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Thread: Oh POTUS regs, and all. I have an assignment for you.

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by murral stark View Post
    I have thought about this quite a bit.... If a country wants help and they ask us, then we should go help.
    What countries have we been in for over 50 years? I can think of only Western Europe and S. Korea.

    1. In Western Europe, the strategy won. In the early 80's there was a grave concern that Western Europe was indeed suddenly vulnerable. Thus began the build-up that brought the GLCM, the 600 ship navy, and major growth of both Army and Air Forces in Europe. If this build-up had not occurred, any war in Europe would have been over in roughly a week. This was because the US didn't have the air frames and ships to deliver a credible counter-force in less time. It was felt that the Soviets would need 7 days to move their forces into readiness while we could have a division or two .... and NO EQUIPMENT...across in the same time. We saw roughly the same thing in Gulf War I....weeks and weeks of transporting equipment. (In fact, a significant portion of the men and equipment needed for Gulf I was drawn from Europe.)

    The forces are there now (much smaller forces) as a contribution to NATO and to have a place to rotate them in and out of the ME. Even that mission is declining. If I named the just the air bases that have closed in Europe in the past 20 years, you'd be amazed....RAF Fairford, RAF Upper Heyford, RAF Bentwaters, RAF Woodbury, RAF Bentwaters, Sembach AB, BitBurg AB, Rhein-Main AB, Hahn AB, Zweibrucken AB, Torrejon AB, one of the bases in Italy, Comiso AB, and Hellenikon AB. Every one of these (except Hellenikon) held a single wing (24 aircraft) and about 2000 people. European end strength used to be about 1,000,000. Now I'd guess it's more like 350-400,000.

    2. In S. Korea there is a small force (about a division and a half) and two air wings. They serve as a trip wire that causes the N. Koreans to think twice about invading. If S. Korea were to be invaded, the US forces would contribute but end up falling back. They would serve their purpose of holding the North until we could me the rest of the force into place. It's basically the same strategy as before the Korean War except the US force is larger and remains on alert. Part of the reason that worked was that N Korea had a relatively primative land and air force. That's not so true today and folks really have their thinking caps on about this.

    All of this begs the question of whether or not we should or would feel compelled to act if truces/treaties were broken.
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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Johnson View Post
    What countries have we been in for over 50 years? I can think of only Western Europe and S. Korea.

    1. In Western Europe, the strategy won. In the early 80's there was a grave concern that Western Europe was indeed suddenly vulnerable. Thus began the build-up that brought the GLCM, the 600 ship navy, and major growth of both Army and Air Forces in Europe. If this build-up had not occurred, any war in Europe would have been over in roughly a week. This was because the US didn't have the air frames and ships to deliver a credible counter-force in less time. It was felt that the Soviets would need 7 days to move their forces into readiness while we could have a division or two .... and NO EQUIPMENT...across in the same time. We saw roughly the same thing in Gulf War I....weeks and weeks of transporting equipment. (In fact, a significant portion of the men and equipment needed for Gulf I was drawn from Europe.)

    The forces are there now (much smaller forces) as a contribution to NATO and to have a place to rotate them in and out of the ME. Even that mission is declining. If I named the just the air bases that have closed in Europe in the past 20 years, you'd be amazed....RAF Fairford, RAF Upper Heyford, RAF Bentwaters, RAF Woodbury, RAF Bentwaters, Sembach AB, BitBurg AB, Rhein-Main AB, Hahn AB, Zweibrucken AB, Torrejon AB, one of the bases in Italy, Comiso AB, and Hellenikon AB. Every one of these (except Hellenikon) held a single wing (24 aircraft) and about 2000 people. European end strength used to be about 1,000,000. Now I'd guess it's more like 350-400,000.

    2. In S. Korea there is a small force (about a division and a half) and two air wings. They serve as a trip wire that causes the N. Koreans to think twice about invading. If S. Korea were to be invaded, the US forces would contribute but end up falling back. They would serve their purpose of holding the North until we could me the rest of the force into place. It's basically the same strategy as before the Korean War except the US force is larger and remains on alert. Part of the reason that worked was that N Korea had a relatively primative land and air force. That's not so true today and folks really have their thinking caps on about this.

