ENGLISH FOR CONGRESS POSITION PAPER (Revised April 2014)

Military Restructuring

The United States now spends more on its military than all of the rest of the world's nations combined.  Much of this expenditure is sheer waste.  Consider the fact more than 20 years after the end of the cold war, there are still eleven aircraft carrier battle groups in service at a cost of tens of billions of dollars annually. Or, that a single new fighter aircraft costs about $350 million each.  Purchasing six of these aircraft costs as much as the yearly operating budget for the entire public school system of Montgomery County, the state's most populated county with 975,000 residents.  The long-delayed F-35 fighter aircraft program is well behind schedule and has an estimated cost over $385 Billion.   Aircraft carriers are useless would be at great risk in any new confrontation in the Gulf area because new supersonic air to surface, surface to surface missiles, and high speed torpedoes now exist.  During the first Gulf war, the Navy was even then concerned about these hazards and kept the carriers well away from land.  And, now China has now developed specialized ballistic missiles developed for anti-ship warfare.  The Vietnam War fiasco proved years ago that force projection onto the Asian land mass was sheer folly despite the intervention of 500,000 American ground troops and massive air and sea power deployment.

Because of the failure of military interventions such in Vietnam and most likely Afghanistan, the United States now needs to assess its self-appointed role as the protector of the seas and world's policeman.  England had to withdraw from East of Suez and later from East of Gibraltar after the Second World War to safeguard its Democracy from an oncoming economic collapse.  The U.S. Army has personnel located in 80 countries around the world.  The current extension of military power by building bases in Central Asia is sheer folly and can only involve the U. S. in future conflicts.   It is now time for the United States to withdraw all combat and combat support forces from East of Iceland and West of Guam.  Our allies in Western Europe the Pacific have sufficient resources and potential military capabilities to insure their own national security.   The presence of U. S. bases and forces in Europe, Korea, Okinawa, and Japan and elsewhere is no longer needed and is becoming an increasing source of resentment and hostility toward the United States in these countries.  The use of bases in these countries to project American military power in the Middle East and elsewhere also has become very controversial within these countries.  It is only a matter of time before the U. S. is disinvited and forced to withdraw back to its own territory: it should do so now by making a gracious exit after reaching agreements with host countries regarding maintaining existing bases in a standby status under host nation control.  Pre-positioned supplies of consumables with stocks of heavy equipment and weapons should be kept and maintained on-site and in storage under local control at these standby bases in case of need should future a crisis arise.  Long term positioning (over 6 months) of American military personnel at foreign bases must be avoided unless hostilities in the vicinity are imminent.  They should be quickly withdrawn after the threat ends.

The shift to a primarily defensive posture will permit significant reductions in manpower and the number of active duty combat units. This should gradually occur with major unit transfers to strengthened reserve and National Guard units.  Several surplus Navy carrier battle groups and Air Force air wings with supporting equipment could be transferred at no cost to our Western European and Pacific allies if they are willing to assume the financial burden and primary responsibility for their own defense.  At least one aircraft carrier with support vessels stationed in the Atlantic and the Pacific should be dedicated and equipped with additional helicopters and other emergency rescue equipment and supplies
to support humanitarian rescue missions.  Separated military personnel with more than ten years accumulated service should be offered fully paid public service jobs with benefits at their present military pay grades until they complete their twenty year service eligibility for military pensions.  Public service jobs for separated personnel would include fully Federal subsidized employment as teacher's aides, health clinic workers, and other job categories placed with requesting local and state government agencies in poorer jurisdictions.  

Surplus military bases inside the United States should be converted, stocked with consumables, and maintained as emergency evacuation centers for future natural disasters such as hurricanes and major earthquakes.  In the meantime, they should be used to provide shelter, nutrition, and medical care for all homeless persons that cannot be cared for in existing facilities.  All displaced Americans should know that the Federal government will provide adequate shelter, food, and medical care for them in safe and decent facilities until the present economic emergency ends and they are able to return to being fully sustaining.  Homelessness is a national problem created by the greed of the financial sector. It has been made much worse by the failure of the Federal government to exercise adequate regulatory oversight and conduct sound monetary and fiscal management policies to prevent the economic distress now being experienced by tens of millions of innocent citizens. 

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