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Old 05-21-2009, 07:04 AM   #106
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Re: The Grand New Party

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Do a little research on SDI...we've been at it nearly 3 decades and conservative estimates have the cost around $1 trillion, though the real expenditure is said to be much higher. What do we have to show for it today? Almost nothing. It doesn't work. I've heard top military brass on documentaries say it's no more realistic today than it was 20 years ago. Basically, if you had to pinpoint the single most wasteful program of all time nothing, absolutely nothing, can hold a candle to SDI. Again we can *** and moan and wring our hands over SS, which has on overhead of a few tenths of a percent, or even medicare. But in both cases we're at least getting something from the program. There is total consensus that SDI is non-operational and nobody has been able to say "this is what we need to make it work" or something to that effect. Hell just a few years ago, before the economic indicators fell through the floor, i remember reading an article where Bush discussed outlays of another trillion to finally make the *** thing work (to be fair i believe his proposal included another system in Europe as well) but that doesn't take away from the reality...we've likely spent trillions on something that is no more cogent than a 9mm.
I think your facts are coming from a biased slant, but truthfully, I don't have any better facts. However, the governments primary military job is our defense, and I know they have had successful tests of the system. My other argument goes more to a logical assertion.
If missile defense did not work, then Russia would not have had conniptions when putting the system in eastern europe. Instead, the threat alone nearly killed Russian American relations. To me, that says that the research has produced some benefits.

Our government should attempt to protect us from the threat of incoming missiles. That is a far more real threat than a land invasion ever has been. And yet we maintain a huge Army that can do very little for our self-defense. We should invest what it takes to protect us from real threats.

Having said that, if it is the black hole effect that bothers you, I certainly understand that, and SDI ought to be open to scrutiny and proof that they are progressing.
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Old 05-21-2009, 07:09 AM   #107
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Re: The Grand New Party

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The problem with leaving Iraq in the way you state is this. WE NEED OIL. It's the only reason we've evr concerned ourselves with the Middle East. The same stuff goes on in Africa and we barely care but in the ME we are Johnny on the Spot. We can't just leave because we have an actual national interest there.
We can and should get our oil from our own resources, but on the other hand, countries will sell us oil. If they don't they would lose a heap lot o' money.
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Old 05-21-2009, 07:12 AM   #108
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Re: The Grand New Party

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The problem with leaving Iraq in the way you state is this. WE NEED OIL. It's the only reason we've evr concerned ourselves with the Middle East. The same stuff goes on in Africa and we barely care but in the ME we are Johnny on the Spot. We can't just leave because we have an actual national interest there.
See, this is where my libertarian instincts take over. I understand we need the oil. The problem is that it doesn't belong to us.

I need more money -- that doesn't mean I can stroll into a bank with a gun and demand that they hand it over. I also can't figure out how or why anyone in the middle east, no matter who is in power, would deliberately cut off the flow of oil to the biggest consumer of it. Even when Saddam Hussein was in power after the first Gulf War we still bought oil from Iraq.

If they wanted to cut off their nose to spite their face by refusing to sell oil to us we would simply go to other sources. Most of our oil comes from Canada and South America anyway.

And steveo395 is exactly right; drill for our own oil resources here so we don't have to deal with the neanderthals in the middle east.
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Old 05-21-2009, 07:31 AM   #109
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Re: The Grand New Party

