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View Diary: How About Freezing Defense Spending? (248 comments)

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  •  In theory, while there are some programs that (2+ / 0-)
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    Pozzo, erush1345

    are wasteful, this is an electoral loser. Americans don't hate the military and would inherently view any cutting in defense spending as hurting the troops. For some reason I don't understand why so many on the left are hostile to anything connected to the military. Some of you just honestly have the naive fantasy that, if the US just magically dismantled its military, the bad guys wouldn't hate us and the world would be one peaceful. The world doesn't work like that.

    •  Thbt. (7+ / 0-)

      Folks aren't saying 'dismantle the military'.  If they did, yes, that would be a naive fantasy.  But they aren't.

      Finding something that isn't dangerous for the troops to do is sooo hating :P

      I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken. - Oliver Cromwell

      by Ezekial 23 20 on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 01:37:26 PM PST

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      •  It seems like it (2+ / 0-)
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        Pozzo, TurkeyCreek

        I agree that there are some programs and systems that are wasteful and should go, but I just feel like many people here would want to go much, much further.

        •  Well, no doubt. (3+ / 0-)

          Probably much further, but not to the point that it's gone.

          The reality, though, is that national security isn't merely about bombs and soldiers these days.

          It's cyberwarfare, economic warfare, industrial espionage.

          Our national defense needs to focus in a lot of different directions than merely bombs.

          I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken. - Oliver Cromwell

          by Ezekial 23 20 on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 01:40:41 PM PST

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        •  sure (1+ / 0-)
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          it a wheelhouse move.  Obama needs something more than that, he needs independents back.  Having said that, if I trusted them, I am all for cutting waste in government programs, who is for waste?

          •  Cutting the military is not... (2+ / 0-)
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            Pozzo, erush1345

            ...the way to get indies back.  In fact, just the opposite-it will hurt Obama in particular and Democrats in general with indies.  That's why it wasn't mentioned in his silly little budget-freeze-that-really-isn't-a-budget-freeze.

        •  Our military is designed to WIN (0+ / 0-)

          Vietnam, as far as I can tell.

          What does it do for us right now?  It sits around and waits for a vietnam/style war that will never happen.

          I would argue that Iraq and Afghanistan are perfect examples of the complete failure of our military model.  We went into these two ventures with the idea of stopping terrorism and we only made things worse.  In fact I'd wager that the actions of the military under Bush are eventually going to be immortalized in future books as the biggest strategic fuck-ups of all time.

          Like all bloated empires we can choose two paths down from the ridiculous pedestal upon which we've hoisted ourselves.  One path involves FALLING from a great height.  You could argue that that fall is happening now.  The other path involves voluntarily stepping down, or at lest stumbling to a landing from that fall.  That's what Britain did at the end of WWII.  The future of the United States can be Britain, a former world Empire learning to live in its own aftermath.  Or it can be Russia, an imploded hulk rife with social malaise and endemic corruption.

          But one thing is certain: our age of economic and military dominance is OVER.  We've failed for the nth time to politically re-make a nation and exposed our military industrial complex as a bunch of naked opportunists who gin up outrage and foment war at any excuse, and we've ruined our economic standing with Bush, who just took all our financial underpinnings and vigorously rubbed his shit all over them.

          Republicans and personal responsibility are distant, estranged acquaintances.

          by slippytoad on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 02:15:42 PM PST

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      •  ASDF (1+ / 0-)
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        Finding something that isn't dangerous for the troops to do is sooo hating

        It's a dangerous profession by definition.

    •  You're right. It's much better to cut any form of (6+ / 0-)

      healthcare assistance to the poor or food to families that can't afford it.

      What did Republicans do for our troops besides send them ill-equipped into a war based on lies? How on Earth do you justify cutting taxes  (but only for the wealthiest Americans) during a time of war?

      To love the troops and to support the troops is to NOT SEND THEM INTO A WAR BASED ON LIES and to insist they be properly equipped and brought home as soon as possible.

      acceptance. awareness. advocacy. autism.

      by angstall on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 01:38:57 PM PST

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      •  Why does it have to be an (0+ / 0-)

        either/or situation?

        •  It doesn't. I wouldn't want it to be. But (2+ / 0-)
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          truong son traveler, esquimaux

          you believe that cutting the budget of the defense department would be "an electoral loser" for Democrats. I believe that if Democrats refuse to cut waste in the Defense Department budget, but ask for "spending freezes" elsewhere, in a time of record unemployment and an incredibly shitty economy, then THAT is most assuredly the larger "electoral loser" for Democrats.

          The Bush admin gave the DoD a "blank check" with ZERO accountability for spending taxpayer dollars. That has got to stop! There should be NO sacred cows during a "recession" that looks an awful lot like a depression.

          acceptance. awareness. advocacy. autism.

          by angstall on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 01:47:28 PM PST

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    •  It has nothing to do with "hating the military" (13+ / 0-)

      so put that straw man away.

      What it has to do with is the fact that our "national security" budget, along with the debt service it has incurred, sucks up 44% of the government's expenditures. If you count up how much every other country in the world spends on their national security, it comes out to only a fraction more than what just our country spends. That money isn't keeping us safe and it isn't being well-spent by any stretch of the imagination.

      I signed up twice to get my ass shot off at the whim of the government. Kos put his name on the dotted line, too, as did hundreds, if not thousands, on this site. Don't pull out that "left hates the military" crap here.

      Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað

      by milkbone on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 01:43:19 PM PST

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    •  Enlighten me as to how it works. (4+ / 0-)

      First off, your simplistic reduction of everyone 'other' to bad guys sort of tips your hand as to how ignorant you really are about how the world works.

      We aren't hostile to anything in the military, but at the same time... we don't revere it with the awe you seem to have for it.  It's part of the budget... necessary, but it's bloated and wasteful and WAY too big.  It has suffered from mission creep for literally decades.

      If you really wanted to change the way international politics works, you'd have to go to the source of many of the problems, which is the use and abuse of US military power to force smaller countries into disadvantageous (for them) economic and political situations.  So because we are stronger, we force some countries and populations to accept situations which are untenable.

      I would think someone so wise in how the world works would realize that this is the case.

      •  speak for yourself (1+ / 0-)
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        I revere our military and I don't blame them as a source of many world problems.  It is your side not mine that has us in political trouble.

        •  I do speak for myself, obviously. (2+ / 0-)

          I don't "revere" the military, nor do i blame it per se.  I simply see the fact that when a country chooses to use its strength to force others to act against their own interests, it creates resentment.

          That is a political failure, not a military failure.  It has nothing to do with low- or mid-level members or the military; it really has to do with what the political class decides is an appropriate use of US power.

          When you "revere" them, I guess you don't allow yourself to question whether their mission is in your country's best interests or not.

    •  so, then (2+ / 0-)
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      truong son traveler, esquimaux

      the answer is to keep on feeding the gaping military maw, to the exclusion of everything else! Thanks for clearing that up for us!

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