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Is cutting bases back a mistake? Sort by:
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OK72076
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Posted on Sun, Dec 23, 2007 17:03

Is it just me, but does anyone else feel American generals in the past and politicians now are making a mistake in wanting to cut back on the number of military bases and personnel that are stationed overseas? Wasn't America safer and able to influence the actions of foriegn leaders when America had bases, large and small, around the world? I won't go into Bush's decisions regarding Iraq, and four-month Air Force deployments or 15-month Army deployments. But do military families really suffer living two to four years overseas? My parents lived at Mannheim and Stuttgart, Germany, from 1965 to 1967, and then we went back to Germany in 1976, this time to Kaiserslautern. Our parents knew when they joined the Army or Air Force that that could be stationed at remote locations. I know I've always had more interest in world affairs than other people I've known. Trips to London, Paris and Amsterdam before coming back to the States weren't bad too. I can see changing some of the treaties affecting the status of our forces, for example, to require the host governments like Germany, England, etc., to pay for the base guards, mess halls, utility bills, other support staff and other needs, since military families spend money off base and support the local economy. But I sure would like to remind some of these isolationist politicians that as President Teddy Roosevelt, I believe, said, the best defense policy is to carry a Big Stick. Sometimes you hear these presidential candidates talk about cutting back forces and you just want to tell them how dangerous that could be! It's enough to wish we had a strong third party in politics. None of the candidates in either party really sparks a big interest for me. They all have silly stances on various issues, such as the Democrats' various plans for taxpayer supported health insurance for poor people who won't be able to afford insurance co-pays and just need more state- and county-run free clinics at Health Department offices. Or silly stances on amnesty for economic criminals, aka illegal aliens. It's like picking the lesser of two evils. Anyway, is it me or anyone else ever feel the same way? Where are the business and political leaders when we need them? If you agree, write this fine newspaper. Or pass the word on to any movers and shakers you know.


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truefriendinme
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Posted on Wed, Dec 26, 2007 23:14

I think what alot of people forget is that once a person enlists in the service, there IS NO CHOICE. You don't choose your assignemnts, your stations or your duties. You can "request" it, but when it comes down to it, the military branch you have signed your life over (for whatever the term is) has the final say as to what and where you do "your time". As a Navy Brat, I grew up "respecting the flag" -- which is more than just understanding that our country has to defend itself and those in need. To "respect" the flag, means to support our country AND our troops-- even if we don't agree with their assignments. We should understand that military personnel give up SO MUCH that civilians take for granted. If you don't like your job, you can quit. Enlisted Military do not have that option. If you hate your kids' schools, you can move. Military persons may not be able to do that as smoothly. It is not uncommon for Military children to attend several schools in one calendar year. I did. Many men and women do not see their children make those milestones in life. They are too busy carrying out orders handed down by our government. I, for one, fully support our military. I may not like what they do sometimes, but I understand both sides of the coin. I think it was a HUGE mistake to decrease our base presence in the United States and abroad. We need to increase our Military presence, not only in America, but also in foreign bases. We need to rotate the troops more effectively. And we need to support our Military, despite our differences. Our troops will defend us, no matter their opinion on us as a lawyer, doctor, mechanic, pervert or murderer-- we need to accept their duties just as equally. We need to show a "United" States, not a DILUTED Nation!


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butterbll
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Posted on Wed, Dec 26, 2007 21:55

As a History buff I learned that technologically superior equipped troops cannot always guarantee victory .One example is In Africa the Zulu's handed several stinging defeats to the British. British had better weapons of war repeating rifles against Spears and war clubs. the reason for the stinging defeats were the Zulu tribes could Amass large # of warriors Rapidly from all along the routes the British marched. those closet th the battle would hold up the British till far Superior # could reach the battle and join the fray. We must like the Zulu's have bases to operate from.


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butterbll
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Posted on Wed, Dec 26, 2007 21:41

The Us needs to Re think the Reliance on High tech To wriggle its way out of war. A billion dollar aircraft never took a hill or town . It was and will all ways be the man on the ground taking the fight to the enemy. This quote says it I think says it best. "Of the four wars in my lifetime none came about because the U.S. was too strong." - Ronald Reagan


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butterbll
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Posted on Wed, Dec 26, 2007 21:32

It is a bad thing to close so many bases. "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." - John Stuart Mill English economist & philosopher (1806 - 1873)


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Posted on Wed, Dec 26, 2007 16:32

I totally agree with your assessment of the image that the usa has in the world. We certainly do need to pull back, defend out land. Close our borders and take care of us. We are not the defenders of the worlds unrest. I feel if we are needed somewhere, to defend a country against another, that country will ask for our help. We go into the country that's asking and help them to defend itself. Then we come back home to protect our citizens. We don't need bases all over the globe. Do you know of any foreign bases here on U.S. land?


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SweetCicely
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Posted on Tue, Dec 25, 2007 08:00

Hmm . . I don't know that foreign deployment being a burden for service personnel was ever a motivating factor in base closures. However, I do think there are good reasons to do so. IMHO (stressing both "humble" and "opinion") the high-handed virtually unilateral way in which we have pursued recent military actions have impressed on the world the problem with a US presence world-wide. We feel we have a right/duty to involve ourselves in regional conflicts regardless of the effects it may have on the local inhabitants. I am not saying that Al-Qaeda is purely regional, but it's power is much stronger and more pervasive in Muslim nations. We may see ourselves as being pro-active, but even the most cursory reading of the foreign press shows that many countries view us as impulsive, greedy cowboys. We could do 2 things by reducing the size and number of foreign bases: reduce cost (that's a no brainer) and possibly begin to recover the image of the United States as a country which emphasizes diplomacy over guns, cooperation over control. I'd like to see that.


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