Can we still afford to be world’s policeman?

When the Founding Fathers commissioned the federal government “to provide for the common defense,” I’m not sure they envisioned “common” in terms of the entire planet. But that’s clearly how things have evolved.

Today, the United States spends as much or more on “defense” as the rest of the world combined, and a lot of that money — maybe even a majority of it — is spent defending areas that are well outside our national borders. (At last count, we maintain more than 800 military bases in other countries.)

We have become the world’s policeman, and it is increasingly a solo act. Our military allies in Europe, for example, are collectively just as rich as we are, but they spend relatively little of their wealth defending themselves because we have been so eager to handle the job for them. The notable exception to that rule has been Great Britain, which still fields a credible military and is the only ally to commit troops in any real number in support of U.S. efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

But that’s ending now too. Earlier this month, the British government announced a major retrenchment that includes defense. Britain’s new coalition government is cutting defense spending by 8 percent over the next four years, reducing military personnel by 17,000 and civilian defense personnel by 25,000. It has postponed its nuclear submarine program, and while it does plan to finish and field one aircraft carrier, the ship won’t actually be outfitted with planes until at least 2020. Britain’s heavy artillery will be cut by a third, and its tank forces will be slashed in half. For the first time since WWII, no British forces will be stationed on continental Europe.

Of course, the same budgetary pressures hitting Britain are being felt on this side of the Atlantic as well. Even conservatives are acknowledging that the Pentagon can’t be immune to future spending cuts, although it’s hard to tell what such talk really means.

While celebrating Britain’s overall budget cuts, for example, American conservative groups such as the Heritage Foundation have been harshly critical of its cutbacks in defense spending. To many Republicans, and probably some Democrats too, “cutting back on defense” means holding budget growth to 3 or 4 percent a year instead of 6 or 7 percent. And many on the right aren’t ready to accept even that, arguing instead that U.S. defense spending must be increased significantly to meet our commitments.

The truth is, we cannot wring significant savings out of the Pentagon unless we accompany those cuts with a fundamental rethinking of our role in the world. If we intend to remain the world’s policeman, we have no choice but to continue to spend enormous amounts of money doing so. Trying to play that role without the resources needed to pull it off would end in disaster.

But as our British friends understand quite well, the bottom-line, long-term question is whether we can afford it. History suggests that it is impossible to sustain global military dominance without a comparable economic advantage to back it up, and the days when we were the world’s unchallenged economic superpower seem to be behind us. It’s not a good sign when we’re funding our military in part with money borrowed from China, at this point our biggest competitor.

180 comments Add your comment

TnGelding

October 29th, 2010
10:07 am

Joe

October 29th, 2010
10:07 am

‎”It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.” Henry Ford ‘Nuff said.

kitty

October 29th, 2010
10:07 am

We can’t afford it, pure and simple. We couldn’t afford Iraq and we can’t afford Afghanistan. The latter has turned into policing, not military. We are not going to beat the Taliban. They are too entrenched into the local population. Time to stop defending the world and just take care of ourselves. If they want freedom let them fight for it just as we did.

jm

October 29th, 2010
10:10 am

Paulo977

October 29th, 2010
10:14 am

Defending the world? From whom? If the world only really knew whom they had to defend themselves from !!!! Oh brother!

jm

October 29th, 2010
10:15 am

Crike, we can’t afford 1/3 (!!!!) of our Federal Budget. We can’t afford the current SS, Medicare, and bloated discretionary. We have to take care of our poorest and defend our country. Everyone else should be responsible for taking care of themselves.

Jay, to further address your point. We do need to realize what happens when / if we leave a power vacuum. China will fill the void. I don’t feel good about that.

But the only solution I can see is saving up our economic and military “ammunition” for the day when we may have to contend with that.

We should have 10k troops in Afghanistan. South Korea should be ready to take care of themselves by now. We don’t need troops in Europe any more, except for a decent number in Germany to fend off the always gnarly Russia and mitigate any need for a significant German army. Time to shrink. But beware China.