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Do a little research on SDI...we've been at it nearly 3 decades and conservative estimates have the cost around $1 trillion, though the real expenditure is said to be much higher. What do we have to show for it today? Almost nothing. It doesn't work. I've heard top military brass on documentaries say it's no more realistic today than it was 20 years ago. Basically, if you had to pinpoint the single most wasteful program of all time nothing, absolutely nothing, can hold a candle to SDI. Again we can *** and moan and wring our hands over SS, which has on overhead of a few tenths of a percent, or even medicare. But in both cases we're at least getting something from the program. There is total consensus that SDI is non-operational and nobody has been able to say "this is what we need to make it work" or something to that effect. Hell just a few years ago, before the economic indicators fell through the floor, i remember reading an article where Bush discussed outlays of another trillion to finally make the *** thing work (to be fair i believe his proposal included another system in Europe as well) but that doesn't take away from the reality...we've likely spent trillions on something that is no more cogent than a 9mm.
Also, while 1TRILLION dollars, or 3 TRILLION if we go high is ungodly amount of money, if you put it in context of nearly 30 years, and then consider what our government has spent over that same 30 years, I would still maintain, that this project is actually what we should spend money on. My whole argument rests in my belief that the military should first and foremost defend our country from the most realistic threats. What are those?
1) has to be a terrorist attack - this requires intelligence work to protect us

2) sub launched or air attacks - Naval and Air Force are required for this

3) attacks against our satellites - SDI and its off chutes are required to protect these

4) a missile attack, most likely one or two fired, not likely that any country would have the capacity to flood our airspace with missiles. - SDI again is the only reasonable defense, along with retaliatory capabilities

5) I honestly can't envision a scenario where a ground attack against US soil could occur without 1-4 having occurred and been successful. That means we have little need for a STANDING army. We do need equipment properly maintained, and an officer corps, but the soldiers should come from some sort of 2 year mandatory service, or something.
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Old 05-21-2009, 08:56 AM   #110
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Re: The Grand New Party

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The problem with leaving Iraq in the way you state is this. WE NEED OIL. It's the only reason we've evr concerned ourselves with the Middle East. The same stuff goes on in Africa and we barely care but in the ME we are Johnny on the Spot. We can't just leave because we have an actual national interest there.

How about we take all of the troops out of Korea, Japan, Bosnia, Thailand, Australia, England, Germany, Italy, Iraq, Africa, and Kuwait?

I could see Iraq too. We should cozy up to the Russians. They're swimming in oil. Executive Outcomes are protecting the Nigerian oil fields. I see no national interest in Europe?
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:11 AM   #111
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Re: The Grand New Party

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How about we take all of the troops out of Korea, Japan, Bosnia, Thailand, Australia, England, Germany, Italy, Iraq, Africa, and Kuwait?

I could see Iraq too. We should cozy up to the Russians. They're swimming in oil. Executive Outcomes are protecting the Nigerian oil fields. I see no national interest in Europe?
Is the military to defend national interests, and how is that defined. The broader the definition, the broader the scope of the military. Some, like Clinton, have argued our national interest lies in peace in Bosnia/Herzogovenia, others like Bush, argue it lies in Iraq. As long as that is the criteria for our military, it will never really be reduced. I think you can make a successful argument for European stability being in the US' economic national interest.

I think the conversation should shift back to having a defensive vs offensive military posture.
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:21 AM   #112
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Re: The Grand New Party

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See, this is where my libertarian instincts take over. I understand we need the oil. The problem is that it doesn't belong to us.

I need more money -- that doesn't mean I can stroll into a bank with a gun and demand that they hand it over. I also can't figure out how or why anyone in the middle east, no matter who is in power, would deliberately cut off the flow of oil to the biggest consumer of it. Even when Saddam Hussein was in power after the first Gulf War we still bought oil from Iraq.

If they wanted to cut off their nose to spite their face by refusing to sell oil to us we would simply go to other sources. Most of our oil comes from Canada and South America anyway.

And steveo395 is exactly right; drill for our own oil resources here so we don't have to deal with the neanderthals in the middle east.
Because there are some crazy ass people over there. We can't just walk away because we ahve a vested interest in the region. Plain and simple. I agree that it would be nice to be able to do such things but we can't.
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:25 AM   #113
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Re: The Grand New Party

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So if your serving in the millitary do you want your goverment to stop spending on HI Tech equipment. I'd say that the high tec equipment saves lives and is a good investment.
Only in an offensive posture. If we are in a defensive posture, then our troops are not exposed, and they are less open to IED's or other cheap tactics. By your logic, we should be spending far more on Police then we are, for the same reason. but we don't.
I understand you can't just go cold turkey, but you can spend rationally, and not by Ferraris when the next closest competitor has an Acura.
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:26 AM   #114
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Re: The Grand New Party

