As far as I know, it's about meeting NATO obligations and projecting power. When I was stationed there, we had many, many more.<br><br>
I had read where we were considering moving those units east into some of the countries that used to be in the Soviet Union, because it would be less expensive. They would also make the tours shorter and not allow troops to bring their families. I don't know how well that would work.<br><br>
And don't you dare try to shut down our lodge in Garmisch. I'll find you...<br><a href="http://www.edelweisslodgeandresort.com/highlights.html" target="_blank">http://www.edelweisslodgeandresort.com/highlights.html</a>
Is it worth it to America to have this number of troups? Does Europe face a threat from the Soviet Union that they require American troops to face? Do we gain anything substantial by demonstrating power in Europe? I could see the value of the troops during the cold war, but now? We have over 100,000 troops in Europe, and yes I'm bitter that I didn't draw an assignment to Germany; I did get Turkey and Japan (and I have similar questions about the number of troops stationed there.)
<img alt="huh.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/huh.gif"><br><br>
I'd rather pay more in taxes.<br><br><br><br><br><br>
To the topic at hand, not much to say... There's a <b>lot</b> of things I think are wasteful in government spending. Military is not one of them (not counting war in Iraq, thought that was wasteful and bad for our world standing)
Are you saying that none of the military spending is wasteful? If you are saying that, it's hard to imagine that you were in the military. I am not an isolationist. I believe in having a strong military. That doesn't mean we need to have 44 installations and 61,000 troops in Germany. Europe isn't paying us to defend them; instead we pay them to lease the bases. I don't get it.<br><br>
According to Wikipedia, the total US budget for 2008 was $3 trillion. $1 trillion for defense including VA and 1.3 trillion for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. If anyone is serious about doing something with federal spending, they will have to look at both defense and entitlements.<br><br>
Caf - I might be talked into supporting keeping the lodge in Garmisch for R&R.
We could easily slash military spending without threatening the security of the United States.<br><br>
Yet the same people who complain about high taxes are the ones who decry calls for military spending cuts as disloyal.
On this I really agree with you. We really don't need all those troops there. We have cut from a high I believe in the neighborhood of 160k troops back in the 90's. And we stopped doing the very expensive REFORGER exercise, that brought thousands more troops over every year for a short time, many years ago.<br><br>
But we DO need Garmisch... Best two weeks of my life were spent there. Mid-tour leave from Iraq.<br><br>
Agree 100%. The trick is what to cut, but there is low-hanging fruit.
I always wondered why we needed so many troops all over the place. But I'm a bit of an isolationist. I also think we should pay attention to our own problems more instead of giving money away every time some other country has a problem. Seems like the only time they like us. Besides, we have way too much debt to be throwing money around. It's llike not being able to afford to feed your family but giving all kind of money to charity.
<img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"> hey, we couldn't even make the military lodging at Disney for vacation, but they did fly dh out to Seattle for 2 weeks of emergency transport training AFTER he filed separation papers..(there were stop-holds going on.....but still what a waste for someone that is leaving)
Not as far as I know. That would be mostly at what we call "echelons above reality," the Pentagon and procurement stuff. I've never worked there.<br><br>
What I'm thinking of is more processes. There is a lot of waste in how things are done. Like when a unit brings it's equipment back from a deployment. It needs to be inspected and brought back up to maintenance standards. War is hard on equipment. I've seen sloppy work and wasted effort.<br><br>
So multiply that by all the units rotating through Iraq and A'stan... it adds up.<br><br>
If you're referring to the "no-bid" contracts, the thing to understand is that there were (and are still, I think) very few contractors who did what we needed done at the time. In the ten years prior to the current Iraq war I only ever saw one contractor involved in the base logistics we need. That's KBR. They hired the workers who built the tents, latrines, chow halls, cleaned them and cooked and served chow, etc... If they didn't do it, it would have been Soldiers doing it, and that would have been even more expensive.<br><br>
But no one else, no other civilian company, was in this market. There was another company that did high level maintenance, though, called ITT. They had some of the contracts in Kuwait and Iraq when I was there. They did complete rebuilds on engines and such.<br><br>
Not to say there's no corruption there, just that it's not as cut and dried as it may seem.
Every penny spent on the invasion of Iraq was a complete waste of money and lives. Billions can't be accounted for, and more money has been wasted on handouts to war profiteers and billions more will be spent on health care costs for veterans. All for nothing.<br><br>
Also billions have been thrown away on SDI, which isn't close to being functional. Hopefully Obama will get rid of that white elephant.
Oh yeah, no problem with moving the troops from Germany into former Soviet bloc countries.<br><br>
The Russians would be very welcoming of that I'm sure.<br><br>
Then again I still think that overall war is really good for the economy.<br><br>
...unless everyone gets killed and then it isn't.
The bases in Europe are important to the Europeans, because it provides money and jobs. They are important to the US because of force projection. Building an infrastructure like we currently have in Europe elsewhere would take a lot of time and money. Considering we still have reasons to be involved in Europe (Kosovo, NATO, and Russian threats like the whole Georgia situation), pulling completely out of Europe is not likely to happen.<br><br>
Is there waste? Of course, this is the government. But it's not as simple as leaving bases or moving troops.<br><br>
I predict a permanent installation in the Middle East, most likely Iraq. Would provide for quicker response and better projection.
Turkey is becoming less inviting to us using their land and air. Iraq as a staging area has a fair amount of appeal, as it is right next to Iran, close enough to Russia yet far enough away to not be threatening, and the fact that we already have a the foundations of something laid. I could see shifting forces from Europe to the ME.