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Misconceived Military Shuffle

This editorial makes a lot of sense to me. How about anybody else?


The troop redeployment plan announced yesterday by President Bush makes little long-term strategic sense. It is certain to strain crucial alliances, increase overall costs and dangerously weaken deterrence on the Korean peninsula at the worst possible moment. Meanwhile, it will do nothing to address the military's most pressing current need: relieving the chronic strain on ground forces that has resulted from failing to anticipate the long, and largely unilateral, American occupation of Iraq.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/17/opinion/17tue2.html?th

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(NT) (NT) Consider the source.

In reply to: Misconceived Military Shuffle

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Re: Misconceived Military Shuffle

In reply to: Misconceived Military Shuffle

I've heard these and similar arguments from other sources. So far, there have been no arguments from the supporters of the idea that counter these, or raise equally well founded points of their own.

Dan

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Actually it makes good sense...

In reply to: Misconceived Military Shuffle

when looked at in light of the actualities of deployments and overseas stations.

We pay large sums of money annually for the rent of the overseas bases as well as huge amounts for maneuver damage during training.

Then there is the additional cost of transportation and shipping for overseas moves of families and household goods as well as additional costs for such things as ration coupons for commodities such as gasoline and heating fuel.

Career progression training and schools are generally located within the CONUS and thus require transportation and the expense of additional Temporary Duty pay and allowances.

Planning for the necessity of troop movement between OCONUS locations is problematic and expensive also as generally much of the transport has to be chartered through the host nation's commercial carriers. Besides the expense however there is the problem with movement of units already stationed away from home to another location away from home--not too bad for accompanied tours but unaccompanied tours such as Korea cause unnecessarily long separations.

The Cold War is over and the present locations of troops overseas was specific to a situation that no longer exists and changing times require changes to keep up with those times.

The author of the piece is quite obviously unfamiliar with the military and its needs or deployment. This becomes quite clear in the last paragraph where an accusation is made that the reductions "seem" to be in retaliation to two specific countries (Germany and South Korea) actions when simple common sense would indicate that these two countries presently have the largest concentrations of US forces and would quite naturally reflect the biggest reductions.

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Re: Actually it makes good sense...

In reply to: Actually it makes good sense...

Hi, Ed.

I agree the reduction of European troops strength probably makes good sense. But given the curren situation in Asia and NK's sabre-rattling re their nuclear program, I think reducing our strength in Korea is a mistake, though not having them as sitting ducks right along the DMZ is sound strtegically.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Re: Actually it makes good sense...

In reply to: Re: Actually it makes good sense...

Losing the troop reduction as a chip at the bargaining table with NK is just idiocy.

Dan

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(NT) (NT) There is more to protecting S.Korea than ground troops

In reply to: Re: Actually it makes good sense...

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(NT) (NT) Do I read a General McArthur solution in your statement

In reply to: (NT) There is more to protecting S.Korea than ground troops

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Do you remember, John...

In reply to: (NT) Do I read a General McArthur solution in your statement

John, do you remember in the 1970's when there was an incident at the north-south border in which troops from the south were attacked when they tried to trim a tree that was blocking their view? A few days later it was taken care of with no resistance from North Korea. They "behaved themselves" because overhead were orbiting members of The Abliene Tree Pruners Protective Association, that is to say, B-52s.
The protection does not have to be a General McArthur response and what that implies. As with that problem that I mentioned, conventional munitions can do the trick.

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Re: Do you remember, John...

In reply to: Do you remember, John...

Yep, the B-52's can/would deter most nations.

Not to change the subject, but I notice that there is no North or South Korea in the Olympics. They have joined together. Ah, if only the politicians.

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Re: (NT) There is more to protecting S.Korea than ground tro

In reply to: (NT) There is more to protecting S.Korea than ground troops

The change in troop levels will make South Korea neither more nor less safe. But the removal of troops without gaining a concession from North Korea is just a waste.

Dan

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Actually it could go either way ...

In reply to: Re: (NT) There is more to protecting S.Korea than ground tro

... on the one hand we have your take that removing the troops irrespective of negotiations is a waste.

OTOH, Korea's stance for their recalcitrance is that they fear US invasion. So now we say "with what troops?" and we are at the same point. We have eliminated the last reason that holds even a drop of water for Korea to maintain its stance.

I'm quite sure a ground invasion of Korea is the last mode of attack.

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Re: Actually it could go either way ...

In reply to: Actually it could go either way ...

Hi, Evie.

>> We have eliminated the last reason that holds even a drop of water for Korea to maintain its stance. <<
But it's mainly a pretext (though Bush made his disteaste for the "Dear Leader" clear from Day 1, and after seeing what happened to the first member of the Axis of Evil, Kim got a bit concerned...

>>I'm quite sure a ground invasion of Korea is the last mode of attack.<<
The concern is that they will attack the South, as they did once before.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Re: Actually it could go either way ...

In reply to: Re: Actually it could go either way ...

Hi Dave,

My point is that even the presence of troops is not essential as a deterrant. It's not like we are pulling out entirely, just cutting down. It seems S.Korea is capable of their own military strength, and so long as the US stands behind them it need not be literally. Also, I suspect that we might be dusting off some sub programs with regard to the threat of N.Korea (if we haven't already).

N.Korea's main point of contention is fear of a US attack. If this "pullback" of troops is ACTUALLY seen by them as softening support for the South, then they can't use that argument anymore.

Evie Happy

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In Korea too...

In reply to: Re: Actually it makes good sense...

because unit organizations have changed along with equipment.

Many of the returned troops will be service personnel (clerks, jerks, and mechanics). The combat capabilities of remaining forces will not be impacted noticably.

