COMMENTARY: Defense Spending On The Defensive?


Posted: January 27, 2013 at 2:01 a.m.

Despite efforts by the Arkansas congressional delegation and the Fort Smith community, the 188th Fighter Wing will lose its A-10 aircraft mission.

This story is only available from our archives.

Opinion, Pages 11 on 01/27/2013

Our economy depends greatly on "military Keynesianism" that is, stimulus spending that goes for weapons and tanks.

Posted by: Coralie

January 30, 2013 at 5:53 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

In fact, an article this morning in the ADG spoke of a slight dip in the economy because of cuts in defense spending.
Our country should not be assuming a military stance all over the world just to feed the economy !
Also, the same number of dollars supports a lot more civilian jobs than military ones.
"Industrial productivity, the foundation of every nation’s economic growth, is eroded by the relentlessly predatory effects of the military economy..."
Note my source is an article in a conservative magazine.

Posted by: Coralie

January 31, 2013 at 1:39 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Now our two senators are working hard to keep an air squadron based in Fort Smith.
We don't worry about the debt or the deficit if it is military and if it is part of the local economy.

Posted by: Coralie

February 1, 2013 at 12:13 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

God forbid an elected official try to keep a local economy from losing 350 full-time and 1000 part time jobs.
In addition, the extra cost that will be added to the Ft Smith airport for support services when it leaves.
Should not matter that it's the military and part of the local economy, but you'd probably just as soon see the military gone from everywhere.....

Posted by: P5harri

February 1, 2013 at 12:53 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Here's one place our military is going and we don't know about it:
"A full-scale invasion of Africa is under way. The United States is deploying troops in 35 African countries, beginning with Libya, Sudan, Algeria and Niger. Reported by Associated Press on Christmas Day, this was missing from most Anglo-American media. "
John Pilger is a well-respected British journalist.

Posted by: Coralie

February 1, 2013 at 3:32 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

RE "God forbid an elected official try to keep a local economy from losing 350 full-time and 1000 part time jobs."
But wait a minute! According to most conservatives, government can't create jobs!

RE "'d probably just as soon see the military gone from everywhere....."
We could make significant cuts to military spending and still have plenty of military to post where needed-- which is not "everywhere".

Posted by: AlphaCat

February 1, 2013 at 4:31 p.m. ( | suggest removal )



"We could make significant cuts to military spending and still have plenty of military to post where needed-- which is not "everywhere"."

We agree on this in a some ways. The trick is making the correct cuts. I wouldn't have personally chosen any A-10 squadrons to disband or refit, but that is way above my paygrade and was made over years of arbitrations and weighed considerations.

As far as how much military and where... well the transition to a smaller footprint has been under way since the end of the Cold War, and it is getting smaller. You are also going to see a shift from the traditional heavily involved areas to the Asia/Pacific.

I empathize with the folks in Fort Smith; as there isn't a better mission in the Air Force than CAS or CSAR or a finer unit to lose, but these changes are part of a much larger effort across the organization.

The one reccomendation I would make for any Airmen there is to think about going active duty in the regular component if they are still intersted in wearing the Blue Suit.



Posted by: Tankersley101

February 1, 2013 at 9:22 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

One place I would like to see cuts in military spending is those hundreds of overseas bases.
And nobody seems to know just how many of them there are.
"According to the Department of Defense’s 2010 Base Structure Report, as of 2009, the US military maintained 662 foreign sites in 38 countries around the world. "

Posted by: Coralie

February 2, 2013 at 1:43 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

I got this comment off a blog and cannot vouch for the accuracy of its figures--maybe Tank can do so?
"As of Sept. 30, 2011, there were 53,766 military personnel in Germany, 39,222 in Japan, 10,801 in Italy and 9,382 in the United Kingdom. Does that makes sense? What is the average cost per person in uniform to support and pay for their presence in foreign countries? What is the cost to support these uniformed in logistics?
Post WWII it was 8:1 support to one combat person. What about the numbers of aircraft carriers and ships to protect and support them. Is it necessary to have 11 floating cities with tens of thousands of sailors? Our military budget is way out of control. We are still fighting a WWII when we need to look at cyber terror and other [threats].
Guns or butter?"

Posted by: Coralie

February 2, 2013 at 1:47 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

I agree with your last two posts, Coralie, I believe that the US Military could trim down a lot and at the same time raise the technology level. As long as we have Congressmen with pet home
State projects it just isn't going to happen in the case of the Military and the Post Office.

Posted by: JailBird

February 2, 2013 at 4:47 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Coralie, I described you earlier as a footnote tacked onto to Freebys books. You have shown flashes of brilliance in the shadow of the great Free. I was wrong, Come out from behind the shadows now Coralie chalenge Free, don't worry he is easy. Wrong does not make right even if you state wrong with a thousand words in a thousand posts.

Posted by: JailBird

February 2, 2013 at 8:05 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Tank, what do you think about "resource wars"?

Posted by: Coralie

February 3, 2013 at 3:40 p.m. ( | suggest removal )


"Resource wars".... If our recent wars were about resources, we would have all the resources. As far as the Africa thing goes.. we never invaded Africa and to suggest otherwise is preposterous. I have friends that have been to Africa and every time it was to help out with non-shooting stuff... not to say there hasn't been other stuff that has happened. But there has never been any conspiracy type invasion.

About our numbers around the globe that you asked about... yeah, they look close I think. There is good reason to be in some key places around the globe too, but I will say that the support hubs spread out that no longer have maneuver units ot support need to go away. Nothing aggravates me more than an empty motor pool or other type of logistics widgit that remains for no reason but to remain. Also remember our presence in other countries is governed by long-term agreements we make with host countries (see SOFA). It is not always just as easy as closing up shop and leaving. We do alot for foreign economies even down to the local shopping markets, and those people guard that business when they can.

Also, there is something to be said for balancing our capabilites between being able to fight a big war and a cyber war. It isn't about being able to fight WWII like you cited, but we do need to be able to fight a high intensity conflict on a broad front across multiple theaters if called upon to do so. Isolationism can get us into as much trouble as overextending.

Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I've been busy.



Posted by: Tankersley101

February 5, 2013 at 9:41 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

No other countries have bases in the U.S.
We would never allow such a thing, would we?

Posted by: Coralie

February 6, 2013 at 6:03 p.m. ( | suggest removal )


No other counrty liberated the US from Imperial or NAZI Germany or kept the Soviet Union from requiring the same or provided the us with the blessings of the Marshall Plan.

Posted by: Tankersley101

February 6, 2013 at 9:21 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

The U.S. didn't liberate Greenland or Kuwait or Krygstan or Singapore from the Nazis, did it?
Are you impllying that the U.S. by itself liberated other countries from Nazi Germany?
Many historians say that the USSR held back Hitler at the war's darkest moments. The Russians had terrific losses, both soldiers and civilians.
Haven't we had this argument before?
I don't like to waste time on repeating myself and doing the research over and over..

Posted by: Coralie

February 8, 2013 at 4:18 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

The US liberated Kuwait form the Iraqis. We pay to be in Krgystan. Singapore? Not sure on Singapore. We flew out of Tailand in the Vietnam War. Greenland? A lot of scientific reseach happens there. I doubt the Danes mind our couple of hundred folks. Come on now.

And yes we have been here before. I'm not up for discussing what some think were the merits of the Evil Empire. They provided a nice counter weight in the East until our guys could make it across the Rhine. Either way, the Soviets were no better than the NAZIs, they just lasted longer.

Posted by: Tankersley101

February 9, 2013 at 2:10 a.m. ( | suggest removal )