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23 January 2013

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Tyler

Gotta pay for all that multiculturalism and unemployed families having fifteen babies on the dole somehow.

Rd.

"This is really not funny. A similar process will occur in the US as an inevitable part of debt reduction. pl "

Col, would it be fair to say 'inevitable part of the hegemonic over-reach'?

There is time to correct that mistake. US has many core capabilities to recover, if the hegemonic desires were to put to bed. Otherwise, the treasury will be drained unabatedly. this lead from behind the jr frenchies will not help either.

It is ironic that not too many are willing to address, acknowledge the hegemonic tendencies that for the most part are and have been one of the main reason for the US continued decline.

JohnH

They have a LOT of cutting to do before they get to the essentials: a few nuclear subs, a few aircraft carriers, a lot of F-22s, a lot of marginal overseas bases, and a few pointless overseas adventures.

Tens of $billions here. Tens of $billions there. Pretty soon you're talking real money...

twv

There has to be money (endless money) for that killing machine misnamed the National "Health" Service.
People get the government they deserve.

TheSurge

We can thank George Bush and Tony Blair. Why should the British support a larger force if it is used only to support the misguided US war on terror?

jerseycityjoan

I was quite startled to see this last summer over at the UK's Telegraph newpaper website:

"The cuts in Army 2020 will be the biggest reforms to the Service since 1904 reducing it to 82,000 men, its smallest size since the Napoleonic Wars."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/9376906/Army-cuts-Scottish-infantry-spared-as-English-regiments-axed.html

As I recall, they'd made prior cuts recently too. Also I think I've read recently that other NATO powers have made cuts or have continued to fail in their commitment to devote 2% of GDP to defense.

Looking this up, I find "In 2010, just five out of 28 NATO members met the 2%-GDP target for defense spending. In 2011, per NATO's own estimates, that number will be down to just three: the United States, the United Kingdom, and Greece." http://americanactionnetwork.org/topic/hard-truths-about-nato

So it looks like everybody's decided on their own that the US is supposed to defend them.

But I don't want to.

I want us to spend our money on ourselves. I want us to spend significantly less on defense. I particularly want Europe and the rich countries of Asia to be weaned off their dependency on us.

I know I am sounding like a whining kid now, but sometimes whining kids have something to whine about. In this case, I think I do.

Will

a British friend: "They've got the numbers right but the reserves are being increased. Defence spending is being reduced by about 1%. It's argued that capability will be improved due to new equipment coming on line: eg two aircraft carriers, I think the UK is still the 4th largest world defence budget."

Edward Amame

More misguided austerity from the UK. Cameron probably thinks that the Brit public won't take to streets to protest his cuts to the military because they have so much else to worry about. So he'll likely skate when he should be getting hammered for this.

Not sure something like it will happen here. Deficit hawks in the US (where were they when Dick Cheney declared that "deficits don't matter) have their sights set on cuts to Soc Sec and Medicare/aid, not the military.

Charles I

Surely U.S European force reductions would be a good way to save and spare some domestic oxes from being gored, whatever Europe wants, though one may assume the savings would go into the JF35 and the Pivot.

Fred

Gotta pay for all those London bankers who rigged LIBOR and lots of other shenanigans pulled by them and others. Lets not forget the guys Rupert Murdoch's newspaper hacking boys had the goods on, not to mention Murdoch and company.

Fred

At least some will get that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid they deserve, all those who come after will get less of each but will foot the full bills for their predecessors.

Tja

Ach, they've been at this for years in the UK, since Thatcher and "Options for Change", of which the late Alan Clarke was particularly proud. Slicing, dicing, a half-life every few years, it seems.

No idea where it will end, of course. In tears most likely.

VietnamVet

Colonel,

Today’s Washington Post said that the Air Force will curtail all flyovers. Everything comes around. Andrews AFB was really quiet during the Jimmy Carter Administration. But, that didn’t last long.

Japan is giving up on austerity and will try to spend its way out its never ending recession. Cutting government spending will start the downward economic spiral here just like the UK.

The backlash to the defense cuts and a war with Mexican Drug Cartels will get the government money flowing and the jets flying again if history is a guide.

turcopolier

EA

I think cuts in the conventional ground forces are inevitable. pl

Will Reks

Pat, I seem to recall that you've spoken against the one man, one vote idea. What's your take on what will happen in Virginia?

http://www.wdbj7.com/news/wdbj7-lawmakers-move-to-change-va-electoral-vote-system-20130123,0,3958411.story

ISL

Dear Colonel,

I think your prediction is spot on.

In an ideal world, there would be a discussion (or at least a coherent presentation by our leadership) of what are core interests are, and how much it costs to defend them militarily given how much is a reasonable expense for our economy. Because, bailing out the banks at ~5-10% of our GDP each year (yes, it continues in 2013) clearly is very important to American citizens, then supporting the hundreds and hundreds of bases all over the world, is just unrealistic.

Sad, that those who buy our political system have their priorities.

In our world, I assume that the pork value will prevail as the key decision factor.

And, as Fred noted, Britain shares our national interest of providing unlimited funds to cure the bad financial planning of the 0.01%.

Tyler

Yes yes. Pressure from below and above, and the middle gets squeezed out in the end.

The Twisted Genius

I agree that there will probably be cuts in our conventional forces. We will also see more air and ground units going to the Guard and Reserves. There's going to be an F-35 unit in the Air National Guard, possibly in Vermont. I think that's a good thing. It could force us into a more humble foreign policy.

Many European countries may look at some variation of the Swiss model with a small active force and a much larger militia at least for ground forces. That should put a damper on future NATO deployments.

turcopolier

ISL, TTG et al

Yes, smaller conventional ground forces will cause a change to a less aggressive foreign policy, a good thing if it means we give up the notion of exporting our political norms by occupying alien cultural areas. pl

turcopolier

Will Reks

As you all know I like Virginia, but the natives have a droll way of manipulating events and then mocking their opponents. I suspect that McDonnell will decide that his future political life requires that he let the senate resdistrict as it wishes. pl

William R. Cumming

What does Britain spend on its nuclear forces annually?

oth

Sell the Falklands and save yourselves a carrier and $200M+/copy F-35s. The Empire is so... over. Get some drones and pretend like the rest of us.

Eliot

"he natives have a drole way of manipulating events and then mocking their opponents."

Redistricting is an old game in Virginia. The development of the Piedmont in the colonial period seriously threatened the dominance of the old Tidewater families. The population balance was shifting ever further west and with it went control of the state. In order to check that process the Tidwater families implemented a new re-districting program. With every new county on the frontier they subdivided one in the Tidewater.

harry

The Brit public will not take to the steets for the military. Not that they are not popular, but rather the wars overseas are not popular and force projection is no longer a real option. Small countries with large failed banks cant afford armies. Thats why you dont see the Icelandic Navy patrolling the the Persian Gulf.

Time for you guys to be nice to the French or Russians, if you want any company on your foreign adventures.

Tyler

And it looks like they're letting women into the infantry now.

Future developments should be exciting in this regard.

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