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checkmoot
We have met the enemy and he is us.
06:03 PM on 04/03/2013
The question that needs to be asked is our military spending to defend ourselves against attack and, if so, what country, or countries are we thinking about that have the capability or resources to attack us. We couild cut our military spending in half and still have a more powerful military than any other two countries combined. If our current level of military spending is simply a welfare program for the companies that make our expensive war toys, let's call it that.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
skintero
08:13 PM on 04/03/2013
I thnk our current military spending is more of a Welfare program for Europe and Asia. We defend that at all costs.
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checkmoot
We have met the enemy and he is us.
10:34 PM on 04/03/2013
Defending who aginst who ? Who's the enemy that is going to attack who ? I remember the anti missile defenses we were going to put in Poland to defend against Iranian missiles. Even if the Iranians had missiles with that kind of range. why would they shoot them at Poland ? Maybe they don't like Polka music ? We have to invent enemies as an excuse for our military spending. The whole thing is an expensive con game.
06:02 PM on 04/03/2013
From now on chuck hagel, I'm going to consolidate your name and refer to you as chuckle.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
atokageneral
god died in the Big Bang
06:35 PM on 04/03/2013
...and who cares besides you?
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UH34D
1. The Dark Ages or 2. Progressivism, I opt for #2
06:02 PM on 04/03/2013
In his farewll speech, Eisenhower warned us about the military-industrial complex and we have failed to heed his warnings. My hope is Hagel will truly give DOD a haircut...high & tight. And to finally hear somebody is going to go after our bloated command structure should be music to everybody's ears. We have more generals and admirals that is the result of the good old boy system within the military and relationships between them and members of Congress. We have more generals & admirals commanding one quarter the number of troops than we had in WW 2. Talk about a top heavy military! Trimming the star rank structure will be a good start to reigning in DOD spending.
06:49 PM on 04/03/2013
Good points. We won the cold war. Where is the cold war "peace dividend"? Might we be a little more "truthful in advertising" if we call the "defense department" what Lincoln called it - the War Department. The public would be closer to the truth. The Defense Department does not prosecute defense, it prosecuted war.
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UH34D
1. The Dark Ages or 2. Progressivism, I opt for #2
09:15 AM on 04/04/2013
They will never admit that about DOD. It's like using the title Homeland Security for an organization that has more power to deny citizens of their Rights than anything else that exists in our Nation...more powerful than the IRS.
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UH34D
1. The Dark Ages or 2. Progressivism, I opt for #2
09:11 AM on 04/05/2013
Hey, Congress has ignored the will of the people for decades. Look at gun control, something like 90% of all Americans want at least a background check and I doubt the Congress will give us that. The vast majority of Americans wanted us out of Afghanistan a long time ago, didn't happen. All Congress had to do was turn off the money supply for the war. And you really believe the Congress is going to care about changing DOD's name? The Congress doesn't seem to care about the same important things most Americans want, they sure as hell are not going to care about a name change. I'm not saying ya don't try, but there are more important things citizens can concentrate upon to institute change. When it comes to war, one of the most important changes we should demand is repeal of the War Powers Act that has led to the mess we're in. Make Congress and the president follow the Constitution. A president wants to commit our troops to war, let the president go to Congress and ask for a declaration of war. The War Powers Act makes it much to easy for a president to commit troops to war, especially of the preemptive kind of war.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
schaf1
06:00 PM on 04/03/2013
What a lot of BS. We spend 13 times what China and/or Russia spend on the military. They have enough money from the taxpayers.
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woodup2
middle ground conservative
06:06 PM on 04/03/2013
What does a corporal in the PLA make compared to a corporal in the USA? That will go a long way in explaining military cost comparisons. Plus we pay the R&D for things like the F-35 and our drones. China copies. No R&D costs in that.
06:50 PM on 04/03/2013
R & D is generally always cost-effective. Look at the stuff that came out of the space program.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
skintero
08:14 PM on 04/03/2013
Do you think we overpay our enlisted military personnel?
05:59 PM on 04/03/2013
Baby steps, we have to start some place. One Abrams tank would keep the WH tours going for many years. 200 of them would actually make a budget difference. It doesn't have to be blind budget cuts, but it does need to happen.
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BOOWAH
05:59 PM on 04/03/2013
THe world is now more unstable than it has ever been. Great job, America!
06:54 PM on 04/03/2013
It is worse than that. Since the end of WW2 several things have happened. First, we won the "cold war". Where is the peace dividend? Secondly, we have been involved in war, after war, after war. The United States Government has indirectly killed upwards of 150,000 of its own citizens, millions of "others" and we have spent billions if not trillions of dollars we do not have, all largely for nothing. A good question: who the hell are we "defending" ourselves from? It seems easier for politicians to fund a government entity called the Defense Department rather than what it actually was truthfully called" the War Department.
05:59 PM on 04/03/2013
They've already cancelled one major military training exercise here in Alaska. It was to have been done with some of our allies like England, Canada, Germany, etc. If we're going to work together, we need to train together.
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woodup2
middle ground conservative
06:07 PM on 04/03/2013
Not according to civilians who have never been on a ruck march or chowed on SOS.
06:55 PM on 04/03/2013
SOS should really be SOAS. You forgot the "A"!
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Tom Pumroy
practical dreamer-artist Man Ray
05:57 PM on 04/03/2013
He said. "America has helped make a better world for all people with its power. A world where America does not lead is not the world I wish my children to inherit."

