Military Restructuring


ENGLISH FOR CONGRESS POSITION PAPER (Revised March 2018)


The United States most  likely 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 ten 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 $300 million each.  Purchasing eight 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 over one million residents.  The long-delayed F-35 fighter aircraft program is well behind schedule.  Aircraft carriers are useless an 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.  The 2017 use of cruise missiles instead of aircraft to attack a Syrian air base in response to poison gas usage probably saved the loss of one or more aircraft and pilots to advanced Russian provided anti-aircraft missiles.  During the first Gulf war, the Navy even then was concerned about these hazards and kept the carriers well away from land. China has now developed specialized missiles 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 600,000 American ground troops and massive air and sea power deployment. Well over three million tons (more than all prior wars in history) of bombs were dropped during that war and over 58,000 American personnel and more than two million Vietnamese people were killed.  In the years after the Vietnam War ended,over 60,000 of America's Vietnam veterans committed suicide.  Before the USA's 2008 Economic Meltdown, it had been estimated that about of third of the homeless persons in this country were American veterans. One of the other adverse social costs of these wasteful expenditures is the fact that twenty percent of our children are now living in poverty.

Because of the failure of military interventions such as 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 fact is that the United States cannot continue the expenditure of and the waste of resources from the massive ruinous economic and social cost that is impoverishing our country. And, Federal budget deficits are increasing for the wasteful and suicidal upgrade of the nuclear weapons inventory.  The current extension of military power by building bases in Central Asia and elsewhere (Honduras) is also sheer folly and can only involve the U. S. in future conflicts.   It is now time for the United States to gradually withdraw all combat and 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.  As the consequence of the current ongoing interventions in the Middle East, Yemen, Somalia, Niger and elsewhere, it is only a matter of time before the U. S. is uninvited ( i.e., Turkey?) 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 nations' control and at their expense.  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.  Future interventions outside of the Western Hemisphere should be made only after a resolution of the United  Nations Security Council is granted and a limited Authorization of Military Force (AUMF) is enacted by the Congress with specified limits to the amount of the force intended and the period of time permitted.  All proposed future use force interventions by the US military anywhere outside U. S. territory must be separately authorized by the Congress for the levels of force and the expected number of days needed.

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 permanent 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.  Anyone needing permanent shelter not otherwise available locally should go to the nearest military base for help.  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.

NOTE:  Please also read the issue papers about Middle East Policy, Foreign Policy, and  Foreclosures, Evictions, and Homelessness

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