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Panetta, Clinton: Bigger defense cuts would weaken U.S.

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...bigger defense cuts would weaken U.S. so what? one more notch down by S&P !

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Start closing the bases in Europe and pull the troops out of peacekeeping missions in Bosnia to save money.

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I dunno, seems to me that the massive deficit spending is seriously weakening the U.S.

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I realy dont know wht the US has bases in Europe anyway and there are enough peace keeping troops of our own to look after Bosnia

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All we need to do is follow Krugman's idea on war as a stimulus. More Freedom wars scheduled?

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Stop invading and bombing countries would also save money. Btw, European bases are involved in the bombing of Libya, spying on communications and annoying Russia.

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Well it's not like reducing spending would strengthen defense.....

The money just isn't there so they have to find cuts. Personally, I think the large land invasions are over these days and the military needs to scale down. They were already talking about this before the whole debt crisis started. They can create a force based more on technology and cheaper systems like drones and more special forces as opposed to sheer boot numbers. The threats today require smaller, more specialized forces that can perform specific tasks and get in and out quickly.

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@Christina

Gates was right. US will pull out of NATO if the European countries refuse to equally pay for their defense initiatives. If not, pull our troops out and let them pay for their own security.

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SuperLibAug. 17, 2011 - 10:30AM JST

They can create a force based more on technology and cheaper systems like drones and more special forces as opposed to sheer boot numbers.

A really good post except for this. Technology and the drones, stealth bombers etc are a large chunk of what is sucking up American tax money, particularly in ways that the money just gets stuck at the top and does not help the economy or come back to the government in taxes. The salaries of soldier can be guaranteed to make the rounds again.

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"Defense Secretary Leon Panetta"

I think a more fitting title would be "War Secretary".

But he warned of dangers to the national defense if bigger reductions are required.

Specifically he mentioned the conflicts in Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq. Sound like defense to you? Like I said, War Secretary. A horse is a horse.

This guy is not really concerned about national defense. Why should he be? If there were seven China's surrounding the U.S., the U.S. would still spend more on the military! But there is only one China, it does not surround us, and I cannot imagine it or any other country has plans to invade America.

What is guy is concerned about is having enough money for war elsewhere, at least by his own mouth. But I don't believe his mouth. I think what he is concerned about is the feud that is going to come from the contractors who think Pentagon money is their own personal feeding trough.

America spends about as much on the military as the REST OF THE WORLD. Not one drop of exaggeration in that statement. Its true and verifiable. Its INSANE. Even these cuts Panetta is crying his little tears about are not really that great. An average of 35 billion a year to a more than half a billion budget. We are talking numbers around a mere 6 percent! The DOD will rake in 707 billion in 2012. Since it took 689 billion in 2010, I cannot even tell you how that equates to a budget cut! This is pure madness, and the people need to wake up and start seeing bull crap artists like Panetta for what they really are.

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oracle

Technology and the drones, stealth bombers etc are a large chunk of what is sucking up American tax money, particularly in ways that the money just gets stuck at the top and does not help the economy

The new Boeing Dreamliner is made of a super light super strong composite that the dreaded military industrial complex first developed for our stealth bombers. Can you tell us what people and groups comprise this 'top' where all da money gets stuck and doesn't help da economy at all? Are they the 'hoarders' you were going on about a few weeks back?

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I wrote it before and I'll write it again; a friend of mine of who works in the military says that for every one soldier holding a gun there are 100 civilian employees holding pencils. Few government entities waste as much money as the military.

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BreitbartVictoriousAug. 17, 2011 - 11:49AM JST

Can you tell us what people and groups comprise this 'top' where all da money gets stuck and doesn't help da economy at all?

Do you want an answer or are you trying to imply that some people don't have a firm but unofficial grip on Pentagon purse-strings? Please address both ends of that.

As for money get stuck at the top, yes, these are some of them, but not all of them.

