It is somewhat curious to me to hear all the whopla about future Defense spending cuts. History is always our best teacher, so let's look at what the founding fathers thought. They were frightened by the concept of a large standing armed force. That made sense since we had just won our independence from the Imperial Power of England. So, in the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution, the concept of a Militia, or a Peoples Defense force was established. In the early days of our nation, we commissioned Army and Navy units for specific wars and then disestablished them after the need was gone. Even before World War Two, we have a skeleton military. They were almost a care taker unit. Then World War Two happened and it was quickly followed by a number of conflicts that we had no business getting into because our National interests were not threatened. Why do I say that? Because Congress DID NOT declare War in any conflict SINCE World War Two!! According to our Constitution, it is the duty of Congress to Declare War on another Nation. Think about that for a minute. Even the two Gulf Wars were not declared. Yes, Congress gave their approval, but they stopper short of doing their Constitutional duty of declaring war!
So, since the completion of World War Two, we have un-Constitutionally wasted Trillions of dollars on the building, scraping and building again, of a military/industrial complex. Who benefits, the civilians that own those commercial industries that build the equipment of war. Who looses, the tax payers of our country. Pretty evolutionary talk from a retired military man!
But, if our men and women are fighting and dieing in foreign lands, shouldn't Congress do their Constitutional duty of declaring war? Now, I am not saying we should not be able to defend ourselves as a nation. But we kept the Soviet Union at bay through Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). Why won't that work now. For instance, a nice, small, succinct nuclear device dropped on the mountains of Afghanistan would surely quiet those folks down! Why have we spent ten years, billions of dollars, and many lives, in a war that we cannot win, fighting an enemy that only understands total destruction? Again, history is the best teacher. Other nations have invaded Afghanistan and failed. Most recently, the Soviet Union. We should LOOK before we LEAP!
As far as the Navy goes, their job is projection of force and keeping the sea lanes open for trade. The Marine Corps is a rapid strike force, not designed to occupy lands. The Army's job is to occupy land. An, frankly, I don't know what the Air Force's job is except to build beautiful bases with great golf courses. Especially since we have all by gutted the Strategic Air Command! Another issue is grade creep! Today, we have more Flag officers that we had in World War Two, but a factor of TEN!! Do we really need an Admiral for every ship, submarine, and aircraft carrier in commission? I think not!
What am I saying? We can reduce the size of our military drastically if we return to the original missions of each branch of service, and only use military force when Congress declares war. We need to delete the War Powers Act and require Congress to do their job instead of permitting them to hide behind the President!