indeed lost the respect of leaders from other countries around the world, is this action an appeasement to them, or somehow in the perspective of our own leadership’s thinking, a new type of position of power?

As the Administration is making plans to reduce the size and strength of America’s military by cutting the fighting force to pre-WWII levels, I wonder if that decision has been made as part of any study depicting what countries that are traditional enemies of America are doing to their military structure.

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While the Administration reduces the military in the US, is there any other major industrial nation that is also reducing the size and strength of their military? Notwithstanding those countries that are currently fighting among themselves or engaging in some kind of civil war, are any other countries like Russia, China or North Korea reducing their military? Does the Administration expect those countries will sit on the sidelines and not engage once they are convinced the US military is sufficiently weakened?

Does the Administration believe the democracies around the world that depend on America’s leadership and strength will not be impacted by the Administration’s weakening of our military? Even if the other military powers in the world hold back on their frontal attack on America, does the Administration think those same powers will refrain from engaging in their own empire building activities in much the same way as Germany did in the early 1930’s?

You know, back to President Hamid Karzai’s thinking, he might be onto something. We should respect Afghan’s sovereignty by taking all our money, materials, troops, expertise, nation-building and all other resources out of his country and bring it all home. We have spent over a trillion dollars there and perhaps it is time to turn off the cash flow and quit spending national treasure and spilling precious American blood in a country that favors terrorism over justice. Instead of reducing our forces to pre-WWII levels, perhaps we could use that money from backing out of Karzai’s Afghan to build up our own military to protect us from the aggression of others who are salivating for our destruction.

Of course, what might be closer to reality with this Administration may be a completely different motive. I wonder if the decision to weaken the military by taking funding from American’s defense is not predicated upon the assumption the money is more needed for the welfare-state activities this Administration favors over the security of the nation.


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