All the points about drawing back I agree with in philosophy but they all get caught up in real world realities. We're not leaving Europe. We sacrificed hundreds of thousands of men and women fighting to keep their freedoms and we aren't just up and leaving them with their ass in the wind. The problem is national security isn't very simple. The arguments that defending ourselves mean we have to go out into the world to keep threats from originating before they get to us isn't frivolous. It makes sense...and it is an inordinately subjective premise. At least in application.
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:35 AM   #115
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Re: The Grand New Party

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Originally Posted by FRPLG View Post
All the points about drawing back I agree with in philosophy but they all get caught up in real world realities. We're not leaving Europe. We sacrificed hundreds of thousands of men and women fighting to keep their freedoms and we aren't just up and leaving them with their *** in the wind. The problem is national security isn't very simple. The arguments that defending ourselves mean we have to go out into the world to keep threats from originating before they get to us isn't frivolous. It makes sense...and it is an inordinately subjective premise. At least in application.
I do understand this, but if this is still about a "new" party's defining principles, I maintain that the ideal should be one of minimal military intervention, and to maintain a defensive posture. If we did that it would lead to a natural reduction in the Army, and a greater emphasis on the Intelligence divisions, and a strong navy, air force and local space command (not missions to galaxies 5million lightyears away). None of this diminishes the role of National Security, but does lead away from Presidents having to occupy our Army with missions outside of our borders.
I make most of my arguments here in the context of where we should be heading, not necessarily, where we could be tomorrow.
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:43 AM   #116
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Re: The Grand New Party

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5) I honestly can't envision a scenario where a ground attack against US soil could occur without 1-4 having occurred and been successful. That means we have little need for a STANDING army. We do need equipment properly maintained, and an officer corps, but the soldiers should come from some sort of 2 year mandatory service, or something.
You never saw Red Dawn?
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:51 AM   #117
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Re: The Grand New Party

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Originally Posted by Trample the Elderly View Post
How about we take all of the troops out of Korea, Japan, Bosnia, Thailand, Australia, England, Germany, Italy, Iraq, Africa, and Kuwait?

I could see Iraq too. We should cozy up to the Russians. They're swimming in oil. Executive Outcomes are protecting the Nigerian oil fields. I see no national interest in Europe?
I guess our treaties and committments to NATO/Japan/Taiwan etc. don't matter.

Also, ever heard the best defense is a good offense. Bottom line, there are people who would like to impose their will on others through use of force. They don't becasue we have a bigger stick. We pull back our front line bases and we're potentially giving ground to bad guys. Bad guys don't stop, they keep going when they sense weakness. We keep our front line bases out there and make the enemies keep playing defense.
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:52 AM   #118
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Re: The Grand New Party

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You never saw Red Dawn?
I did, loved it at the time. I should add it to the list of movies that made me cry, when they were reading the monument memorial at the end.
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:56 AM   #119
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Re: The Grand New Party

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I guess our treaties and committments to NATO/Japan/Taiwan etc. don't matter.

Also, ever heard the best defense is a good offense. Bottom line, there are people who would like to impose their will on others through use of force. They don't becasue we have a bigger stick. We pull back our front line bases and we're potentially giving ground to bad guys. Bad guys don't stop, they keep going when they sense weakness. We keep our front line bases out there and make the enemies keep playing defense.
Our founding fathers, who many admire, warned of Foreign entanglements. Yes our obligations matter, but they should not override our sensibilities.

Maintaining a strong defense does not have to be a sign of weakness, and you can have a huge military like we do, but if your political leadership is weak, you will not be respected anyways.
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:36 AM   #120
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Re: The Grand New Party

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If I'm putting my life on the line I want the Ferraris and hope the guy I'm fighting has the Acura.
ok, but most of the guys we are fighting are driving Yugo's.
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