    All of this begs the question of whether or not we should or would feel compelled to act if truces/treaties were broken.
    Here's another one. Japan/okinawa. My point is why are we still there wasting money? whether it be western Europe, S Korea, Or Japan. If they ask for our assistance, we go help out, not fight their war. If they don't want us there, get the heck out of there. Back in the 80's when President Reagan was in office, when Lebanon didn't want us there. what did he do? He got us out of there instead of sending in more troops. smart move. That's what we need to do worldwide. Bring our troops home and protect our homeland and let everybody else defend theirs.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by murral stark View Post
    Here's another one. Japan/okinawa. My point is why are we still there wasting money? whether it be western Europe, S Korea, Or Japan. If they ask for our assistance, we go help out, not fight their war. If they don't want us there, get the heck out of there. Back in the 80's when President Reagan was in office, when Lebanon didn't want us there. what did he do? He got us out of there instead of sending in more troops. smart move. That's what we need to do worldwide. Bring our troops home and protect our homeland and let everybody else defend theirs.
    But I do think that Europe and S. Korea want us there.

    With Japan, the peace treaty that ended WWII included limitations on an army for Japan, but it's probably time for that to be re-visited so that they can take care of themselves.

    Also, remember the forces that could have helped in Benghazi were those stationed in Europe. Aid was only an hour or two away (airtime). If for no other reason than to protect US citizens or diplomatic missions abroad, there would be some need for forces stationed overseas.

    With regard to "nation building" ... perhaps there needs to be a better definition. In Iraq removing Saddam left chaos in the govt, i.e. there was none left. There was a responsibility, I think, to restore civil order. Of course, we messed that up badly ... but when they no longer wanted our troop presence they were withdrawn. I doubt that Russia or China would have been so accommodating.

    We also rebuilt Japan and Germany after the war, and left them to govern themselves. We saw that the Russians were less willing to do that for those countries they controlled after the WWII.

    Evils certainly have been associated with our desire to keep oil flowing to the US. OTOH, what would be the state of our economy during that period had we not kept the flow of oil secure? Energy has been a critical component to economic growth. However, I also believe that the handwriting was on the wall back during the Carter administration. The DOE was set up under him. We should have aggressively been pursuing our energy independence ever since, and we didn't do so.

    Now that we know we have energy supplies for 100 years, we need to use ALL of those sources to keep the economic engine running while we develop alternate energy sources for many uses to extend the "lifespan" of the fossil fuels. Have always felt that solar is best suited to housing needs. That, and geo-thermal, could take care of a lot of housing heating/cooling/lighting electrical needs. The benefit there would also be that each household would be more self-sufficient in the bargain. After the debacle of Sandy, self-sufficiency seems like a pretty good idea! The problem seems to be that the DOE should viably be supporting the kind of R&D that would encourage that kind of alternative energy development, but they have not done a great job of it.

    I surely believe that there would be "fat" in our overseas presence, but there is surely a need to have forces overseas.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    But I do think that Europe and S. Korea want us there.

    With Japan, the peace treaty that ended WWII included limitations on an army for Japan, but it's probably time for that to be re-visited so that they can take care of themselves.

    Also, remember the forces that could have helped in Benghazi were those stationed in Europe. Aid was only an hour or two away (airtime). If for no other reason than to protect US citizens or diplomatic missions abroad, there would be some need for forces stationed overseas.

    With regard to "nation building" ... perhaps there needs to be a better definition. In Iraq removing Saddam left chaos in the govt, i.e. there was none left. There was a responsibility, I think, to restore civil order. Of course, we messed that up badly ... but when they no longer wanted our troop presence they were withdrawn. I doubt that Russia or China would have been so accommodating.

    We also rebuilt Japan and Germany after the war, and left them to govern themselves. We saw that the Russians were less willing to do that for those countries they controlled after the WWII.

    Evils certainly have been associated with our desire to keep oil flowing to the US. OTOH, what would be the state of our economy during that period had we not kept the flow of oil secure? Energy has been a critical component to economic growth. However, I also believe that the handwriting was on the wall back during the Carter administration. The DOE was set up under him. We should have aggressively been pursuing our energy independence ever since, and we didn't do so.

    Now that we know we have energy supplies for 100 years, we need to use ALL of those sources to keep the economic engine running while we develop alternate energy sources for many uses to extend the "lifespan" of the fossil fuels. Have always felt that solar is best suited to housing needs. That, and geo-thermal, could take care of a lot of housing heating/cooling/lighting electrical needs. The benefit there would also be that each household would be more self-sufficient in the bargain. After the debacle of Sandy, self-sufficiency seems like a pretty good idea! The problem seems to be that the DOE should viably be supporting the kind of R&D that would encourage that kind of alternative energy development, but they have not done a great job of it.