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Also BV, are you trying to imply that over half a billion to the military and a 14 trillion dollar debt is worth a stronger material for civilian aircraft? You know, no matter how strong a material is made for civilian aircraft, it does not mean more people are going to survive impact. About the best you could expect is no break up on a slightly less than smooth water landing leading to saved lives. But that is like a once in 20 years event. Is putting the whole country in hock worth that to you, or even 20 comparable inventions?

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I think he is talking about Iran. He needs some cash for the next job.

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oracle

Also BV, are you trying to imply that over half a billion to the military and a 14 trillion dollar debt is worth a stronger material for civilian aircraft?

No. I tried to give you an example. Nothing more. As usual you go off on some weird tangent -

You know, no matter how strong a material is made for civilian aircraft, it does not mean more people are going to survive impact.

I'm no engineer but stronger and lighter probably means less repair needed and less fuel needed, with savings passed on to the customer...

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BreitbartVictoriousAug. 17, 2011 - 02:38PM JST

As usual you go off on some weird tangent -

That I have. If you don't like it, you might try being more reasonable in debate. You have done a great job of provoking me to just dismiss your posts out of hand, and that is due to your OWN weird tangents.

I now see that you are trying to say that the use of these new materials in new aircraft is a boon to the economy. I can't wait for a little to trickle down to me! Pah! A great chunk of that money will be profit for people who did no real work. Those profits will amount to much much more than the salaries of people actually working. That excess of wealth will result in a certain amount not going back into circulation. This process has been repeated so many times that now 71 percent of the wealth is held by a mere 10 percent of the population in America. The process is obvious and the result is proven. I don't know why you want to pretend its just a bad dream.

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Next BV is going to try to convice you it was some guy in a tinfoil hat who made the term "military industrial complex" famous, rather than Dwight D. Eisenhower (R).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military-industrial_complex

From that:

The Military budget of the United States for the 2009 fiscal year was $515.4 billion. Adding emergency discretionary spending and supplemental spending brings the sum to $651.2 billion.[19] This does not include many military-related items that are outside of the Defense Department budget. Overall the United States government is spending about $1 trillion annually on defense-related purposes.[20] The defense industry tends to contribute heavily to incumbent members of Congress.

The cycle is really not that hard to understand and the proof is in the figures, just like the proof that the wealth is pooling at the top. Hard to believe anyone could not pick those up instantly.

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oracle

I can't wait for a little to trickle down to me! Pah!

i would expect that to come in the form of lower prices and/or a greatly enhanced flying experience people judge as worth the cost. If not, exercise your freedom of choice and penalize Boeing by choosing another carrier.

This process has been repeated so many times that now 71 percent of the wealth is held by a mere 10 percent of the population in America.

You might want to investigate that 'process' a bit closer. Greater productivity in the workplace produces the effect you speak of. But the result is pretty much what we always find with free market capitalism - - overall, the benefits redound to consumers, in myriad improvements in pretty much every area of life. Bill Gates has made a vast fortune, 'unfair' to some. As a result though you and I and everyone we know now has personal computers and work stations our grandparents and even our parents could not dream of. And those computers continue to get smaller and more powerful and cheaper. A guy like Zuckerberg makes an even better example. He took some better than average programming skills to the new cyber frontier, where the infrastructure, so to speak, was already in place, and he devised a simple way for masses of people to create their own little cyber worlds. Because an environment with almost limitless potential had already been created by the free exchange of ideas and innovations of others, Zuckerberg's productivity paid off with even greater exponential reward - - he had to make nowhere near the effort Gates did to make his fortune.

People like you make this argument about the top ( ) percent holding x amount of the wealth as though it happens only in America. It doesn't.

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BreitbartVictoriousAug. 17, 2011 - 03:48PM JST

greatly enhanced flying experience

Worse than a commercial!

overall, the benefits redound to consumers

Here we go! Is this trip necessary? Nowhere did I suggest they didn't. Nor did I suggest we pull the plug on the entire system. I suggested the system was bloated, and required downsizing. I did not say we take it out back and shoot it. So why do I have to read responses from you as if I did?

