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U.S. military to cut troop numbers, invest in future

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© 2012 AFP

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If we're not in a war, maintaining this many troops does not make sense. Of course they're going to have to cut troops. While i understand McCain's point, we can't keep paying a full-engagement military if we're not in an active war. Our best bet is to try and keep as many reserves as we can while reducing the active duty services.

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music to my ears

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looks as if obama still wants that massive civilian corps he talked about in the 08 campaign. the speech has been scrubbed from the internet but you can find cached copies. he called for an army within America equal in size and strength to our conventional army. you can guess who they will answer to.

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"who they will answer to"

Maybe they will answer to southern America's new proxy president, Jan Brewer. Especially if they get uniforms and a nifty militia name to go with their garbage bags and litter tongs.

America had massive civilian corps in the past. Those park benches and hiking trails they created are a good reason for paranoia today, aren't they.

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The military budget lives in a parallel universe: in no other budget would a 9% increase be described as a "cut."

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Okay ... the military will lose 100,000 members. Obama should take full credit for putting these 100,000 people out of work ... not blame it on Bush ... But the way the Obama people twist the figures, the jobless rate will probably show another decrease.

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After announcing the budget cut and a new U.S. global strategy, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta must have called his counterpart in Tokyo, Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka, and they both reconfirmed that Futenma's function will be relocated to Henoko in northern Okinawa as agreed to between the two governments.

Should Japan undertake to construct a quid pro quo for Futenma at the behest of the U.S. government, it would certainly mean that Japan has agreed upon an indefinite U.S. military presence on its own soil, making Okinawa a foreign military colony for good.

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The military budget lives in a parallel universe: in no other budget would a 9% increase be described as a "cut."

What article did you read? The one I read said the proposed military budget is 9% LESS than the 2012 budget:

Panetta proposed a $613 billion budget for the year starting in October—a $525 billion base spending plan and $88.4 billion for combat operations, primarily in Afghanistan. The total is 9% below the 2012 request.

Maybe you're confused over the dates. The government's fiscal year starts in October. The budget being talked about in this article is the proposed FY2013 budget. The FY2012 budget went into effect in October 2011.

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He proposed reducing the number of active Army soldiers from 570,000 in 2010 to 490,000 by 2017 and reducing the Marines’ strength from 202,000 to 182,000 over the same period.

Just don't do it like they did in the 90s and cut strictly from the bottom. The military is top heavy as it is. We need fewer generals and more boots on the ground doing actual soldiering.

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a futuristic floating base for special operations and drones

WHAT? o.O

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If any reader works or supply the US military in Japan, it might be a good idea to look to the future and retrain. The American taxpayers are saying that there is no need to maintain military property, personnel and families in Japan as if it were 1950. Jets, missiles, drones, submarines and cyber war are the new ways to defend interests and destroy an enemy in minutes. This point has been made by the American taxpayers, and regardless whom they elect in November, reductions will occur.

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The American taxpayers are saying that there is no need to maintain military property, personnel and families in Japan as if it were 1950.

Actually there is very compelling reasons to maintain military property, personnel and families in Japan just as it was in 1950. First and foremost North Korea. If the North does invade the South it will be with massive ground troops and the South Korea military along with the American forces there in place can would fight a holding action to bog them down but will not be able to go on any offensive operations it would be a stalemate. But with our forces in Japan we would be able move our troops based here as soon as the bell is rung to support our South Korean allies and be turn the tide of the North Korean invading forces almost immediately. This changes the whole dynamic and also North Korea's calculus on attempting another invasion in the South.

Secondly....Tawain. Same dynamic at play with regards to China and her using a military invasion of the country.

Third......Possible Future Conflicts. Iran closes the Straits of Hormuz. The fastest quickest response would be from our forces called "The Tip of The Spear" based here in Japan. Just as they were first on station and taking the fight to the Taliban and Al Queda when they were foolish enough to attack the U.S.

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To sailwind:

Lt. Gen. Bruce Wright, Commander of U.S. Forces Japan until 2008, wrote in his Feb. 26, 2008 special that U.S. service members stationed in Japan are committed to give their life for the defense of Japan. Perhaps naively believing this, Japanese taxpayers are willing enough to shoulder over 70% of maintenance expenses for 88 U.S. bases and installations in all over Japan (including 33 in Okinawa).

The total sum Japan has paid to the U.S. coffer for this purpose since 1978 amounts to more than $35 billion. The 2010 bilateral agreement stipulates that Japan must subsidize an additional $117.5 million in a five-year period starting 2011, which Japan started up despite the horrific triple disasters in the Tohoku region.

But then sailwind (Jan. 28, 2012 - 02:23PM JST) contends that the U.S. military is deployed in Japan (Okinawa) for three reasons. First, to check North Korea from invading South Korea; second, to prevent China from attacking Taiwan; third, to deal with a blockade of the Straits of Hormuz by Iran.

Sailwind may be right. But how will he accommodate his theory with Washington's official line that the U.S. military presence in Japan, absurdly excessive to anyone’s eyes, is for the defense of Japan.

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(Correction)

Lt. Gen. Bruce Wright, Commander of U.S. Forces Japan until 2008, wrote in his Feb. 26, 2008 Japan Times special that U.S. service members stationed in Japan are committed to give their life for the defense of Japan.

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