Normal

October 29th, 2010
10:19 am

If we as a country, and most especially a soldier, are paid to be the worlds policemen, then I’m all for it. The UN wants us to clean up a mess in Somilia? All they have to do is cough up the money for logistics and labor…especially labor (the Troops).

Independent

October 29th, 2010
10:21 am

No, we cannot afford nor should we be the world’s policemen.
Step 1 is to no longer fund the UN.
Step 2 is to use Obama’s deep experience as a “community organizer” to move their headquarters to another community.
Step 3 is to start policing our own borders.

Randalph on the Right

October 29th, 2010
10:23 am

Of course we can! To fund it we should charge a tax on the world and begin Pax Americana.

Peadawg

October 29th, 2010
10:24 am

“Can we still afford to be world’s policeman?”

Nope, we have too many problems of our own to take of.

jm

October 29th, 2010
10:25 am

Jay, I’m anything but an isolationist. But our military is stretched too far. In particular the Army, it seems to me.

StJ

October 29th, 2010
10:26 am

The US and China will be at war within 20 years. And in the meantime, the Democrats want to cut off money for military R&D (or military anything, for that matter), while China spares no expense and pays cash for theirs.

Next time you buy a product “made in China”, think about what that money will eventually be used for.

Sleep tight.

barking frog

October 29th, 2010
10:26 am

Can we afford to not be the world’s policeman?
Nuke proliferation must be controlled, Oil is
vital to our existence, China has new and
diverse intentions and they are still hardcore
Communists, Russia rumbles with international
ambitions..

jm

October 29th, 2010
10:26 am

A little humor….

Referring to ex-CNN talk-show host Rick Sanchez, who was fired for calling Jon Stewart a bigot and suggesting that Jews run CNN in a satellite radio interview, Stewart said that if he had a question he wanted to ask Obama but wouldn’t on air, it would be: “Do my people really control the media, and if so why am I still on basic cable?”

TnGelding

October 29th, 2010
10:28 am

China has no desire to go to war with us or anyone else. They’ve been there and suffered the horrors. Wish I could say the same for us.

professional skeptic

October 29th, 2010
10:29 am

Absolutely not. The intentional, systematic downward pressure on Amercans’ incomes by their corporate overlords means we no longer have the tax base to support it.

Only the profligate spending of borrowed money will keep us in the role of the world’s police force.

barking frog

October 29th, 2010
10:29 am

Sleep well tonight your Air Force is awake.

Soothsayer

October 29th, 2010
10:30 am

Jay, the Military Industrial Complex/Materiel Suppliers cartel is of the cartels that controls Congress and the Presidency. If you think they’re going to allow Congress to do anything that reduces their amount of swag you are sorely mistaken.

As I’ve said on this blog many, many times why we are war, and winning the war are not important questions. You’ll notice that you very seldom, if ever, hear those questions. No, the important thing is simply that we ARE in a war. Especially if the populace can be led to believe that there is a real “enemy” and that we are being “attacked.”

Then, they are less likely to complain as their country is sucked dry.

barking frog

October 29th, 2010
10:30 am

TnGelding 10:28 Tell that to Taiwan.

Mick

October 29th, 2010
10:31 am

It’s time to pull back and invest that money and technology into space exploration. Cut 200 billion out of defense and pay down the debt.

Bosch

October 29th, 2010
10:32 am

The Leg Lamp is a "major award"....

October 29th, 2010
10:32 am

“Can we still afford to be world’s policeman?”

In a word, no.

md

October 29th, 2010
10:33 am

I second what Normal said. Let them now what we are going to charge for the services and if they don’t want to pay so be it – we leave.

I’d start by abolishing NATO – the most one sided “alliance” in existence…………

Union

October 29th, 2010
10:33 am

nope. let the un handle it!

The Leg Lamp is a "major award"....

October 29th, 2010
10:33 am

Mick
October 29th, 2010
10:31 am

Not a bad idea, but I don’t know if the public is patient enough anymore to wait for the “return on the buck” you’d get out of funding space exploration.

The Leg Lamp is a "major award"....

October 29th, 2010
10:34 am

Union
October 29th, 2010
10:33 am

Let the UN handle it? That’s basically saying let the USA handle it.