The subject is budget cuts for the military and Panetta's claim that that would weaken American defense. Instead of trying to desperately assail my fortress by insisting it actually lies miles east of where it actually is, would you might addressing the topic and identifying your own position for once?

People like you make this argument about the top ( ) percent holding x amount of the wealth as though it happens only in America. It doesn't.

Yes, its also true in China. Nowhere did I imply it only happens in America. I am only talking about what is necessary and beneficial for America. And no, I don't think its the Chinese way. I think its the way of wealth disparity not being so extreme.

smaller and more powerful and cheaper.

As Japan demonstrates, the first concern is to have money. Only then does price come into play. It does not matter how expensive something is if you have the money to cover it. And that is why my standard of living is better here than at home despite the ridiculous prices.

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oracle

The subject is budget cuts for the military and Panetta's claim that that would weaken American defense.

And Obama can't convince his own Defense Sec and his Sec of State that we should make cuts to defense.

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Readers, back on topic please. The subject is the U.S. military budget.

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Oracle: America spends about as much on the military as the REST OF THE WORLD. Not one drop of exaggeration in that statement. Its true and verifiable. Its INSANE.

The capabilities are insane as well. You get what you pay for.

Just look at the situation with Libya where the US is not taking the lead role with NATO. It's insane that the combined forces of quite a few European nations as well as Canada can't take out an African dictator with the support of a large chuck of the population, but that's what we're seeing now. They've only been able to reach a stalemate, and that's even with the US's support. Imagine if the US weren't there and then you'd get a pretty good idea of how ineffective an underfunded military can be.

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Just look at the situation with Libya where the US is not taking the lead role with NATO. It's insane that the combined forces of quite a few European nations as well as Canada can't take out an African dictator with the support of a large chuck of the population, but that's what we're seeing now.

Those are good points superlib but they are probably lost on oracles.

maybe cuts to our military should be matched by cuts in aid to countries like Pakistan and Egypt, and by cuts in aid we give to those who all too often work against our interests, like the United Nations.

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SuperLibAug. 17, 2011 - 06:04PM JST

Imagine if the US weren't there and then you'd get a pretty good idea of how ineffective an underfunded military can be.

Funding is not NEARLY the problem. America could probably win in all three theaters with half the money if only Americans really gave a crap. Such as it is, they don't. They won't risk their lives for these missions in nearly enough volume to win these wars, I don't care how much is tossed at the problem or in equipment designed to fight WWII all over again (which we are not by the way).

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oracle

Funding is not NEARLY the problem. America could probably win in all three theaters with half the money if only Americans really gave a crap. Such as it is, they don't.

The majority of us want victory. The demented politically correct 'progressive' crowd however have forced upon our troops an insane set of rules of engagement.

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The majority of us want victory.

Yet, there you sit!

The demented politically correct 'progressive' crowd however have forced upon our troops an insane set of rules of engagement.

There is nothing wrong with the rules of engagement either.

Americans don't care about this stuff in general or enough. Its why we got 3 stalemates at best also why military spending has reached this ridiculous level and is bankrupting the country.

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Lieberman2012Aug. 17, 2011 - 06:34PM JST

maybe cuts to our military should be matched by cuts in aid to countries like Pakistan and Egypt,

Yes! And Israel too!

and by cuts in aid we give to those who all too often work against our interests, like the United Nations.

Can't remember the last time the U.N. got a check from the U.S.! I think it was 1999. We owe 1.3 billion. Just another debt we cannot be bothered to pay!

Yet we budget 1 trillion in both official and unofficial military spending every year! But can't be bothered to give 1/100th that which has accrued over at least a decade! Then people like you come and complain about how useless the U.N. is!

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would you might addressing the topic and identifying your own position for once?