    I surely believe that there would be "fat" in our overseas presence, but there is surely a need to have forces overseas.
    If we didn't have embassies or consulates in those countries, would be a non-issue. We still do not need bases in western europe wasting money. If a conflict arises and they ask for our help, we send in help not the personnel that we have stationed over there. Why do we need to be the protector of the world? Take care of our own people and don't worry about everybody else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by murral stark View Post
    If a conflict arises and they ask for our help, we send in help not the personnel that we have stationed over there. Why do we need to be the protector of the world? Take care of our own people and don't worry about everybody else.
    Didn't you even read what I wrote? If the European continent breaks out in war, we couldn't get there in time to do anything. It's a pipedream to think the way you do.

    We are in those locations as a forward defense against having to fight on our shores. If we withdraw from Europe (for instance), the only war-fighting capability we will have is our inventory of nuclear devices. Is that what you propose?
    Eric

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    It seems to me from what I remember from my history classes, plus what I have since read and heard in the news, along with what I think I understand about how the world works, that a great deal of nation building has been taken on in an attempt to create a more stable world. Stability produces conditions that are conducive to general prosperity, which benefits not only the aristocracy, but also the hoi paloi. Countries with systems similar to ours are perceived to be more likely to be useful trading partners, able to produce items that we want and also able to be consumers of our exports.

    Our maintenance of bases and troops overseas, although perhaps related to the "nation building" question is actually at least to some degree a different issue. There are certainly multiple reasons for this practice. Some of it is to protect our economic interests, some to protect out allies, and some to simply keep perceived enemies at bay.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HPL View Post
    It seems to me from what I remember from my history classes, plus what I have since read and heard in the news, along with what I think I understand about how the world works, that a great deal of nation building has been taken on in an attempt to create a more stable world. Stability produces conditions that are conducive to general prosperity, which benefits not only the aristocracy, but also the hoi paloi. Countries with systems similar to ours are perceived to be more likely to be useful trading partners, able to produce items that we want and also able to be consumers of our exports.

    Our maintenance of bases and troops overseas, although perhaps related to the "nation building" question is actually at least to some degree a different issue. There are certainly multiple reasons for this practice. Some of it is to protect our economic interests, some to protect out allies, and some to simply keep perceived enemies at bay.
    Makes sense to me.

    I think the "dispute" is how much we "need" to spend on maintaining stability. Seems that there is some need for the US to act as such a stabilizer, since the UN is pretty useless at much of anything.
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    Quote Originally Posted by murral stark View Post
    If we didn't have embassies or consulates in those countries, would be a non-issue. We still do not need bases in western europe wasting money. If a conflict arises and they ask for our help, we send in help not the personnel that we have stationed over there. Why do we need to be the protector of the world? Take care of our own people and don't worry about everybody else.
    Embassies and consulates are not military installations; they're meant to foster diplomacy in other nations. And a large part of what they do is represent Americans overseas, as well as citizens of the host nation that want to travel (or live in) the U.S.

    And I too don't think nation building is the right term. So my answer to Ken is, if we want to remain a super power, we simply cannot ignore the rest of the world. We need to speak softly and carry a big arse stick (or nuke, or fleet of warships, troops ready to be deployed, etc.) The majority of the nations don't respect anything else. There was a time when awarding govt. military contracts stimulated our economy and got us out of war. How did it become fostering the military-industrial complex? Sounds like the preamble to a U.N. diatribe by N. Korea or Angola.
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    RE: military Industrial Complex: Read Eisenhower's farewell speech. In conversation with members of the Minnesota Air National guard, Lockheed keeps churning out C-130's that the Air Force doesn't want or need. And when they get the planes, they frequently have to be torn down and rebuilt because of poor workmanship. Politicians love defense plants and military bases in their districts because the military industrial complex provides tons of jobs for their constituents.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeus3925 View Post
    RE: military Industrial Complex: Read Eisenhower's farewell speech. In conversation with members of the Minnesota Air National guard, Lockheed keeps churning out C-130's that the Air Force doesn't want or need. And when they get the planes, they frequently have to be torn down and rebuilt because of poor workmanship. Politicians love defense plants and military bases in their districts because the military industrial complex provides tons of jobs for their constituents.
    Careful Sarge........most of that labor belongs to an "International!!"

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