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Old 08-16-2004, 09:15 AM   #1
Rheaton
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Default Military Relocation

In a speech Monday at the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Cincinnati, Bush will announce one of the largest troop realignments since the end of the Cold War.

Senior administration officials say Bush's plan affects 70,000 or more uniformed military personnel plus 100,000 of their family members and support personnel. A significant portion would be sent to bases in the United States, although others could be shifted to posts in Eastern Europe, they said.
Better late then never...and never 100%... but better then nothing

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20040816/D84G83NO0.html
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Old 08-16-2004, 09:29 AM   #2
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That tears it... we pull out of Europe and Germany will invade France (again).

Seriously, this is a good thing and about time.

That article link timed out on me, here's another
Bush Announces Plan for Troop Realignment
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Old 08-16-2004, 10:03 AM   #3
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This is a good idea. Now if Bush would just pull all our troops out of Europe. The EU should spend billions on their own defense.
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Old 08-16-2004, 10:17 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Lurikeen
This is a good idea. Now if Bush would just pull all our troops out of Europe. The EU should spend billions on their own defense.
No kidding.
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Old 08-16-2004, 10:20 AM   #5
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and the Middle East to, that would save even more money!!
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Old 08-16-2004, 10:21 AM   #6
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My lord if the Europeans have to suddenly foot their own defense bill they will have to do one of two things... raise taxes even higher to pay for it... or trim back many of their social programs to cover the cost. *gasp* They might have to face some of the same realities we have while they have turned their noses up at us because of their universal healthcare et al. Or maybe they will have to work a little harder to be more productive. I can't even imagine a law that says I could only be made to work 30 something hours a week. I've put that in on some weekends to have a project done by Monday's Executive Staff briefing.

I pity the poor Europeans in truth. So much of their economy is based upon the dollars we pour into it. The communities surrounding US bases live and will die by our defense dollars or lack thereof. You think a factory closing and laying off 1,000 people hurts an economy? Imagine what pulling thousands of military personnel, their families and civilian contractors will do? How many local residents are employed by the military to provide support services like food preperation, facilities maintenance, etc. this is gonna hurt them bad.

To which I say... bwahahahahahahahahaha!
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Old 08-16-2004, 10:30 AM   #7
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I hate to find that we agree on another issue, Laird.

What's this board coming to?

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Old 08-16-2004, 10:31 AM   #8
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heh, and you wonder why the Americans have such a bad image abroad.

It cuts both ways really - the US bases in Europe were historically strategically useful to the US, it wasn't a one way thing. It was a win-win situation.

Of course times have changed and security needs are different. Maybe the US is better off with bases in Iraq, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia and Sudan that UK, Japan and Germany. I'm sure the soldiers can't wait!
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Old 08-16-2004, 10:36 AM   #9
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And it's not a free lunch BTW - for instance Germany contributed nearly $1 billion towards the upkeep of US bases there in 2003
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Old 08-16-2004, 10:41 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Sakkath
And it's not a free lunch BTW - for instance Germany contributed nearly $1 billion towards the upkeep of US bases there in 2003
I certainly agree that Europeans weren't getting a free lunch. I agree with Laird's broader point which is that pulling our military bases out of Europe likely will have a large impact on local economies where bases are located.

I also believe that it isn't the job of the US to provide security to Europe (or any other country).
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Old 08-16-2004, 10:49 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Sakkath
And it's not a free lunch BTW - for instance Germany contributed nearly $1 billion towards the upkeep of US bases there in 2003
Big F'ing deal... for $1 billion they got the equivalent of probably $100 billion in defense spending. $1 billion probably couldn't cover the cost of the aviation fuel used by the F-15s we kept at Ramstein. Back in the early 1990's when I kept up on this kind of thing, the per hour operational cost of an F-15 was in excess of $10,000. Now this doesn't just cover fuel, but that gives you an idea of just how much it costs to field the resources we did in Europe. The only reason we have stayed as long as we have is the incredible cost of the infrastructure we builat and the length time it takes to transition units back to the states.

$1 billion, lol... NYS just passed its budget for fiscal year 2003/2004... $101 BILLION... and you throw Germant spent $1 billion to offset what we spent there, LOL...
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Old 08-16-2004, 11:01 AM   #12
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It wont make any difference if the troops are still misused.
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Old 08-16-2004, 12:17 PM   #13
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The hosts of the bases aren't the major beneficiaries - the US has served its own needs by having them there. Times have changed and so have the requirements.

Yes it will have an economic impact, hopefully the $1 billion that Germany was using as a subsidy will go some way towards aiding job creation programs for those affected.

I take issue that you present the facts as if the US would selflessly run these bases at their own expense for the sole benefit of others. The bases were there and funded largely by the US because it suited the needs of the US at the time. The UK for instance was basically forced to give over land to the US military as part of it's compensation for aid during WWII.

I would argue that we don't need all those F-15s in Germany (or other countries), and haven't needed them there for quite some time - so we'll all save money. The only possible use in having them there is to act as a staging area to ease the logistics for any US military operation. I'm sure they'll find other locations that are better placed given the general location of the threat has shifted a long way east.