Still waiting for than answer BV. You going to stick your neck out and tell us where you stand on Panetta, the effect on national security (not foreign wars) and the budget cuts?

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The demented politically correct 'progressive' crowd however have forced upon our troops an insane set of rules of engagement.

Agreed that a more permissive attitude towards collateral damage would save money in the short term - plus, there's that heady smell of napalm in the morning - but that would certainly anger a whole lot of the world, thus defeating the objective. Then again, Republicans are good at that; they are a real "Team America," swooping in to "solve" problems while destroying whole societies in the process.

An Egyptian leader once said, " Russia provides arms; America provides solutions." Not only would that method be cheaper, it works better. Let's say we return to that kind of thinking.

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****Do we need troops stationed in 108 countries around the world? I don't think so! Do we need to be the world's policemen around the world? Again, I don't think so. The 2nd country with the highest Defense spending is China and it spends approximately 100 billion dollars a year. When contracts are made, what Politicians are able to pocket kickbacks? We need to only be concerned about defending our own country, and we can do it on much less than 500 billion dollars a year.

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Japan and Western Europe would have been swallowed up along time ago if they would had to have spent the same GDP that America did on her military. Allowing them the security and freedom for them in rebuilding economies after the WW2.

America took on the burden and we all got Play-stations and Mercedes and not to mention Toyota Prius's and the basement blogger's favorite.........Video Games.

Cutting the military budget may be wise but only unless your willing to accept and step back from the real cost. The cost being a world where the United States no longer provides a good economic environment for our allies and friends by the U.S taking off the huge burden of an allied nations GDP for national defense by our leadership and treaties. But one where war between friends once unthinkable, again becomes acceptable for the very economic survival of the state to ensure it can survive.

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laguna

agreed that a more permissive attitude towards collateral damage would save money in the short term - plus, there's that heady smell of napalm in the morning - but that would certainly anger a whole lot of the world, thus defeating the objective.

It's always 1967 with people like you. Yeah, Obama is ordering napalm strikes on Kabul.

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Oracle: America could probably win in all three theaters with half the money if only Americans really gave a crap. Such as it is, they don't.

I really don't even know what this means, sorry. You'll have to give us a little more insight since we don't keep up with the same propaganda sites that you do.

Oracle: Can't remember the last time the U.N. got a check from the U.S.! I think it was 1999. We owe 1.3 billion. Just another debt we cannot be bothered to pay!

It's impossible that you would know the amount owed while simultaneously saying that the US hasn't sent a check since 1999. You're demonstrating knowledge about a topic while at the same time giving a statement that's so false that only someone who knows absolutely nothing about it would say. That means you aren't being honest. And it's strange that this "little piece of information" would work it's way into this debate unless you go around planting it whenever possible. You need to work on your propaganda a little more. It's not that great.

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SuperLibAug. 18, 2011 - 01:31AM JST

You'll have to give us a little more insight since we don't keep up with the same propaganda sites that you do.

If I got my opinions from a website, I would give you the link. I am not like the people in your camp who just refuse to provide such information. So if you want to make comments like that, why not try directing them at the right people?

What I mean is that technology will not win any of the major fights we are in. What is needed are brains, hands and boots. But there are not enough people signing up to do that. And so America is trying to make up the difference with technology. But it won't work. Further, America is not risking causualties either, but also relying on tech to shoot and kill from a safe spot and that will not work in any of these fights. It would have been great for busting German tanks and troop lines in WWII, but like I said, this isn't WWII.

Until Americans care enough to sign up and risk their lives, there is zero hope. In Afghanistan they have finally started putting troops in harms way to do more house searches rather than drop a bomb first and declare the children militants later, but its too little too late unless the U.S. is going to stay for another ten years, then the bad reputation might get cleaned up.

It's impossible that you would know the amount owed while simultaneously saying that the US hasn't sent a check since 1999.