NowReally

October 29th, 2010
10:35 am

No, the return on investment for policing the world is too LOW. We need to focus on education, the environment, technology, economics and progress in this country.

md

October 29th, 2010
10:37 am

After NATO, I’d abolish the good ole boy club – the UN.

Worthless waste of money………

Soothsayer

October 29th, 2010
10:38 am

Jay, we still can if we outsource the military to China!

The Leg Lamp is a "major award"....

October 29th, 2010
10:38 am

md
October 29th, 2010
10:37 am

I disagree. I’d abolish the UN first. :)

Bosch

October 29th, 2010
10:39 am

Huh….well…

NPR spent the past several months analyzing hundreds of pages of campaign finance reports, lobbying documents and corporate records. What they show is a quiet, behind-the-scenes effort to help draft and pass Arizona Senate Bill 1070 by an industry that stands to benefit from it: the private prison industry.

The law could send hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants to prison in a way never done before. And it could mean hundreds of millions of dollars in profits to private prison companies responsible for housing them.

In other words our tax money going to private companies.

Kamchak

October 29th, 2010
10:40 am

I’m not sure it’s about being the world’s policeman.

I think it’s about us being the world’s arms dealers.

jm

October 29th, 2010
10:41 am

Bosch – legalize marijuana and I’m sure there’ll be plenty of room.

barking frog

October 29th, 2010
10:41 am

When a Clinton is UN Secretary General, They will take over
the Job. BTW would you rather be President of the USA or
Supreme Ayatollah of 1.5 billion Muslims?

The Leg Lamp is a "major award"....

October 29th, 2010
10:42 am

barking frog
October 29th, 2010
10:41 am

I thought Obama was both? :cool:

The Leg Lamp is a "major award"....

October 29th, 2010
10:43 am

So he’s still reliving his 2004 compaign?

“Sen. Kerry blasts ‘period of know-nothingism’…”

TaxPayer

October 29th, 2010
10:45 am

But if we does away with all them military bases all over the globe, we’ll be eliminating jobs. Million-dollar-man jobs!

Doggone/GA

October 29th, 2010
10:46 am

“are paid to be the worlds policemen”

I’ve said that too. I don’t have a problem being the world’s police, but let the countries that want us to protect them be prepared to PAY for it.

barking frog

October 29th, 2010
10:46 am

Leg Lamp 10:42 Possibly, whether he is aware or not.

The Leg Lamp is a "major award"....

October 29th, 2010
10:47 am

Doggone/GA
October 29th, 2010
10:46 am

Absolutely. And I would have started by diverting some of Iraq’s oil to pay for that CF.

barking frog

October 29th, 2010
10:49 am

Doggone/GA

October 29th, 2010
10:46 am
I don’t have a problem being the world’s police, but let the countries that want us to protect them be prepared to PAY for it.

—————————————————————–
Unfortunately we have to protect those countries that don’t
always want our ‘protection’.

Doggone/GA

October 29th, 2010
10:51 am

“And I would have started by diverting some of Iraq’s oil to pay for that CF.”

Can’t agree with that. If we’d not invaded there’d be nothing for the oil to pay for. That was OUR F’UP, it’s OUR expense.

TaxPayer

October 29th, 2010
10:52 am

Well, at least we have not had to send our military into the Gulf of Mexico to protect BP’s oil interests there yet from those angry shrimpers. I guess the shrimpers have found ways of dealing with their slick hauls that don’t end up hurting their livlihoods although “pre-oiled shrimp” just doesn’t appeal, as a marketing scheme, to me.

barking frog

October 29th, 2010
10:52 am

Perhaps we should return to the spoils of war reward
system and maybe the ’spoils’ system of government.
Winner take All.

Halftrack

October 29th, 2010
10:52 am

IF we can ever get our politicians to come their senses and write a budget, etc. and give us a military to protect us and STOP giving our money away to people who don’t support the principles of the US, we won’t be able to stop being a world policeman in name only. We can’t control our own border or we’re going to have drug cartels, and Mexican thugs to control our border until it reaches S. Dakota. They may stop due to the harsh winters and leave a big swath between us and Canada. Someone else will then be in control and tell us how to Police.

