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Let's keep this chatter here and leave the other thread ontopic..


The first thing we need to do in order to decrease military spending is other countries have to step up. The United States pays more of the UN's budget than anybody else, we pretty well are NATO, and we do much of the International Red Cross yet other countries still expect us to do more.


A natural disaster over in Asia somewhere a couple years ago I remember the US sending several hundred million dollars in aid. The thanks? "The United States isn't sending enough." It was over 80% of the relief aid that was coming in!!

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Hops, you are mixing apples and oranges -defense spending, foriegn aid, disaster relief, etc. Defense spending (military to some is just Army) is the proper term. Foreign aid to many countries is many times cash that is then used to buy USA defense products.


I work for a private company that earns most of their money in the defense business so yes, I'm biased. I do feel our armed forces should be used to defend our country and to fight and win our nations wars. What I don't feel our armed forces should be used for is disaster relief (sandbagging), as a police force (most are trained to shoot to kill not police) and a host of other "jobs" that our country asks them to do.


Should we spend more or less on defense? Tough question. We do spend much less now, as was pointed out earlier, than we did in the past. For those who would like us to do less "warring" the quickest way to make that happen is to have compulsory military service or re-institute the draft. When the soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines are composed of Americans from all classes of our society I'm sure our policies would change.(This message has been edited by acco40)

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While I agree with most of your post acco, I have to take issue with your final statement "When the soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines are composed of Americans from all classes of our society I'm sure our policies would change."


This is both a popular and untrue statement. Below are the facts.



76% of military recruits come from the income range of $25,000-$50,000 (most in the 35-40k range).

Recuits from the poorest neighborhoods, 20% of the population have declined from 18% pre 9/11 to less than 14% now.

The recruits from the poorest of our population(under $30,000) are at a ratio of 70% of their population percentage.

The recruits from the most affluant of our population ($50,000+ & $200,000+) are at a ratio of 114% of their population percentage.



80.5% of recruits have a HS diploma or higher, 9.5% have a GED, pretty much what you would expect from an entry level job. Total of 96% versus 80% of the population.

Higher education is under represented, as would be expected in this kind of job.



African American recruits account for only slightly more than the population, 12.99% of recruits versus 12.17% of the population.

Hispanic recruits versus population are virtually even at 14%

Caucasion results are also virtually equal 73% versus 75%

The only races over represented are American Indian, Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander, and Native Hawaiian.



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What sacrifices have I had to make for the "war on terror?"


Let's see, no rationing, they still make autos (just not American made :) ), I don't have to worry about my sons being drafted, etc. I do have to put up with longer lines at the airport. Other than my conscious, not much direct effect on me.


Now for my parents - both joined the Navy for WWII. Couldn't buy a car. Experienced rationing of food, gas and other items. My mother saw 45% of her graduating high school class (class of '43) enter the armed services (nearly 90% of the males). Father who was in the naval reserves was called up to go to Korea. They had to worry about their son's going to Vietnam (one turned 18 in '72, one in '74 so just missed that one), etc.


What is the ratio of urban/rural for the US population right now? Look at who gets killed in Afganistan and Iraq? Yes, some wish to make a career out of the military and they can be from well to do or middle class families and have extensive education. But I believe that the vast majority of the enlisted service men and women join because it is a chance to get an education (GI bill), learn a skill or trade, grow up & mature and it pays. In today's economy, especially small town and rural - times are hard and the service presents opportunity.

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Acco...that post really doesn't relate to the comment in your original post. However I will continue it. What effect has it had? Hmmm...not sure about the effect on you. I currently have a nephew-in-law deployed to Europe who makes trips to the middle east; a sister-in-law's brother who VOLUNTEERED to extend his service for a deployment over there before he got out to do private practice as a doctor, and two good friends deployed over there. If it wasn't for the fact that I am too old to enlist, I would be too. We are not as severely affected as many previous wars, but then we are not in a full scale global war either. As far as urban vs rural, you see more representation from rural areas more because they hold to conservative values rather than because "they are poor and desperate." The inner city is more poor and desperate and enlists at lower numbers than any other area.


Also on that note, I have no doubt it is advertising and recruiters fault, but people who enlist should realize that the military is not a loan or education program. It is the military....their job is to FIGHT WARS! I would be pleased if this never happened, but that is the job of the military.

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Acco, (no attack, just info)

People also join the military for patriotic reasons, you know, like defending the country and helping to prevent another attack. Democrats and liberals will say that it's a way out of da 'hood. It is a place to learn a skill and get money for an education. The military is not a meals on wheels program. However, when disaster strikes, we can send an aircraft carrier to a stricken area quickly. The carrier has a hospital, food, supplies and a means to transport many people and things quickly. I enlisted into the Navy 1982 for patriotic reasons and later retired from the Army Reserve in 2006.



The Army will take recruits as old as 42 if that suits you.


Overall, I think the US population experiences severe apathy because there is no sacrifice, not to mention the media bias in reporting.

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I have noted in the posts that some (most)say "no sacrifices". In terms of today, you may be somewhat correct. BUT, the bill will come due on that $$$$$B per day spending that we are doing around the world. We may not be here when it comes due but the Cubs and Scouts we are training may.


Also, in case no one has noticed the highly touted "citizenship for fighting" accolades, many of our armed forces are what were formerly known as "illegal (some legal) immagrants" now earning citizenship for wearing the US uniform.


We spend more and have a smaller military. Our military CAN NOT go to war without civillians anymore (too many jobs/MOS's/skills eliminated).


It is NOT the Democrats or the Republicans, it is the "Americans" that no longer demand accountability of our elected leaders, that accept that to be political they have to be crooked, accept that we will not get what we want without lobbiest (although we get what we deserve, lip service).


My $0.02 for what it is worth. Support the troops, they deserve it!! Force congress to be responsible, you paid them for it!!(This message has been edited by ghermanno)

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Ghermanno, interesting turn of it. I hope that this is not percieved as an attack.


It is very true that we and our children will have to pay for the costs of the War on Terror, but so will we. I always find it interesting how people always go to the "our children will pay" argument though. My children won't even be in a paying capacity for another 10-20 years, while I will be paying for the next 25-30 years.


Also, in reguards to the immigrant section, please define "many." There are about 70,000 foreign born individuals serving in our armed forces. This number amounts to around 5% of the military. Of this, about 30,000 or 43 % are non-citizens. Legal immigrants. While I am sure that some have gotten around the system, there are not many illegals as you seem to imply that the majority are. To carry this further, about a third of the non-citizens are hispanic (the most likely group to have illegals). So now we are down to about 10,000 people, or 0.7% of the military, even having a POTENTIAL for illegals. Assuming a whopping 10% may get through, which is still a ridiculous number, we are now talking about 1,000 potential illegal immigrants, or .07% of the military. Hardy what I would define as "many."


You are correct that we cannot wage a war without civilians. This is mostly due to the fact that the US military thinking, especially post Cold War, shifted to use civilians for support roles, thus decreasing the net size of the military.


As for polititians, I'm not even going there. I'll leave the argument whether man is inherently good or evil, but politics MUST be inherentlly evil! :)

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