Chill out. I got some info off wiki and other sources while in the middle of that post. One source gave the last payment as 1999, but that might have been dated, and while that was the last I had heard of one, I could not be bothered to cross reference. Its hard to find information that does not exist you know! Was there a payment in 2005? Well if there wasn't, there won't be anything to say so! The amount owed was in wiki, but no exact date on from when. Heaven forbid you take some time out from your posting to get some specifics. You might be able to blow that wide apart with data and math, but no, you just try to pick it apart on the semantics. Until you man up, I am afraid my data is the most solid thing here on the subject. So go ahead, make my day, as you blithely ignore the whole point of the data and lamely focus on one tiny specific. Do you have any pride at all sir?

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Oracle: What I mean is that technology will not win any of the major fights we are in. What is needed are brains, hands and boots. But there are not enough people signing up to do that. And so America is trying to make up the difference with technology. But it won't work. Further, America is not risking causualties either, but also relying on tech to shoot and kill from a safe spot and that will not work in any of these fights. It would have been great for busting German tanks and troop lines in WWII, but like I said, this isn't WWII.

To some extent I'll agree with this. But it works both ways. I'm assuming you're talking about Afghanistan, where the US chose a path to put fewer troops on the ground. This was a lesson learned from the Russians. Putting massive troops on the ground also puts massive targets on the ground, and when you're dealing with hit-and-run tactics of the enemy it can be counterproductive. The Russians did this and lost massive numbers and still failed in the end. I don't think anyone has a perfect answer for the situation.

Oracle: One source gave the last payment as 1999, but that might have been dated, and while that was the last I had heard of one, I could not be bothered to cross reference.

Let me put it this way: If the US stopped paying the UN, the UN would cease to exist in less than a year. The entire "US doesn't pay the UN dues" was a media creation and fueled by foreign politicians who wanted a quick-hit talking point. There was an adjustment in the % paid by each country a while back to reflect growing economies. The UN wanted to phase in the new payments over a period of years, the US wanted to start the new system immediately, which is what the US did. So that created the gap in payments where the US was paying less than the UN thought we should. So instead of saying "The US paid $1.1 billion this year instead of $1.3 billion" the media turned that into "the US hasn't paid $200 million in UN dues." Then that got dumbed down to "the US doesn't pay their UN dues." Now apparently the message is so skewed there are people such as yourself saying that the US hasn't paid since 1999. The US has contributed more than anyone to the UN, and we're the ones famous for not paying anything. Sounds about par for the course.

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America's hegamony shall not last very long, her demise will be taken over by China!

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SuperLibAug. 18, 2011 - 12:40PM JST

The Russians did this and lost massive numbers and still failed in the end.

Were the Russian goals the same? Were they there to provide security or to try and win battles?

I don't think anyone has a perfect answer for the situation.

I don't think anyone has an answer period. All I know is the homegrown Taliban are going to win more support for putting their guts on the line rather than the mechanical drones from foreigners

As for your U.N. stuff you may be correct for the most part, but U.S. contributions are the result of America's prosperity, not the goodness of our hearts. And our GNI is partly so high thanks to our influence with the U.N. So don't beat that "we contribute more" drum too loudly.

But you are still avoiding the key point that got this U.N talk started. Compared to the U.S. military budget what we send to the U.N. is peanuts. Yet we have payment issues with the U.N.?. And here Lieberman thinks we should cut those peanuts off to save money, rather than cut our outrageous military spending. Why not direct a post at Leiberman, rather than me?

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Oracle: I don't think anyone has an answer period. All I know is the homegrown Taliban are going to win more support for putting their guts on the line rather than the mechanical drones from foreigners

Sorry, I really don't understand who the Taliban are going to win more support from. If this is just a straightforward issue where you're anti-drone - and people like you have come and gone on here - then just come out and say it. But I can't imagine tribes are going to join the Taliban because the respect the Taliban when they came in and blew up a building using a suicide bomber instead of remote detonations. My guess is that they're going to be pretty angry about the building and the people in it, not patting the Taliban on the back for being so brave in killing them.

