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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru] - editor@arranewsservice.com (Pub. Since July, 2006)
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Monday, March 03, 2014

Hagel's 'Defense Cuts' Are Smoke And Mirrors

Dr. Bill Smith, Editor, comment:  In the following article by Dr. Paul, I  take  note of one of his final questions: "Why are we defending South Korea and Japan when they are wealthy enough to defend themselves? "  It is not a matter of wealth and I am sure that  Dr. Paul knows this. These are matters created by previous American inaction or actions.

With respect to Korea, the U.S. intervention against North Korea and the "Red Chinese"  invasion of Korea, aka the Korean conflict, eventually  led to the cessation of hostilities and the  partitioning of Korea verses a victory which would have resolved this issue.  Under the agreement, the US still stands with South Korea at the  38th Parallel,  North Korea has been ruled by ruthless dictators and supported by a nuclear armed China and and Korea's own growing nuclear arsenal.  While, South Korea has been denied access to nuclear weapons.  In summary, the U.S. is held hostage by honor to its own former commitments created by inept leadership willing to resolve the issue and to assure victory in the Korean Conflict.

Under the protection of the United States, South Korea has indeed prospered. Should South Koreans now be punished for prospering under democracy while having been denied the capability to stop their enemies in North Korea.

As for Japan, after experiencing the total devastation of two cities by U.S Atomic bombs, Japan's new leaders  rejected nuclear weapons with approval of General Douglas MacArthur, and accepted a democratic form of government.  Over the years, they have indeed prospered while continually threatened by a nuclear armed China.  Would Dr. Paul prefer that we ignore China and sacrifice Japan to Communist China? The issue is not prosperity but the the failure of prior leadership of the United States.

 by Ron Paul: Last week Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel proposed an additional 40,000 reduction in active duty US Army personnel, down to 450,000 soldiers. As US troops are being withdrawn from the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, it might make sense to reduce not only the active duty military but the entire military budget. However, from the interventionists’ reaction to Hagel’s announcement you might think President Obama announced he was shutting down the Pentagon!

Rep. Michael McCaul, Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, claimed that this slight reduction in personnel would hurt our military readiness. He blamed the exploding spending on welfare entitlements for the proposed military cuts, stating, "It's all being sacrificed ... on the altar of entitlements. This president cannot take on mandatory spending, so all we've done in the Congress -- and this president -- is basically cut discretionary spending."

McCaul is partly right. Welfare spending is bankrupting the country. But military spending is also welfare: it is welfare for the well-connected military-industrial complex, which enriches itself manufacturing useless boondoggles like the F-35 fighter. We should never confuse legitimate defense spending – which I support – with military spending, which promotes interventionism overseas and actually undermines our national security.

Neoconservative Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain were also quick to criticize Hagel’s announcement. They said the cuts were dead on arrival in the US Senate. "We are going to kill it, not let it happen,” said Graham. McCain added, "We live in an ever-increasingly dangerous world and this budget is out of touch with reality.”

What McCain and Graham won’t admit is that much of the reason we are in an increasingly-dangerous world is that the neocons keep inviting blowback with the interventions they are constantly pushing. If we minded our own business we would live in a far less dangerous world.

Nevertheless, although the neocons make a big deal about this small cut in military personnel, in reality these are not military cuts at all. These are token proposed cuts in troop levels which Congress won’t allow the administration to do anyway. What Hagel proposes is not cuts, but instead a shift in spending away from personnel and toward new high-tech weapons which are favored by and profitable to the military-industrial complex.

The F-35, for example, will continue in production according to Hagel’s plan, despite the numerous cost over-runs and design flaws. This is likely because the F-35 is built in 46 US states and nine foreign countries! That makes it particularly popular in Congress, regardless of its flaws and expense.

We do need real cuts in military spending, not just moving spending around from troops to new weapons systems. But what we really need is for the president to downsize US foreign policy. Maintaining a military presence in 140 countries while continuing to stir up trouble can lead to problems when the military is downsized. So, it's our intervention that needs downsizing.

A proper foreign policy would mean a strong national defense, but a huge reduction in interventions and commitments overseas. Why are we stirring up trouble in Ukraine? In Syria? In Africa? Why are we defending South Korea and Japan when they are wealthy enough to defend themselves? A proper sized foreign policy would defend the United States instead of provoking the rest of the world.
--------------
Dr. Ron Paul, Chairman of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, is a former U.S.Congressman (R-TX) for 21 years. He twice sought the Republican Party presidential nomination for President. As a MD, he was an Air Force flight surgeon and has delivered over 4000 babies. Paul is an active writer on political and economic theory. He is known for his criticism of American foreign, domestic, and monetary policies, the military–industrial complex, the War on Drugs, and the Federal Reserve. He is also known for his love of country, government complying with the U.S. Constitution.

Tags: Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel, non-intervention, strong defense, Ron Paul To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 10:45 AM - Post Link

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