What I found distasteful was the glee that you displayed that people would be losing their jobs. That's generally bad wherever in the world it happens, and shouldn't be a cause for amusement. The sooner people like you realise that the economics and therefore standard of living of the world are highly interconnected the better.
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Old 08-16-2004, 12:21 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Lurikeen
I also believe that it isn't the job of the US to provide security to Europe (or any other country).
I can certainly agree with that - but also realise that there is a huge security benefit for the US if other countries are also stable and secure. In fact apart from oil, that's probably the reason for the vast majority of military interventions in the past century.
That doesn't, of course, mean that the burden of cost shouldn't be more fairly distributed.
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Old 08-16-2004, 12:23 PM   #15
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Its not good for us to entirely close down shop in other countries...just incase we need those bases to launch pre-emptive attacks on a nation we dont like.































Like France!
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Old 08-16-2004, 12:30 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by LairdRagna
I pity the poor Europeans in truth. So much of their economy is based upon the dollars we pour into it
Taking Germany as an example...

http://www.germany-info.org/relaunch...Germany_fs.pdf
US bases in Germany cost about $11.3bn a year, Germany contributes about $1bn of that (which actually does cover the cost of Ramstein - including the F-15's fuel!).

http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/...k/geos/gm.html
German GDP is around $2.27trillion

So we have a starting figure of 0.44% of Germany's GDP. Of course, the majority of the money (as you already described) is spent on military hardware or is paid to Americans. Taking a realistic (and probably generous) estimate as to the benefit for Germany's economy at 10% of the gross funding costs of these bases, the amount you're talking about is 0.04% of their GDP. Certainly not an insignificant figure, but not as much as you would have us believe.

If you're rubbishing their contribution by way of comparing it to NYS state budget of $100bn, then the savings from pulling out of Germany are still only 10% of that. 'LOL' as you would say.

Last edited by Sakkath; 08-16-2004 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 08-16-2004, 12:35 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Sakkath
I can certainly agree with that - but also realise that there is a huge security benefit for the US if other countries are also stable and secure. In fact apart from oil, that's probably the reason for the vast majority of military interventions in the past century.
That doesn't, of course, mean that the burden of cost shouldn't be more fairly distributed.
That's an interesting idea, and while I agree that it is in US interests that other countries are stable and secure. However, it is in the interests of every country that all countries are stable and secure. World stability is everyone's issue.

I don't think the US should continue to be the world's babysitter. Europe should be footing the full bill for their own defense. Now that the cold war is over we don't need the US on the "Soviet front" because their is no Warsaw pact to defend against anymore. Our troops and resources can be better utilized than sitting entrenched in Germany and Turkey, for example.

Besides, I don't think if we pull out that Germany will invade Poland again.
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Old 08-16-2004, 06:55 PM   #18
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US bases in Germany cost about $11.3bn a year, Germany contributes about $1bn of that (which actually does cover the cost of Ramstein - including the F-15's fuel!).
Wow so we are going to save 10 billion by pulling out of Germany. I wonder how much we are going to save total?
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Old 08-17-2004, 02:00 AM   #19
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Not really - there will be cost involved in relocating and setting up somewhere else. I wouldn't be suprised if that costs more than the savings - at least in the first year or two. I think the issue is effective deployment rather than pure cost savings. The $10bn isn't pure wastage - a lot of it goes back to US companies...a subsidy of sorts if you like.

Or are the units to be disbanded ? - then you're looking at a few hundred thousand job seekers
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Old 08-17-2004, 05:39 AM   #20
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I think this is a terrible idea. It is done merely as a reaction to military shortages. The correct thing would be to expand the military not to keep shuffling pieces around. The fact that it effects Europe is impertinent. We are always one incident away from another world war at any given time. We are only 10-15 years removed from the cold war and Russia itself is leaning back towards a hardline government.
Also, we are supposed to be fighting a war on terror. We have now completely given the Euros the message that we will not fight this war with them. To say on one hand that we want cooperation from the world for the war on terror and then to withdraw from the world makes no sense to me. It is an inconsistent policy and it is purely reactionary. This pretty much signals to me that Bush believes we can win the war on terror by going it alone and that is the biggest mistake we have been making in the war on terror.
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Old 08-17-2004, 05:47 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by bumbleroot
This pretty much signals to me that Bush believes we can win the war on terror by going it alone and that is the biggest mistake we have been making in the war on terror.
WTH does this have to do with the war or terror? Is our stationed military authorized to engage terrorist cells in these countries?
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Old 08-17-2004, 06:30 AM   #22
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I disagree that this signals a further push towards unilateralism - there are simply better places for these troops to be stationed given the geographical shift of the most likely threat since the end of the cold war.

European countries have made massive inroads into terrorist presence and activity, along with the US. It's fundamentally a harder place to police across it's entirety due to the different juristictions and disparities, but a huge amount of progress has been made.

Lets not make the mistake of confusing the disagreements over Iraq with the more important 'war on terror'.
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Old 08-17-2004, 06:36 AM   #23
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Sak, bumble has to pathologically disagree with Bush for the sake of disagreeing with Bush...
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Old 08-17-2004, 08:02 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by LairdRagna
Sak, bumble has to pathologically disagree with Bush for the sake of disagreeing with Bush...
This is absolutley correct. Bumble's post is a classic example of symbolism over substance. A bunch of touchie - feelie liberalism dork suck'n

/puke!
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Old 08-17-2004, 08:34 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by bumbleroot
I think this is a terrible idea. It is done merely as a reaction to military shortages.
I don't think that's true. My father retired from the Airforce back in 1984 and I remember him talking up new ideas the Pentagon wanted to implement; all centered around shrinking troops sizes, modernizing, and making units light, flexible and fast. And since he wasn't a Pentagon insider that must have been common knowledge at the time.
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