As for your U.N. stuff you may be correct for the most part, but U.S. contributions are the result of America's prosperity, not the goodness of our hearts

So you criticized then realized you might be off target so you just made up some new criticism. Looks like your mind is made up and we're just waiting for you to settle on the best way to criticize.

Military spending is being cut. UN spending is not being cut. I don't see where your frustration is coming from. Every now and then a Congressman pops off to get in the papers. Big deal. At least he's not making bullshit statements about other countries not paying when they are.

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Sorry, I really don't understand who the Taliban are going to win more support from.

Think North Vietnam and the Viet Cong and the villagers trapped between them and the Americans and the weak forces of South Vietnam. Did jets and napalm win that conflict? Make us any friends?

And civilians are biased toward locals and against foreigners. Its a fact of life. Humans are biased toward those laying it on the line, not the geezer in an ivory tower. Its human nature. When both sides are killing civilians, it hardly matters to those civilians if the excuse of collateral damage is claimed or not. That only works back home, with the people who have no fear of being that collateral damage.

Few are going to praise the Taliban. But its easy for a local to see them as the lesser evil, so the foreigners have to be darn near saint-like, but the foreigners are pretty far from it. You have had 10 years to think on this. And 10 years have only proven that I was right from the start.

So you criticized then realized you might be off target so you just made up some new criticism.

No. The U.S. is still in debt to the U.N. regardless. You just found a rather insignifant error that was beside the point and decided to give yourself a great big pat on the back for finding it. Its called an infoslam and I am not going to bend to cheap tactics nor withdraw for a tiny mistake that leaves the bulk of my point intact. You knocked a single brick off of one one of battlements. Congratulations!

The whole point of my response to Lieberman was that the U.S. owes the U.N. what is a tiny amount compared to military spending yet cannot be bothered to even up. You won a side issue. Go get a cookie from the cookie jar for yourself.

Military spending is being cut. UN spending is not being cut. I don't see where your frustration is coming from.

Then try reading the thread and finding the post I was replying to. I wasn't yours.

Military spending is being cut.

This is like saying you are on a diet, because you while you still eat the fastfood set of burger, fries and coke, you now toss two fries in the bin. The cuts are tiny by percentage, yet they still dwarf arrears to the U.N.

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Oracle: Humans are biased toward those laying it on the line, not the geezer in an ivory tower. Its human nature. When both sides are killing civilians, it hardly matters to those civilians if the excuse of collateral damage is claimed or not. That only works back home, with the people who have no fear of being that collateral damage.

You don't really have any kind of position. A vast majority of the civilians killed are done by the Taliban. And those numbers don't include the sheer threat of force that the Taliban uses to keep people in line. Yet your conclusion seems to point to the locals supporting the Taliban more because....killing civilians is bad. Either way you lose unless you mix a lot of loose statements together and include catchphrases like "ivory tower" to write something that sounds good as long as you don't check the logic.

No. The U.S. is still in debt to the U.N. regardless. You just found a rather insignifant error that was beside the point

Sure. Over $30 billion in payments vs. "no payments since 1999." We can chalk that up as an insignificant error if you need to save face. And apparently you don't want to grasp the fact that the difference amounts to a disagreement in timing of the new payment structure. That's not surprising since you've admitted that you really have no knowledge of the situation (but don't let that stop you). The UN wanted the new system to be gradual so it could keep getting more money from the US. The US wanted the new agreement to start once the new percentages were accepted. In that sense, the US will permanently be "in arrears" according to the UN if you follow their timetable. That's what it comes down to. Time to move on or shall we continue to watch you invent ways that the US is horrible for keeping the UN in business while at the same time not paying?

And the military cuts are not "tiny." They are a good start and they will likely get bigger. You just can't make 10%-20% cuts to the military overnight. It involves a lot of jobs and a lot of people. No government agency could reasonably handle that kind of drastic cut no matter which part they are. In the end you're just whining to hear yourself whine.

