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Senate and House Want More Troops

 
Desperado
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And so do I.

WASHINGTON � Defying the Bush administration, the Senate voted overwhelmingly Thursday to add 20,000 troops to an Army stretched thin by the war in Iraq and other commitments around the world.

The 93-4 vote in the Republican-led Senate � following a similar action by the House � reflected the anxieties lawmakers have been hearing from families of service personnel whose tours in Iraq keep getting extended and whose return to civilian life is repeatedly postponed.


http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,123021,00.html
 
High Plains Drifter
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It's alleged elsewhere in this forum that we're more than well-equipped for possible conflicts elsewhere. Doesn't look like Congress is paying us much due on that point.
 
Tony Alicea
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And in that same thread it is alleged that Clinton decimated the armed forces. What gives says I?

I just look at the sad disruption suffered by families when their citizen soldiers were supposed to be, well, reserves to be used I guess in case we were fighting three fronts and on top of that Fidel Castro decided to land here in South Beach (disrupting the sunbathing of topless female fashion models, which would be a separate declaration of war!).

Instead these reservists and National Guardsmen (you know, the ones that are supposed to help in hurricanes) have to leave their family life because of the miscalculation of the administration. By now I think that the triumvirate of Cheney, Rumfsfeld and Bush (because he was told so) are the only ones that believe that the number of troops sent to Iraq was enough. See Senator John McCain's comment. He's a Republican war hero, you know...

They never admit mistakes. And why should Bush? He has a direct line to God, right? (He did tell a reporter when he became governor of Texas that he thought God wanted him to be President. No kiddin.)
 
blacksmith
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Man, I get tired of hearing all the whining about the reservists.

Reservists get paid by taxpayers for a weekend a month and two weeks a year to stay ready exactly so that they can be put on active duty in situations like the present one.

Reservists are not getting paid just to have fun playing soldier during those training weekends and weeks. Anyone who wants that should get out of the reserves and play paintball or video games instead.
[ June 18, 2004: Message edited by: Warren Dew ]
 
Michael Ernest
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http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/guardandreserve/a/reservecallup.htm

I think you'll ultimately get your wish, Warren. More paintball and video game players in lieu of reserve duty, despite the extravagant pay and lush perks of the latter.
[ June 18, 2004: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]
 
Sheriff
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Some interesting, albeit inaccurate, views of the Guards and Reserves being presented here.
 
Ranch Hand
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The military IS stretched to the breaking point by the Clintonian slashing of the budget.
Does the bill that calls for 20000 more troops (2 divisions) also include funding to train, equip, and pay those troops?
 
Jason Menard
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This guy (heh, "Idiotarian Asshelmet") pointed to this blog that presents some relevant facts about the Clinton military.

A bit partisan, but factually correct.

One man's view of one facet of the military's and Clinton's mutual loathing.

A view of the Clinton military written during his Presidency

What is important is the fact that our military forces morale is down significantly; recruiting has suffered; preparedness is slipping badly; our weaponry and logistical support are suffering significantly; our troops are scattered across the globe and on U.S. borders in police and guard duty that no nation's armed forces are designed for nor trained to handle.


[ June 18, 2004: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
 
Michael Ernest
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Blame the previous Administration all you want; the military's problems are in the here and now, and speak to problems that are here and now.

The previous Administration had no need for war in order to hide a domestic policy cornerstoned on gutting public education and providing tax breaks to the wealthy.
 
author
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If this was a business, the shareholders would throw the board of directors out on their ******. I feel bait and switched - I think it's reasonable to assume that this could have been predicted a lot more accurately than it was. You really can use history as a lesson. Of course, this assumes that the people in charge ever did anything else successfully before they were put in charge.
 
author
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Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:
The military IS stretched to the breaking point by the Clintonian slashing of the budget.



Now, who's the small government fiscal conservative? Clinton slashed military spending to reflect the fact that we have won the cold war. His mistake is that he under-estimated how much Bin Laden had been empowered by Regean/Bush's administrations. I do not fault Regean/Bush Sr for Bin Laden though -- it might be the necessary evil to win the cold war. The republicans in congress accused Clinton of "distracting the public from the sex scandal" when he ordered strikes against Bin Laden's camp. Yes, they called themselves patriotic while attacking a sitting commander-in-chief during military actions.

But nevertheless, clinton left us with an army that has enough fighting power to win two regional wars quickly. Clinton preserved the military strength while cutting the budget because he knows not to abuse it. It is Bush Jr's mistake not seeing what's coming in Iraq and stretching the military thin.

Yes Jason, I understand that you do not like Clinton -- just like I do not like Bush Jr. But do you honestly feel that Bush's lip service to the military is better than Clinton? Neither of Bush's daughters will ever go to war. Bush is fighting a war using other people's live and other people's money. I think the honor of the military is to protect and serve the people. I respect you for serving. But if I were you, I'd question why the US military do not enjoy much support in the world today, despite all the hard work people have done. I'd also question how Bush used the military to make a profit and bankrupt the entire country. Is this really good for the military?
 
Jason Menard
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MY: But nevertheless, clinton left us with an army that has enough fighting power to win two regional wars quickly.

