As noted yesterday, these are the days of cutting back with a prominent and controversial cutback being to the U.S. military. At least it is being suggested, but Representatives with military installations or defense contractors in their Districts are going to squeal. My hearing was damaged in my youth while castrating pigs. The unrelenting screeching of our Congressional Porkists will make those protesting piglets sound like the soothing tones of Barry White in comparison.
This is a big deal to "conservatives" because "conservatives" are supposed to be for a strong defense.
I want the men and women who have served in the military to be well compensated in terms of pensions, benefits, and medical care.
Do we need 450,000 active service personnel? No. We do not need troops on the ground in Afghanistan, in Iraq, anywhere in the Middle East, in Europe, in Korea, in Okinawa, and most certainly not in Africa.
We need a Navy. We can probably change the configuration. We need an Air Force, again, change the configuration with more unmanned aircraft -- focus on technology. We need a missile defense system. We have the computing power to do this easily. We need to control our air space all the way up to our satellite orbits.
Obviously, we need some well-trained and well-equipped combat forces with a somewhat traditional role.
This is always the problem with government. Any reconfiguration, re-engineering, modification, reduction, change, whatever you want to call it, runs into entrenched interests that want to keep things the way they have always been. In this regard the government is always going to lag the private sector or be led by private sector marketing. I'll bet we spend billions on gadgets and gizmos and gee-whiz technology not just in the military but in all government venues. They procure this technology not because it is needed but because it is available, and they don't have to worry about the cost-benefit because they are not trying to turn a profit or generate revenues.
Government departments worry only about justifying their budgets. The more they spend this fiscal year, generally, the more they get in the next fiscal year.
It is a shame taxpayers -- many of whom are, admittedly, employed by government -- won't face the reality of this self-perpetuating system. It's the Blob. The more it assimilates, the bigger it gets and the more it can assimilate.
I think we could make significant reductions in other government departments without gutting the military, but I'm not sure that the military is not a good place to start reductions. To me, it seems a positive development that we managed to stay out of the Syrian civil war. There doesn't seem to be much of a movement toward trying to intervene in Ukrainian politics or in Venezuela, and that, too, is positive. If we don't meddle in other people's business, perhaps we could take care of our own.
Maybe we could control our southern border if we weren't watching the 38th Parallel in Korea.
Cutting the benefits of long-serving military personnel who sacrificed so much for their country would be about the last thing I would do. We need active-duty personnel in the Air Force, Navy (including, of course, the Marines) and Coast Guard, but we could probably get by without much of a "standing army". The National Guard and Reserve could be enhanced and enabled to serve quite well. We are not involved or likely to be involved in any conflict that requires massive numbers of ground troops -- so long as we mind our own business.
We know who our enemies are. Get them out of the United States and keep them out. Bring all of our troops home and keep them home.