Right, where exactly do these people live because I don't recognize it. John Kerry and Chuck Hagel are familiar names but I don't think we live in the same country.
05:55 PM on 04/03/2013
Chuck Hagel was said to have been for cutting the defense dept. budget. You see people, this just goes to show that once you get into government, you face a real and challenging reality that the average citizen doesn't. Sometimes politicians can't deliver on some promises because they are not reality nor wise sometimes. We as a people are always quick to criticize the governments policies, but now we can see for ourselves that the reality isn't as clear as we think it is.

As far as any cuts go, it is unwise to cut anything in this time. No cuts to healthcare, infrastructure, education, research, public safety, social security. No cuts to military spending either. When the Assad regime falls, when Afghanistan is stabilized, when we don't have any threats from Iran and North Korea, whether those threats stop one way or another. Bottom line, we shouldn't have to cut anything. The only thing I would "cut" are tax cuts which got us into this mess in the first place.
waynetheman
nam, Gulf War, and Bosnia retired combat medic
05:51 PM on 04/03/2013
Get rid of welfare , sending money over seas and have the people running for office anywhere to use their own money not government money or begging money from people that you owe a favor too.
05:43 PM on 04/03/2013
Why do we have 4,000 brand new Abrams tanks parked in the desert? And we continue to build and refurbish Abrams in spite of this excess. No body is in charge and no body has the balls to make a decision. Suppose we built this excess to keep some Congressman funded for re-election by the military industrial machine.
waynetheman
nam, Gulf War, and Bosnia retired combat medic
05:45 PM on 04/03/2013
In what desert?
06:07 PM on 04/03/2013
At least 2,000 in Nevada.
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woodup2
middle ground conservative
06:09 PM on 04/03/2013
You say "Why do we have 4,000 brand new Abrams tanks parked in the desert? " Very interested here, source?
06:19 PM on 04/03/2013
NBC Open channell. Google The Abrams Tank that couldn't be stopped.
05:36 PM on 04/03/2013
What we seem unwilling and unable to do in this country is have an adult conversation about the important, core issues our government should be addressing, how to prioritize and address them and how to pay for them. Whatever else we do, border protection and national defense are the absolutre core functions of the national government, along with maintenance of vital infrastructure and some other key issues.

Unfortunately when over 60% of federal expenditures are payments of retirement, medical and other forms of income support to individuals, sooner or later it sucks up all the money in the budget. This is the exact trajectory of our present federal spending plans and it is not being openly discussed or even recognized for what it is. As Alexis de Tocqueville once said "The American republic will flourish until the Congress learns it can bribe the public with the public treasury." That was close to 200 years ago....
05:56 PM on 04/03/2013
Those people have EARNED that retirement, medical, and other income! It belongs to THEM! Just like Social Security and Medicare!
05:57 PM on 04/03/2013
So looking for some guidance on the issue here...If the government had left the expenditures of Social Security and Medicaid in self sustaining funds would we not be better off. Once they used OUR money to balance the budget and replaced the funds you mention with bonds did they not basically sign an IOU type agreement because they used our funds. The programs were on much better tracks until (as usual) there was money there sitting just collecting interest and they found a way to spend it. Now they/\, not we, have turned them into what they are now calling entitlements and making them sound dirty. Yes the math for both programs would need to be tweeked due to aging population and fuzzy math because of the payroll relief but they are now collecting that again but the fact remains we would "Get It". The way they phrase things now makes us all look like a bunch of half wit moochers when they are the ones who created this mess. The conversation we need to be having is really not about the ballooning deficit because it is another ruse they have created but about how to get everyone back to work and fix our crumbling infastructure. You do those two things and the math of the deficit will work itself out.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
stopnlisten
Simplify, simplify!
05:33 PM on 04/03/2013
("I am concerned that despite pruning many major procurement programs over the past four years, the military's modernization strategy still depends on systems that are vastly more expensive and technologically risky than what were promised or budgeted for," Hagel said.)

Gee Boeing, Halliburton, Lockheed Martin and the rest of the members of the corporate welfare, military industrial complex...maybe you'll have to cut back. Start with reducing the McNeely's 13 Million dollar a year paycheck. You all yell at unions when you are bleeding this country dry with overpricing and overcompensating executive salaries.
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drreneh
Annoy a Conservative, Help Someone!
11:08 AM on 04/04/2013
The white haired old boys clubs that own, run, control and reap profits are well entrenched. As long as the belief that they are too big to fail persists, we're stuck with the status quo.
05:32 PM on 04/03/2013
We have spend 1.3 trillion in developing the F-35...

I hope it was worth it.
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Enrique Iglesias
THE CHINA GAME
06:13 PM on 04/03/2013
Well, now we have to train the crews and pilots, buy spares and increase the bases that it will operate from; this will cost another Trillion or so...
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05:32 PM on 04/03/2013
Start by cutting out the push for Illegals....