Doggone/GA

October 29th, 2010
10:54 am

“Unfortunately we have to protect those countries that don’t
always want our ‘protection’”

I don’t see it. If they don’t want us there, we can leave. If they change their minds, we can move back and they can start paying.

I’m not talking about humanitarian protection…that’s a different ballgame. I’m talking about viable, active countries with functioning economies. They want the protection, they can pay for it.

Atlas Shrugging

October 29th, 2010
10:54 am

The quote below says it all…

“The problem in defense is how far you can go without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without”.
Dwight D Eisenhower

retired early

October 29th, 2010
10:55 am

I have to laugh when the GOP credits Reagan with outspending the Russians into bankruptcy to win the Cold War.
That unnecessary massive military buildup is exactly when our budget deficit woes truly began.
All these years later and still no one has the guts to even trim a little off the edges.
The military budget should be cut atleast in half over the next 10 years. That is something we all should be able to agree on. But as long as these congressman like our own Saxby and Johnny who want to “protect jobs”, we will continue to have this, in essence, federal job program. Why do you think they build one type of fighter jet in 40 different states.
Tea praters, that is something you can sink your teeth into.
That huge commitment to defense has really cost us our place in the world. From healthcare to education, to infrastructure.
All of our real budget problems began there, with all time greatest GOP leader, Ronald Reagan.
Anyone who does not believe it can google “Federal budgets year by year” or from one president to another.

FinnMcCool

October 29th, 2010
10:55 am

We don’t need bases in Italy or Germany or Japan.

i could see keeping our bases in Korea but that’s about it.

Granny Godzilla

October 29th, 2010
10:56 am

jm

October 29th, 2010
10:56 am

“So if the elections go as expected next week, here’s my advice: Be afraid. Be very afraid.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/29/opinion/29krugman.html?_r=1

So. Liberals are never fear-mongers. Right. And Krugman is an economist? Right.

He’s a chicken…. or turkey, gobble gobble.

Tychus Findlay

October 29th, 2010
10:56 am

Rather than spend our taxpayers money defending the interests of other countries, maybe it’s time we hunker down and invest in domestic missile defense programs. The last war in modern history has been fought on American soil, our greatest threats come from ICBMs and dirty bombs.

Let the rest of the world go to hell in a handbasket.

Mick

October 29th, 2010
10:57 am

leg

The only bad consequence of cutting defense is eliminating more jobs in this already hurting economy. Instead of building more war planes we could try focusing on more space vehicles. No matter, one group or another will be getting the axe..

The Leg Lamp is a "major award"....

October 29th, 2010
10:58 am

retired early
October 29th, 2010
10:55 am

Not disagreeing that the military budget could stand to be cut, but you kind of lost me when you mentioned “healthcare to education, to infrastructure”. The waste and mismanagement in these three is incredible.

Doggone/GA

October 29th, 2010
11:00 am

“He’s a chicken…. or turkey, gobble gobble.”

He gave his opinion…just as you have done.

barking frog

October 29th, 2010
11:02 am

We should expand the Monroe Doctrine under the
guise of the Drug War. Invade Mexico, then Central
and South America. Make them states and our
Borders will be secure. Probably cheaper than
building a fence. Then Canada, lots of pretty
women there, at least according to their exports.
One Continent, under God, with Liberty and Justice
for All.

Jefferson

October 29th, 2010
11:02 am

Depends on if there is a buck to be made. (and who controls the defense contracts)

Randalph on the Right

October 29th, 2010
11:03 am

So, what is the female male birth ratio in Chinar?
3-1? What happens when them Chinarman don’t have girls to marry? Hmmmmmm

“400 million screaming Chinamen”

“there’s a billion chinese”
“there were…”
Air Force Colonel throws whiskey in fire

Red Dawn

jm

October 29th, 2010
11:06 am

Birth of the Tea Party. This is interesting. And there’s some definite ironies in here.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304173704575578332725182228.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories

The Leg Lamp is a "major award"....

