Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Protecting the status quo.

The American economy today is in a mess and almost every government around the world hates us so why do we still protect them and bolster their economies? Why do we even protect the dictatorial regimes of our enemies? Today, the United States has over 369,000 military personnel stationed in nearly 150 countries.  Two articles found in my research illustrate an alarming problem.

According to Wikipedia, Deployments of the United States Military, in 2007:

"The military of the United States is deployed in more than 150 countries around the world, with more than 369,000 of its 1,379,551 active-duty troops serving outside the United States and its territories. Many of these troops are still located at installations activated during the Cold War, by which the US government sought to counter the Soviet Union in the aftermath of World War II."

According to a web site dedicated to Global Deployment of US Forces:
"The forces of the United States military are located in nearly 130 countries around the world performing a variety of duties from combat operations, to peacekeeping, to training with foreign militaries. Some of these deployments have existed for nearly 50 years, as in Japan, Germany, and South Korea, while other deployments have more recent origins such as the current occupation of Iraq."

"Soldiers have been receiving many incentives for reenlisting like job reclassification and new duty assignments to Europe on top of reenlistment bonus averaging $10,000 dollars. Soldiers have also been reenlisting for the one semester of college, which allows the soldier to further their career and increase opportunities for promotion and advancement."

"As of January 2005, there are some 250,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen deployed in support of combat, peacekeeping, and deterrence operations. This figure does not include those forces normally present in Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom or Japan unless bases at those locations are actively supporting a combat operation. Furthermore, tours of duty in these locations are routine and not considered hardship tours. If one were to include these forces the number of deployed troops worldwide would be around 350,000."

The presence of our military bases in foreign countries is supposed to allow our rapid response to crisis situations but that isn't how it always works. When the U.S. planned on invading Iraq it was supposed to be a two pronged attack with our ground forces coming in from Basra in the south while air bombardment arriving from our base in Turkey in the north. But the Turkish government decreed that no U.S. military attack on a Muslim nation was permitted to depart from their country or was allowed to fly over through Turkish air space.

For many years we have maintained a large military base in Saudi Arabia, a very strict Muslim country which openly practices Islamic Sharia Law. American military personnel stationed in Saudi Arabia are required to observe Sharia Law when off base. That means that our female military personnel must act the same way as Muslim women in all manner of dress and conduct. The majority of the 19 radical Muslim terrorists who hijacked four U.S. airliners on September 11, 2001 were from Saudi Arabia. Can anyone imagine what benefit we have received for our years of protecting the dictators who control this country?

Ever since the Korean War ended in 1953 the U.S. has maintained a force of 50,000 troops on the Demilitarized Zone that separates N. Korea from S. Korea. This is the consequence of a failed strategy to negotiate armistice instead of destroying the enemy like we did in World War II. Had the Democrat administration of President Harry Truman listened to Gen. MacArthur instead of relieving him of his command, there would be no threat today by the communist N. Korean government.

There is no available accounting that can put an estimate on the cost of all of these military deployments around the world today. I think the public needs to know.


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