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killing civilians is bad.

You oversimplify. If you toss out bits of the equation, you get wrong answers. If you play mix and match with my words, you get wrong answers. If you cannot reconcile something I say today with I said yesterday, you did not understand what I said yesterday.

I am not blowing smoke up your rear. My positions are completely consistent.

Over $30 billion in payments vs. "no payments since 1999." We can chalk that up as an insignificant error if you need to save face.

I am glad you pointed it out and glad for the knowledge. But your presentation leaves a lot to be desired and it was merely a side point anyway. Sorriest part of this whole thing is that you correct me on a side point and think got some sort of trump card. You were right about the side point and I was wrong. Can you drop it now and accept the fact that it does not really change anything?

And the military cuts are not "tiny."

Yes they are. A liberal estimate would be 6 percent a year, and that is not including the unoffical defense budget which would make it even less, probably around 4 percent. You say its a start, but that is over a 10 year period. I don't expect more cuts until that is over.

No government agency could reasonably handle that kind of drastic cut no matter which part they are.

This government agency would be exiting an entire country if the U.S. would stop pestering Iraq to backtrack on the troop withdrawl this year. And if Obama would just get us the hell out of Afghanistan imagine the savings! Suspend R& D. I can think of no agency that could easier make huge cuts practically overnight! But certain powerful people are in the way and that is all that is really in the way.

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Chill out. I got some info off wiki

I would advise getting almost no info from 'wiki'. You do realize this is put in by anyone who feels need to login and do it. Unless someone corrects erroneous information, it remains just that.

The problem of defense spending involves much more scrutiny and examination than most people are willing to give the matter. Instead there is this partisan division of opinion that results in endless arguments (like on here) rather than an actual detailed study that would result in a clear plan that could achieve the aims of both corners.

We need to keep a strong and capable military force. You don't have to take me an any omniscient type who thinks they know all - just read a bit of history. The unarmed and ill-prepared are often taken by surprise and vanquished by an enemy (known or unknown) so prepared. Look at the Allied powers after the First World War as a great example.

BUT there is massive waste in the defense industry and it's difficult to tell without a detailed breakdown and study - but the bet is that massive amounts could be saved/cut from the defense budget without affecting troop levels, availability of modern equipment and preparedness. I use an example from my own past. In the latter 1980's I was hired through a contracting agency (DOD contract) as a technical writer preparing manuals for a certain family of assault vehicles. Part of my job involved writing up and either drawing images of (or have them done in AutoCad) tools that went into the vehicle that was charged with the role of maintaining the other types. As a bored kid not so long out of University, I sat down and did the math. By the time the Colonel in charge changed his mind several dozen times about what should or should not go into this toolbox, figuring in the amount of time paid to me and a few draftsmen creating images for this toolbox - and then changing them dozens of times - the military spent almost a million dollars. On a manual that would indicate and illustrate to a soldier what would go in a toolbox. A soldier who actually used these vehicles told me they never opened the manuals and the only use he had ever seen was for short drivers to sit on them. One very small example. But a million bucks. And how many examples like this are there? How much of this type of stupidity could be irradiated without effecting size or preparedness? Food for thought at any rate.

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'irradicated' rather than 'irradiated' - when are they going to give the ability to edit??

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Oracle: You were right about the side point and I was wrong. Can you drop it now and accept the fact that it does not really change anything?

You mentioned something and I corrected you. You kept fighting for it and now you've given up so now it's going to end. If you don't want to talk about things that don't change anything, then don't bring them up then continue to defend them because of your ego.

This government agency would be exiting an entire country if the U.S. would stop pestering Iraq to backtrack on the troop withdrawl this year. And if Obama would just get us the hell out of Afghanistan imagine the savings! Suspend R& D. I can think of no agency that could easier make huge cuts practically overnight! But certain powerful people are in the way and that is all that is really in the way.

Here we go again... You're too emotional.

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