Video: Why Expanding America's Military Strength Puts The U.S. at Risk

"Why Expanding America's Military Strength Puts The U.S. at Risk" is the latest from Reason TV.

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  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Do you mean, other than because we aren't cold enough to just clobber our enemies and then leave?

  • Adam||

    Or even worse, clobber them and stay. Not that we would ever do that.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Uh, I was more or less trying to make the point that if we had broken the Taliban government in Afghanistan and Saddam's government in Iraq, and then left while warning "don't bother us again, or we'll be back." we would be in a much less vulnerable position.

  • Mike M.||

    And the real reason why we maintain such a large military force relative to everyone else in the world is because every time we downsize to a tiny skeleton army, some other far more malevolent nation always steps up to fill the power vacuum, and a major world war ends up breaking out. This is history 101.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Considering there have only been two "World Wars" and only in a span of 50 years, your argument is horse-pucky.

  • Mike M.||

    Tell me, if the United States downsized its active duty military force to next to nothing, do you honestly believe that no other country on earth would eventually step forward to fill the power vacuum?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    do you honestly believe that no other country on earth would eventually step forward to fill the power vacuum?

    No, but unless they threaten us on our borders, the reason I care is.....?

  • sarcasmic||

    Is the argument really in favor of "next to nothing"? Seems like a straw man to me.

    I mean, there's a big gap between "next to nothing" and even half of what we have today.

  • ||

    Any reduction in forces is considered "gutting" to either TEAM.

  • Les||

    If the only choices were to either maintain a military twice as large as the next 5 largest militaries combined, or "downsize to a tiny skeleton army," you might have a point.

    But I'm afraid they aren't, so you don't.

  • Big 'Orra||

    Yes! Of all the places we can cut, the military is among the ripest.

    And I say that as one who supports a strong military...

  • Mike M.||

    And the real reason why we maintain such a large military force relative to everyone else in the world is because every time we downsize to a tiny skeleton army, some other far more malevolent nation always steps up to fill the power vacuum, and a major world war ends up breaking out. This is history 101.

  • sloopyinca||

    If we downsize to a skeleton army, does that mean Bad Ash will become the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs? Because if so, I would fully support the drawdown if only for the LULZ.

  • Brian D||

    That would explain all the major world wars there were prior to the founding of America. We didn't even have a skeleton army then! HOW DID THE PLANET SURVIVE WITHOUT AMERICA AND OUR HYOOJE ARMY TO PROTECT IT???!?!?

  • Brian D||

    Hey, anybody remember the MAJOR WORLD WAR that happened right after all the Vietnam draftees from the U.S. returned home? SO MUCH CARNAGE!

  • Adam||

    And don't forget the big one right after we closed all those military bases after the end of the cold war.

    This is crazy reasoning. How exactly do we blame any of the conflicts around the world, ever!, let alone since WWII, on military cutbacks? The communist revolutions in Asia happened because military cutbacks in the U.S.?

    And as Brian mentioned, we were forced out of Vietnam, and only then did we discover that it wasn't actually a "vital interest" of ours to be there in the first place. We leave and life moves on....well, except for those that died or severely injured. For them it didn't.

  • Xenocles||

    Your historical assertion is valid only if you limit consideration to those wars actually known popularly as "World War [X]." Historians recognize several more conflicts as world wars, some of which did take place before the founding of the US and several more of which included the US as a peripheral participant.

    From the Wiki, pre-US world wars:
    the Nine Years' War (1688–1697), also called the "War of the Grand Alliance" or "War of the Palatine Succession"
    the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714)
    the War of the Austrian Succession (1740–1748)
    the Seven Years' War (1756–1763)

    Other world wars:
    the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783)
    the French Revolutionary Wars (1792–1802) and
    the Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815)

    In my opinion, the Cold War should be included in that list, since it broke out into full-bore battles at least twice (Korea and Vietnam) with several more military interventions on both sides.

    That said, I do agree that we don't need to intervene on behalf of everyone in the world, though in theory some mutual defense pacts might be in our interest.

  • Adam||

    Since the point of this thread is whether or not reductions in the size and breadth of our military entailed major wars around the globe - how exactly did any of the wars you listed have anything to do with this....whatsoever?

  • SIV||

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    It's not like they let them masturbate.

    Isn't finding a way to fix child molesters a worthy research goal?

  • sarcasmic||

    What's wrong with shivs, firing squad, hangman's noose, electric chair, lethal injection...?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Because this could fix them before they harm any children.

  • SIV||

    How would the government find all those "pre-molesters"?

  • sarcasmic||

    Come on!
    You don't trust enlightened people in government diagnosing people as child molesters before they commit any crimes, and then forcefully tinkering with their brains?
    They could use this to fix potential terrorists, libertarians, and anyone else who may pose a threat to society in the future!
    Could probably start in the public schools! Diagnose 'em and dose 'em!
    Maybe put some federal funding in there to encourage them to fix people who aren't broken to keep the dollars flowing?
    Go government!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Uh, researchers have pictures of children? I'm open to the idea of scientific research with an aim to prevent this kind of thing, and I know there is an argument in libertarian circles that mere possession of such material isn't what harms the subjects, but the real world still considers it criminal. Very criminal.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Nudity doesn't equal pornography.

  • np||

    I'm pretty sure it is in this context. Reason has a few articles where people have been devastated by child porn convictions by way of their high-school girlfriends sending them naked pics of themselves. Their nudity (even just toplessness) was enough to legally declare them a "victim" and their boyfriends a sex offender.