This is why the downsizing of the deployed forces will happen over a period of 7 to 10 years. It allows the new equipment/weapons systems to be deployed.

If he has even hinted at reduction "in six months" as Kerry has regarding US forces in Iraq, I would agree that it was misconceived just as is Kerry's notion regarding forces in Iraq. Bush didn't say that though and it is not misconceived.

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Re: Misconceived Military Shuffle

In reply to: Misconceived Military Shuffle

Europe will miss our presence a lot more than they thought, I bet.

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OR at least our military pay checks on Friday night.

In reply to: Re: Misconceived Military Shuffle

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So, tell me, Rosalie:

In reply to: Misconceived Military Shuffle

From whose attack are these Americans supposed to protect Germany? Poland? The Czech Republic? Don't think so - they're both NATO members!

A joke that was popular in NATO circles held that the alliance was created "to keep the Germans down, the Soviets out and the Americans in (Europe)". Well, let's take a look, shall we?

The Germans: Down; in fact, the Federal Republic hasn't met its assigned NATO expenditure on defense in more than 20 years. In addition, the German populace is to be honest so pacifistic that a real attack on their land might be met with a resounding, "So?". Frankly, if the Germans are unwilling to defend themselves, why should we anymore in the total absence of any legitimate threat?

The Soviets: Out (as in RIP). The "rompin', stompin' Red ***" that we so feared simply isn't there any more. Hey, they can't even finish off the Chechen rebels; why should we be overly frightened?

The Americans: In, but should we be? We simply have better things to do with our forces, and all of then have to do with radical Islam and its sponsor states, which is the true strategic challenge facing all the world today - not endlessly preparing to fight a war that never happened and never will happen.

I realize that the Germans will sorely miss the billions of U.S. dollars that our government and our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines pour into Europe. Maybe they'll find a way to make up the shortfall. IMO, NATO - which has only two members with any military credibility (the UK and the U.S.) - is about as relevant to the overall strategic situation today as is the UN - and that's not saying much, is it?

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To tell the truth I didn't even consider Germany.

In reply to: So, tell me, Rosalie:

I zeroed in on Korea. They have been flaunting WMD in our face for quit some time now.

The most dangerous threat still comes from North Korea, which is now thought to be building nuclear weapons. At a time when negotiating a halt to that buildup is imperative, Washington has inexplicably granted Pyongyang something it has long coveted - a reduction in American troop levels - instead of building those reductions into a bargaining proposal requiring constructive North Korean moves in return. The Korean pullback also sends a dangerous signal to the North that America is devaluing its alliance with South Korea.

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Korea

In reply to: To tell the truth I didn't even consider Germany.

I may be misunderstanding the speech, but I'm under the impression that the troops are being pulled back from the DMZ line in order for them to be safer and not actually being pulled out of S. Korea as a whole. Anybody else get the same impression regarding S. Korea?

TONI

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Re: So, tell me, Rosalie:

In reply to: So, tell me, Rosalie:

> IMO, NATO - which has only two members with any military credibility (the UK and the U.S.) - is about as relevant to the overall strategic situation today as is the UN - and that's not saying much, is it?

This reminds me of something. The other day while I was waiting my turn at the barbershop, I read a Popular Science article about some amazing new weapons. One was a super-cavitating torpedo that could go 230 mph, which made me think "WOW!" But the thing is, we don't have anybody left to fire it at, lol. It's humans vs. muslim terrorists now and for the rest of our lives. These pathetic backward things create nothing and are good for nothing except evil low tech destruction. They can't build a country, let alone a credible Army, Navy, or Air Force. All they're capable of is tearing up what humans build.

There were a couple of other weapons I thought were fascinating: one was a sattellite that dropped tungston rods that were powered by gravity only, the other was a "rail gun" (I think that is what it was called) that shot solid metal projectiles with no explosives. Kind of hard to see how these two would work but apparently they can do the trick, or could if deployed.

DE

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Re: So, tell me, Rosalie -- OTOH, Paul.

In reply to: So, tell me, Rosalie:

Given the boost our troops give to the struggling German economy, don't you think that most of the German people will see this as economic punishment for their not supporting our ill-advised Iraqi misadventure, thus further straining an already-frayed NATO alliance? Or is this just another step in returning to the pre-WWII idea of "Fortress America:"
"Allies? We don't need no stinkin' allies!"

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Actually, Dave,...

In reply to: Re: So, tell me, Rosalie -- OTOH, Paul.

...the net reduction from O/S postings is some 70,000. Other troops are being moved further eastward; Poland, Rumania and Hungary have all been mentioned. Others may wind up as far east as Uzbekistan (!).

In reality, this is where the move makes sense. Not only are we reducing the number of troops stationed outside the CONUS, but we're also moving them closer to where they need to be (if required).

I suspect that the REAL reason that the Times (and the Dems) have their panties in a knot is that Democrats (but not ones in the White House) have been making such suggestions ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. I'm willing to bet that the Kerry campaign probably was thinking along these lines.

If not, does that mean that Sen. Kerry and his party are wanting to fight the war on terror and its state sponsors (if that becomes necessary) with a Cold War defense posture? Where's the forward thinking there?

As for the Germans, they have to realize that times change, the threat has changed, and Central Europe just isn't the big hot spot any more. It has nothing to do with the desire to "punish" them for any noncooperation...

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So we should spend billions of dollars in Germany

In reply to: Re: So, tell me, Rosalie -- OTOH, Paul.

to avoid offending the Germans who didn't give a rip for our opinion? Please say you're joking.

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