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Pat Buchanan: What is Our Military Defending?

"We need to be honest with the president, with the Congress, with the American people" about the consequences of cutting the defense budget, said Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in his valedictory policy address to the American Enterprise Institute.

"(A) smaller military, no matter how superb, will be able to go fewer places and do fewer things."

Gates seeks to ignite a debate the country seems reluctant to have. With a federal budget running out of balance by 10 percent of gross domestic product, what are we Americans willing to sacrifice? What are we willing to forego? What are we willing to cut?

The biggest budget items are Social Security, Medicare and defense. To Democrats, the first two are untouchables. To most Republicans, defense is off the table. Indeed, the likelihood is that any budget deal to which both parties agree will contain escape clauses to enable Congress to avoid the painful decisions and kick the can up the road.

Consider the situation the U.S. military faces.


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Pat forgot,

the commitments the U$-govts have given to AIPAC & the zionist state, and to beat-up or buy-out its neighbours, and those who oppose it$ expansion. This is a heavy burden which the Dept of Offence has to consider, therefore there is a need for endless printing or borrowing of dollar$.
There are only two major issues facing the world today,
1- world-wide debt with increasing interest/usury.
2- question of Jeru'Salem.
Both were resolved by the Maseah 2000 years ago, because they are connected. He reminded Psalms 15:1 & 5, = when he went to the Temple in Jeru'Salem, Matthew 21:12-13 =(no robbers).

same things she defend, Wall

same things she defend, Wall Street and globalization.

I heard it was Opium we were protecting...

Of course that is if your talkin' Afganistan...now if your rappin' this side of the planet...it is probably Cocaine that is the babysitting chore.

Hey man...gotta look out for your TRUE interests.

Discover Costa Rica

budgetary bloat

I'm very much for a strong military but that doesn't mean I think we need to do something everytime a petty dictator gives us the finger.

The problem with "the military" today is the services are inefficient, attached to pet programs of dubious worth, and do not have enough cross branch synergies. Combine this with the CongressCritters porkfest and industry smarts to spread programs into as many districts as possible and you get the budgetary mess we have today.

So I disagree with Gates - one should be able to make sizable cuts to defense spending without adversely affecting our ability to fight two wars. Unfortunately we have cowards in congress.

gedankenexperiment.dk views on finance, politics and science

I think Gates' comments may not be in context

I don't think he's advocating for a bigger budget or even no cuts to the current budget, but he is trying to make a statement about the current operations tempo. He's saying that with the current mission load, cuts are going to be hard if not impossible because most of the budget is spent on operations & maintenance and personnel. Both Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan are spot on about the huge mission load of supporting so many bases overseas and I think Gates is on the same sheet of music and just supporting our troops in uniform given such a burdensome load.

I'd like to see his whole address to the AEI before coming to a conclusion. AFAIK, he has been trying to get the debate going since he was appointed. He immediately set up a program review and cut a lot of major service specific weapon systems programs for more cost effective cross service alternatives. While the 'official' position for him firing the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the AF is because of several mishandlings of nuclear weapons, both Wynne and Moseley came out against Gates' proposed cuts to the service specific F-22 program for the Joint Strike Fighter and openly defied his decision to lobby for the F-22.

I believe he's a fair man who only wants to see the budget proportional to the mission load and if we keep electing people who want to stick their nose in every little conflict around the world, the budget will have to grow for the sake of our over worked military personnel.

We can't

I am in the Navy and our budget is already cut to the max. All of the ships are critically undermanned and our repair budgets are underfunded. Sailors no longer get training before they come out to the ships and we are in a downward spiral. To add to the problem we have more missions to do now than we did in the cold war but we have half as many ships to do it with. We have to scale back the mission or increase the funding. I am in favor of rolling back the mission but if we want to maintain the staus quo we have to dramatically increase spending.

I think the point here ...

... is exactly to "scale down the mission". I have no desire to maintain the status quo of maintaining about 800 military bases in over 130 FOREIGN countries. Do you think this is right? How would you feel if China, Mexico, Germany or the Ukraine stationed troops here?

I think we can bring the troops home AND provide for the legitimate needs of the troops, and do it on a lot smaller budget, by not pretending that we are the policeman of the World. We need to defend America, not offend the rest of the World.

Pat Buchanan....

Is the only person besides Ron Paul I was happy to vote for president. Can you imagine how much more fun it would have been to have him instead of Bob Dole running? Everytime the establishment picks the most "electable" candidate like Bob Dole or John MaCain, they get crushed but the "Unelectable" canidates like Ronald Reagan kick ass. Pat Buchanan or Ron Paul would utterly dismantle the democratic coalition, but the Republican establishment is completely out of touch.

I know As long as the GOP

I know

As long as the GOP nominates boring people like Bob Dull and Juan McCain, it might as well go the way of the Whigs

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PB lays it out as clearly as one can.

When will this debate get going in Congress?


ytc's picture

PB needs his OWN mainstream TV show. . .

right next to Judge Nap's.