    They must have gotten some kind of exception, similar to how medical researchers can get exceptions for many otherwise illegal drugs

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I believe there were also incidents of parents having pictures developed of their own kids taking baths only to find store employees having reported them to police.

  • John||

    I agree. The party line on child pornography is that it victimizes the child every time someone looks at it. So much for that.

  • sloopyinca||

    This story is gonna kill John's warboner.

  • sarcasmic||

    "See! This is proof that Reason hates Romney and that Romney is a terrible candidate! Prove that you don't hate Romney and think he's a terrible candidate! Prove it! Answer the question! Prove it! Aaaauuuuggggghhhh!"

  • ||

    Well John's partially right: I don't hate Romney, and I think he's a terrible candidate.

  • sarcasmic||

    They both suck.

    Erect Gary's Johnson!

  • Killazontherun||

    Don't hate him, find him about as likeable as a politician could be, even more so than Ron Paul of whom I also don't hate.

    Those who say Romney is the next Reagan, like Anne Coulter, may have a point. Reagan never left his Social Democratic roots even when he joined the Republican Party. There really isn't that much difference in political philosophy there.

    However, if the Dhimmis take back the House in 2014, Romney will be all too happy to accommodate in order to get something done. His Massachusetts record is that very philosophy in spades. Not going to ride anyone's ass because there is clearly a worse choice in this election. Just keep that in mind if you vote for him, and expect to be disappointed.

    Realistically, I don't expect much from anybody, Romney, Johnson or even Paul (except he would be the ultimate vetoist in chief) because before there can be substantial entitlement reform the American people will have to be on the same page, and that is the damn fault of our fellow citizens more than any politicians.

    Anyhoo, voting Johnson. He is the closest to my political philosophy, but I'm not going to ride anyone on their non-Obama choice even if it sucks.

  • Killazontherun||

  • ||

    Yes, and that's why we're so grateful to President Obama's Truth Squad!

  • John||

    The weaker and more defenseless we are the stronger we are. Everyone knows only Americans are evil. This is why people laugh at Libertarians.

  • sarcasmic||

    Yeah!
    Those stupid libertarians who think that defense means defense! Can you believe it?
    Enlightened people, especially conservatives, know that defense means having the ability to conquer the world!
    Libertarians are so lame.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Too bad many libertarians like you believe that defense means passivity.

    It's not the size of our military so much as what we do with it.

  • sarcasmic||

    Yeah. There's no middle ground between "passivity" and raining bombs all over the world.
    No middle ground at all.
    Either you want to expand out military or you want no military at all.
    These are the only two options.
    There are no other options at all.
    None.
    Keep repeating that.
    Over and over and over.
    All or nothing. All or nothing.
    Good conservative. Good boy.
    All or nothing. All or nothing.
    Here. Have a cookie.
    All or nothing.

  • Adam||

    And that's the point. Go and ask any number of citizens around the world what they think of our military. "What we do with it" does very little towards securing our borders or actually making us safer. It creates tens of thousand of militants, which is one of the reasons (a big one, although not the only one) we didn't have to worry about Muslim extremists until relatively recently. I live and work in the Arab world and know Arabic. We are definitely causing more problems than we are solving...and making the U.S. less safe in the process.

  • Adam||

    "What we do" is we protect one government, say The "Kingdom" of Bahrain from scrutiny for massive human rights violations, while coming down on others, say Iraq, Syria, etc....and here's the result...as of yesterday.

    http://www.bahrainrights.org/en/node/5486

    All in the name of "freedom" and "democracy".

  • Mike M.||

    Nice t-shirt Nick.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I liked Preble better the first time I saw him, when he was Matt Walsh.

    AND WHO IS PAYING FOR ALL THESE TRIPS TO VEGAS?

  • Mike M.||

    The trips are funded from the blood, sweat, and tears of the 47%.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Yuck.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Navy, airforce, army, etc which should be prioritized for cuts?

  • sarcasmic||

    Why prioritize? Libertarians are all pacifist pussies who think free markets can fix everything.
    Because they oppose invading countries without declaring war, and nation building in the land that conquered Alexander the Great, they don't want any military at all.
    None.
    Scaling back the military to the point where we can defend the country without occupying two foreign nations and having bases all over the world means no military at all.
    Nothing.

    Libertarians are anarchists.

  • Killazontherun||

    Libertarians, Why Not A Foreign Invasion?

  • Incredulous||

    It puts us at risk since it cripples us economically. We can't afford our current military expenditures. We are severely overextended.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Defense is 14% of budget - it can probably go down to 10% or so. The other 86% will have to give ground too, yes?

  • tagtann||

    Sounds to me like those guys know what they are doing. Wow.
    Over-Anon.tk

  • LTC(ret) John||

    10% off the top of DoD right now, with more to come - Western Europe and South Korea can be phased out in 5 years or so, and as long as the National Guard and Reserves understand they are going to remain an operational reserve, and not a strategic one, we can trim back a bit of the Army and a little less of the Air Force. I am loathe to cut much of the Navy, as that takes too long to ramp up if we ever got pissy with China or such. The stream of contractors in AF and other places can be turned off too.

    We can probably get to 15-20% less at DoD without much of a reduction in actual fighting capability - but lots of GS folks are going to have to be let go, places closed down and less deployments. Once we get there, we will be in a good position to see what else can go or stay.

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