This is coolbert:
From the Chicago Tribune as seen in the op-ed section yesterday - - "WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING".
In entirety two entries with a military dimension:
"Think of the U.S. military as the The Other 1 Percent - - some 2.4 million troops have fought in and around Afghanistan and Iraq since 9/11, exactly 1 percent of the 240 million American over 18 . . ."
"Being an army apart isn't a problem for the Pentagon; it has become part of the sales pitch. The U.S. military boasts of the ways in which it is better than society as a whole. And by many measures, it is right. If you remove those who are unlikely to serve because they are too fat or too criminal or are in college, only 15 percent of American ages 17 to 24 are eligible to sign up. 'Today's military is more educated and has a higher aptitude than the general population,' a Pentagon recruiting reports notes." - - Mark Thompson, Time.
"(Defense Secretary Leon) Panetta keeps talking about a much reduced military presence in the world as if that were a bad thing. But why should the U.S. with no serious state-enemy in the world like the U.S.S.R., be spending almost as much on 'defense' as we did in the Cold War? What on Earth are we doing adding a military base in Australia to (anger) China? Why shouldn't china have a sphere of influence in the Pacific? No-where has Obama challenged these neo-imperial assumptions, buttressed by what Eisenhower warned us about. We'd still have a permanent presence in Iraq if the Pentagon had its way. And why on earth do we have so many troops in Europe? It's absurd. Absurd." - - Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Beast.
* It has been nearly forty years now since the U.S. adopted the policy of an all-volunteer military. And this concept has been an unqualified success? I would think most experts would agree that this all-volunteer military has worked well, perhaps exceedingly well, even with the stress and strain of wars in Iraq and Afghan simultaneously all the while maintaining treaty obligations to allies!
* My own perception is that in the years to come, and not too far off now, budget constraints will mandate further defense reductions, perhaps even drastic reductions, unpalatable to some as that may be. A consequence of federal deficits run amok and an unwillingness to face reality!
* "And why on earth do we have so many troops in Europe?" Well, why is this so? The American military maintains a NATO presence of 100,000 troops [?] or so in Europe! To defend against what exactly? This commitment guards against?