October 29th, 2010
11:06 am

Mick
October 29th, 2010
10:57 am

I understand what you’re saying but I see the difference as this – building more war planes is the status quo. We’ve become conditioned to that. Just excercise the next year of the contract for the military’s aircraft. The aerospace jobs are high paying and it doesn’t rock the boat. Now, try promoting to the American public, and Congress, a new and expensive space initiative. Go ahead and promise it will be funded from cuts in existing programs. The general public, under the present debt circumstances, won’t believe the funds will come from military cuts and would have a fit, those in the aerospace industry who would fear for their jobs would have a fit, and consequently Congress would begin posturing about the wrecklessness and carelessness of such an endeavor, blaming the presiding POTUS based on party lines.

Space exploration is a great idea, but selling it to the public in the present hostile arena would be almost impossible.

The Leg Lamp is a "major award"....

October 29th, 2010
11:07 am

barking frog
October 29th, 2010
11:02 am

So you’d endorse us moving towards Obama’s “57 states”? :cool:

The Leg Lamp is a "major award"....

October 29th, 2010
11:09 am

jm
October 29th, 2010
10:56 am

Let’s get through Halloween before we start talking Thanksgiving turkey. There’s a loooooot of chocolate to be consumed this weekend. :)

barking frog

October 29th, 2010
11:09 am

Congressmen should be required to be the first
space explorers, it’s the only way we will ever
get rid of some of them.

The Leg Lamp is a "major award"....

October 29th, 2010
11:10 am

If Nancy Pelosi were the rep for my district I might want to stay high as well.

“WORLD SERIES HIGH: Rangers player Josh Hamilton: ‘I could smell weed in the outfield’… “

The Leg Lamp is a "major award"....

October 29th, 2010
11:12 am

barking frog
October 29th, 2010
11:09 am

Harry Reid may soon be out of a job. Maybe he could lead the way? Nah, probably not. The spaceship would keep circling left.

md

October 29th, 2010
11:12 am

“So. Liberals are never fear-mongers. Right”

I always find it comical that both sides do it yet are always pointing the finger the other way……

barking frog

October 29th, 2010
11:12 am

The Leg Lamp is a “major award”….

October 29th, 2010
11:07 am
————————————————————
The Prez is a time traveler from a time after my plan
has been executed.

retired early

October 29th, 2010
11:13 am

Leg lamp

My point is, Compared to the other industrialized countries who have Mass transit, health care etc. America does not have the “luxury” of prioritized spending on whatever our citizens agree to invest in. We currently do not have any $$$ and therefore, do not have the ability to fund these things due to the massive military budget which started during Reagan’s tenure.

barking frog

October 29th, 2010
11:15 am

The Leg Lamp is a “major award”….

October 29th, 2010
11:12 am
————————————————
Poor Harry, he was born with a silver foot in his —.

larry

October 29th, 2010
11:15 am

We should not have troops except in Korea, Iraq and Afganaistan. Every where else , we should bring our troops home a close the bases. Or sell the bases to the country of origin.

larry

October 29th, 2010
11:16 am

“troops home AND close the bases “

jm

October 29th, 2010
11:18 am

Jay – you really should be busy outing Mr. Krugman as a fear mongerer…..

jm

October 29th, 2010
11:22 am

marky mark

October 29th, 2010
11:24 am

@retired early – “I have to laugh when the GOP credits Reagan with outspending the Russians into bankruptcy to win the Cold War.”

Sorry, but I do believe that; I just think we didnt do the other half of the job, which was to withdraw from Europe when that threat was eliminated. The French are rioting in the streets over social programs, safe in the knowledge that we will protect them if they cry to us again in this century. I agree with the idea of letting them foot the bill if we are over their. Same with Saudi Arabia. They have more than enough cash to pay for us to protect them from their neighbors. I still laugh at the left because they dont talk anymore about Iraq being “all about the oil”. Obviously, it wasnt. But we should have taken a portion of their oil to pay for the expenditure of the US taxpayer to get Saddam out of power.

I am a student of WWII and have been for 40+ years. I have always believed that isolationism was a bad way to go, due to some of the lessons that taught us. But in todays world of ICBM’s, I dont think this applies any longer. Missile technology, remote drones, etc make this an anachronism.