By "left us with" you of course mean "didn't totaly decimate". Yes, despite his greatest efforts, he did not completely destroy our military. And once again, our fighting power and prowess is absolutely no relection on Clinton.

MY: But do you honestly feel that Bush's lip service to the military is better than Clinton?

Yes.

MY: Bush is fighting a war using other people's live and other people's money.

Hussein should have been dealt with prior to the Bush administration. He was in blatant violation of the terms of the cease fire that haulted the conflict in 1991. Operations should have resumed immediately instead of waiting until his abuses of the cease fire kept compounding themselves. Regarding the war on terror, that is something that festered primarily under Clinton's inaction, although I don't overly blame him for it. I don't blame any American President's for terrorism, only the terrorists themselves. The right course of action is now being taken.

MY: But if I were you, I'd question why the US military do not enjoy much support in the world today, despite all the hard work people have done.

The military does not care in the slightest what the rest of the world thinks of it. I cannot stress this point enough. They are their to do a job for our nation. And the anti-Americanism was there against us (the military) all through the 80's and 90's anyway, so the fact that it is still there is irrelevant and not even worth considering imho.

MY: I'd also question how Bush used the military to make a profit and bankrupt the entire country. Is this really good for the military?

Profit? There's been no profit. Nor is their any bankrupt. I'd be more than happy to slash more than a few pork projects and social projects in order to bring the budget more in line though. Neither Bush nor Clinton precipitated the attacks on 9/11. Those acts made it absolutely necessary that we give up turning a blind eye to terrorists, abandon the mantra of appeasement, and flex military muscle. The costs that emanated from that day were both staggering and necessary. It should be noted though, and I posted the specifics in an old thread some time ago, we have spent a vastly smaller percentage of our GDP on prosecuting this conflict than we have any other major conflict in our history.
[ June 18, 2004: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
 
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
The previous Administration had no need for war in order to hide a domestic policy cornerstoned on gutting public education and providing tax breaks to the wealthy.



Many believe that the purpose of our Balkan actions was to distract attention from his other affairs.
 
Warren Dew
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Jeroen Wenting:

The military IS stretched to the breaking point by the Clintonian slashing of the budget.

I'm not so sure about this. From the link in the original post of this thread:

"Army leaders oppose a permanent increase in troop strength, saying they can do the job with the current force once it is organized more efficiently."

Mr. Rumsfeld, Gen. Shoomaker, and company are trying to reorganize the Army to be more effective against insurgencies and other likely 21st century threats. This requires different kinds of training and organization. Once it kicks in, it should require fewer troops than the present Army, which is still largely geared towards traditional WWII style warfare in Europe. What the Army needs isn't more troops, but more flexibility.

All four senators voting against the extra troops were Republicans. Every Democrat voted in favor, except for Kerry who didn't vote (probably out campaigning instead of paying attention to the fact he's still supposed to be our Senator.) I think it's the traditional case of Congress micromanaging the military budget, to the detriment of actual military capability.

The extended tours of duty are, I suspect, not so much because of a lack of forces in the U.S. to rotate in as because the troops now in Iraq know what the situation is there and know how to handle it. Replacing them wholesale with troops who don't have experience dealing with Iraq specific threats and haven't picked up any Arabic to say hello to the local kids isn't the right thing to do right now.

With regard to the reservists, I haven't actually seen any complaints from the reservists themselves. A few of the complaints are from wives and family, but the vast majority seem to be from media commentators and journalists who have probably never set foot on a military base.
 
Michael Yuan
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:
The military does not care in the slightest what the rest of the world thinks of it. I cannot stress this point enough. They are their to do a job for our nation. And the anti-Americanism was there against us (the military) all through the 80's and 90's anyway, so the fact that it is still there is irrelevant and not even worth considering imho.



You are right that the military's job is to fight. However, it is the commander-in-chief's responsibility to make sure that the military is fighting for our best interests in the world. That includes making peace with other people and getting support from other nations. That is why the commander-in-chief is a civilian and we have a state department.

If the commander-in-chief decides that it is for our best interests to slash military spending and spend on "social programs" instead. It is the military's responsibility to obey.


Profit? There's been no profit. Nor is their any bankrupt.



May I suggest Halliburton and social security?

Yes, I think it is OK to spend money on war on terror. But it is wrong to cut tax for the rich at the same time.
 
Bert Bates
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The origins of 'decimate' are interesting, and I don't think it's really the word you intended in this case, because a 10% "slashing" is a bit of an oxymoron.

I second the reference to Halliburton... Do you know how many MILLIONS of dollars Cheney has made on Halliburton?
 
Michael Ernest
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:

Many believe that the purpose of our Balkan actions was to distract attention from his other affairs.


That's the great thing about America; you can believe anything you want.
 
Wanderer
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The origins of 'decimate' are interesting, and I don't think it's really the word you intended in this case, because a 10% "slashing" is a bit of an oxymoron.

However words do acquire new or modified meanings over time. The definition of decimate has expanded some since the days of the Romans, and the new meanings are supported by reputable dictionaries. The word seems appropriate for what Jason meant.
 
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