There never was a good war or a bad peace. ~Ben Franklin
Sen. Coburn (R-Oklahoma) Proposes Defense Cuts in Order to Save Trillions of Dollars
--Defense cuts are part of his deficit-reduction plan, “Back in Black,” including eliminating an Air Wing and an Air Carrier, and three Nuke Subs
facts & figures
Under current plans, the 50-year-old USS Enterprise, the first nuclear-powered carrier, will be decommissioned next year. This is an opportunity for a Reduction-in-Force (RIF). Coburn also wants the Navy and Marine Corps to cancel their versions of the F-35, a fighter plane designed for the Cold War, now over for more than 20 years. He also wants to eliminate three nuclear submarines, from today’s 14 to 11. Coburn also recommends reducing military personnel stationed in Europe and Asia by one-third, and simultaneously, reducing authorized force levels by the same number, therefore not requiring increased U.S. facilities to handle the returnees.
other related story:
The U.S. Military's Tricare among Coburn’s targets
--Senator’s debt reduction plan calls for some service members to pay higher fees for health care.
facts & figures
The socialized medicine program known as Tricare (second only to Medicare, in terms of expense to the federal government) is worth an estimated $3,500 per family in health insurance coverage.
Cost of Treating Veterans Will Rise for Decades Long Past Wars' End
--Ending the current wars will not lower the costs of treating veterans; indeed, they will rise ever more steeply for decades to come as the population of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan expands, ages and becomes more infirm, becoming more and more of a burden on the public fisc.
going deeper still:
Senator Coburn vs Vietnam Veterans: No More Agent Orange Claims
--a press release from Vietnam Veterans of America (an association of U.S. soldiers exposed to defoliants and herbicides used as a weapon by the U.S. military)
facts & figures:
Information on dioxin exposures to American personnel serving overseas, entirely unaware of the environmental hazard to which the military was subjecting them, during the Vietnam war, with information for the Agent Orange Education Campaign, a project of the VVA
"At long last, America's overdue withdrawal from Afghanistan has begun."
facts & figures
1,650 U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan, more than 11,000 maimed (many horribly, their lives shattered), and almost half a trillion of our tax dollars siphoned from crucial needs here at home.
quote:file under: the militarization of everyday life
“The best data around shows that Army families have higher rates of spouse abuse, with negative repercussions for kids."
~Deborah Gibbs, deputy program director of the Women, Children and Families Program for Research at the research institute RTI International
"Why, if we the taxpayers have ponied up over a trillion dollars for our woebegone wars in Iraq and the Bananastans, should any of us pull another dollar out of our wallet to make sure our troops get a candy bar for Christmas?"
Ballpark Liturgy: America’s New Civic Religion of Worshipping the Military
Cheap Grace at Fenway, Benefits Accrue to the Pentagon Sponsoring Such Public Rituals at "No Cost" to the American Taxpayer
By Andrew Bacevich
--The cringing story of how Navy veteran Bridget (annual salary approximately $22,000) throws the ceremonial first pitch to aging Red Sox veteran Tim Wakefield (annual salary $2,000,000).
quote:file under: the militarization of civilian life
"Those in uniform are being used as convenient fronts for a military industrial complex that is bilking taxpayers out of billions of dollars in questionable defense spending."
~Rev John Whitehead
quote:file under: SNAFU
"The notion that militarization is a necessary reaction to a growth in violence against police officers is absurd, considering that violent crime is trending downward. The reality is that SWAT team raids actually escalate provocation, usually resulting in senseless violence in what would otherwise be a routine, nonviolent police procedure."
Soldiers are “trained to vaporize, not Mirandize."
~Lawrence Korb, a former official in the Reagan administration, commenting on the pervasive culture of militarism plaguing domestic law enforcement
"The state in all countries in the developed world is working its mischief as never before in world history. It taxes more, regulates more, manipulates more than ever. The state has never been more pompous, arrogant, and ambitious than it is today. The police state has visited the developed world in a manner none of us have seen in our lifetimes. The local police reflect that ethos. They disregard their heritage of wearing a civil mask and now bully people openly in a way contrary to freedom."
~Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., former editorial assistant to Ludwig von Mises and congressional chief of staff to Ron Paul, founder and chairman of the Mises Institute, executor for the estate of Murray N. Rothbard, and editor of LewRockwell.com.
quote:file under: so much for being models of behavior
The complaint says: "Service is voluntary, and if not shown the respect and courtesy accorded their active-duty brethren, reservists will no longer be willing to make the personal, family and civilian-life sacrifices required."
further developments:Army Corps Agrees to Settle with Whistle-Blower in Procurement Fraud Case
Shooter in Ark. Soldier Killing : The Accused Now Convicted and Sentenced to Life in Prison
--A defense psychiatrist testified that the convicted killer was delusional.
facts & figuresfile under: military is a waste of good money
In the end, KBR collected about $2.4 billion under the no-bid uncompetitive contract, according to a Congressional report. It's not know by how much the U.S. governmetn overpaid KBR for services provided. KBR, was a subsidiary of the same company for which Vice President Cheney served as CEO. The decision to grant the contract to KBR came from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, run by VP Cheney’s close friend, Donald Rumsfeld.
War Is a Racket
By Amy Goodman
“I can unequivocally state that the abuse related to contracts awarded to KBR represents the most blatant and improper contract abuse I have witnessed during the course of my professional career.”
~Bunnatine “Bunny” Greenhouse, chief procurement officer, speaking to a congressional committee
facts & figures:file under: what?! we still have bases in Germany? 65 years after end of WWII?
China spends $95 billion on its military per year, whereas the U.S. spends $690 billion on its military (not including related expenditures for 15 separate "intelligence" departments and other "homeland security" spending). Ralph Nader, former presidential candidate, says the U.S. could easily reduce its military spending by 3/4ths without any compromise to national security.
Tulsa Peace Fellowship
It should be understood
that an army is an instrument of murder,
that the recruiting and drilling of armies
which Kings, Emperors, and Presidents carry on
with so much self-assurance are preparations for murder.
~Leo Tolstoy, in The Kingdom of God Is Within You, 1893