What does concern me greatly, is that the Chinese Army is fronted by many of their so called capatalistic companies as a way of maintaining their funding, from all I can find out. They have developed the first blending of communism and capitalism, that seems to make their population happy (for the most part) while keeping the Communists in power. I think we will be in trouble economically and militarily in the long run with them. They simply outnumber us, and we keep letting our technology go to them (think Lorimar and the Clinton Administration).

I think it seems people on both sides of the isle agree on this, but the politicians in DC dont. Government contracts mean jobs. Lockheed gets contracts for planes we dont need to a) keep the economy humming, and B) to make sure needed skills dont retire and production lines are kept open IN CASE needed. I dont think we can continue this way much longer. However, we need to keep all of the industrial base we can, and start having incentives for heavy industry again, because if we are attacked or threatened we dont have enough industry to ramp up on a war footing…

Scary decisions all around, arent they?

jm

October 29th, 2010
11:28 am

marky mark – “the other half” was actually ending the nanny state here in the US. Not withdrawing from Europe.

But I will agree with you on China. We have no business doing business with a country like China (an undemocratic, dishonest, communist-statist-capitalist country). All American companies should be told to relocate operations outside of China within 5 to 10 years. There are plenty of less vicious options: India, Vietnam, Africa, Indonesia, Thailand, etc etc etc

jm

October 29th, 2010
11:29 am

On the brights side. We’ve found a “precocious galaxy cluster”. Huh?

Precocious Galaxy Cluster Identified by Chandra

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101026132647.htm

Bubba Bob

October 29th, 2010
11:29 am

Defense will have to be cut along with all the other big programs.

We currently have a $13T debt and $100T in unfunded liabilities. The $100T is 4x the average amount of assets per citizen.

stands for decibels

October 29th, 2010
11:30 am

No. But I don’t see any fundamental change to the status quo happening until there is no horrific political downside for anyone to propose such things for discussion purposes.

as it stands now, well, does Zell Miller and “Spitballs” ring a bell?

jm

October 29th, 2010
11:31 am

Um, liberals. I’m not a global warming denier. But people (you liberals) should realize the science is very imperfect. See article.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100830094922.htm

As an example, science just figured out the framework they’ve been using for “evaporation” for 130 years is incorrect. Ooops. And we think the universe is so simple….

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101020084149.htm

BlahBlahBlah

October 29th, 2010
11:33 am

Jay is 100% right on this one. We either need to send those countries an invoice every year for services rendered, or scale back dramatically. Let them decide – either pay up or we leave.

Hillbilly Deluxe

October 29th, 2010
11:33 am

Can we still afford to be world’s policeman?

No but it’s not a situation that can be remedied overnight. Europe and others, should be phased into paying their way.

md

October 29th, 2010
11:35 am

“What does concern me greatly, is that the Chinese Army is fronted by many of their so called capatalistic companies as a way of maintaining their funding, from all I can find out.”

Is a bit ironic that we are going broke while funding 2 militaries …………… ours and theirs

jm

October 29th, 2010
11:36 am

md – indeed

stands for decibels

October 29th, 2010
11:37 am

I still laugh at the left because they dont talk anymore about Iraq being “all about the oil”. Obviously, it wasnt.

Not *all*, of course, but mostly, sure. Are you seriously disputing that?

if so, I’ll be happy to trace back the history you seem to have forgotten. Shall we start with our decision to allow Kuwait oil tankers to be reflagged as American vessels?

http://www.jstor.org/pss/1372550

stands for decibels

October 29th, 2010
11:38 am

No but it’s not a situation that can be remedied overnight.

I doubt anyone would seriously suggest such a thing. For the sake of our own economy, you can’t just suddenly demolish what amounts to an enormous jobs program.

Thank God We Escaped!

October 29th, 2010
11:43 am

Jawja Goobers – your just desserts are on the way!

Work on your flexibility exercises, ’cause very soon you will certainly be bending over to kiss your a** goodbye. Policemen of the World Horror Show!

You are well and truly effed. And the same for your kids and their kids. If you had a clue how effed you really were, you would be puking and crying instead of posting and sniping. Lube it well as the pain will be severe.

Lots of weeping and teeth-gnashing to come…

Ooh La Lah!

marky mark

October 29th, 2010
11:43 am

sorry SFD, but we will have to disagree on that. If we wanted the oil, would could have let 60 % of the country go to hell in a civil war while we repaired the pipelines and used out troops to guard them while we pumped what we wanted. You can get me examples if you want, but the bottom line to me is we didnt get crap for oil vs. our expenditure there. And we could have if that was what we wanted….

Now the FIRST Gulf war? I will agree with you totally on that one….

md

October 29th, 2010
11:45 am

Iraq and oil?

Doesn’t matter……….take the oil out of the equation and what does our economy currently look like???? Sure as heck wouldn’t be better, even deducting the cost of the war.

Michael H. Smith

October 29th, 2010
11:45 am

Just thinking to myself out loud… WW I-Wilson (D) WW II-Roosevelt (D) Korea-Truman (D) Vietnam-Kennedy/Jonhson (D) Iraq I and II Bush/Bush (R)

…To many Republicans, and probably “some” Democrats too?

I like the way Comrade Jay “sums” things up when reflecting on being the world’s police force. LOL!

Jimmy62

October 29th, 2010
11:46 am

No, we can’t. Much of it was very good for the world when we could afford it, but now we can’t. George Washington did warn of the danger of entangling alliances, which are great till you can’t afford them, or they force you to do things against your own interests.

So yes, as a Tea Party guy, I think it’s time for a reset on our foreign affairs.

carlosgvv

October 29th, 2010
11:50 am

It has been many years now since we have been able to aford to be the world’s policeman. We still practice this because of a chauvinist beleif that our political system is the best and needs to be imposed on others whether they want it or not. Only when we realize we are just another country and not God’s gift to the rest of the world will things began to be as they should in this regard.

stands for decibels

October 29th, 2010
11:50 am

Now the FIRST Gulf war? I will agree with you totally on that one….

Well, we’re sort of arguing semantics at this point then—the second gulf war never happens without the first. Once we’d put ourselves in the region over oil and we intervened militarily, our obligations seeped well beyond the mere protection of oil fields for oil producers.

@@

October 29th, 2010
11:51 am

Britain’s new coalition government is cutting defense spending by 8 percent over the next four years, reducing military personnel by 17,000 and civilian defense personnel by 25,000.

Goin’ Rummy, eh?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbJLSK4jK7g&feature=channel

jm

October 29th, 2010
11:53 am

Can we still afford SS and Medicare for everyone? If only consensus were as clear as to Jay’s question. But the underlying issue is the same. And the obvious answer is: NO.

AmVet

October 29th, 2010
11:55 am

As always, even the more cogent of the neo-cons are always a few decades behind learning their lessons.

And the more myopic and intransigent non-conservatives STILL posit for MORE military spending! And MORE corporate welfare for the hopelessly diseased DOD contractors.

Notwithstanding that we already spend as much on the war machine as the rest of the planet combined.

Remember how the War Always boys went ballistic when Clinton didn’t spend enough to suit the chickenhawks?

And it is ironic that these loons who forever aver that the Uncle Sam can do nothing right, give a carte blanche to arguablely the most corrupt, inept and wasteful organization therein – the Dept. of Defense.

Oh the joy it must be, to be a capricious and craven con living in that parallel reality…

The Leg Lamp is a "major award"....

October 29th, 2010
11:56 am

Thank God We Escaped!
October 29th, 2010
11:43 am

WTF?

Ron Reagan

October 29th, 2010
11:57 am

We have to afford it. Otherwise, the Russians will take over!

jm

October 29th, 2010
11:57 am

Jay, tired of sending transfer payments to those needy countries requesting defense? Geee. You sound positively Republican.

The Leg Lamp is a "major award"....

October 29th, 2010
11:58 am

Thank God We Escaped!
October 29th, 2010
11:43 am

AmVet
October 29th, 2010
11:55 am

Here, guys, let me handle the introduction.

Thank God We Escaped, AmVet……AmVet, Thank God We Escaped.

jm

October 29th, 2010
11:58 am

Leg Lamp 11:56 – someone needed to say that.