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US War Machine Downsizing?

Unknown Lamer posted about 7 months ago | from the how-will-we-defeat-zombie-stalin-now? dept.

The Military 506

mrspoonsi writes "BBC Reports: 'Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has unveiled plans to shrink the U.S. Army to its smallest size since before World War Two. Outlining his budget plan, the Pentagon chief proposed trimming the active-duty Army to between 440,000 and 450,000 personnel — from 520,000 currently. The U.S. currently spends more on defense than the combined total of the next 12 countries, as ranked by defense spending.'"

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Drone Occupation (5, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 7 months ago | (#46330053)

Of Planet Earth is near completion.

The rest can be sub-contracted.

Re:Drone Occupation (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330235)

Please stand outside holding a target near your chest.

It's for science.

Re:Drone Occupation (5, Interesting)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 7 months ago | (#46330237)

Sigh! Mechanization kills another American job.

Before you know it, well be able to fight a complete war without risking a single soldier.

Since the bar for invasion of another sovereign state is already set fairly low, what future transgression will be enough when no dead heroes need to return home? Iran looked at me funny!

How could Iran look at you funny? They're dead. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330477)

We attacked last week over a EULA violation.

Re:Drone Occupation (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 7 months ago | (#46330741)

Before you know it, well be able to fight a complete war without risking a single soldier.

Define risk.

The drone pilots at Nellis (Las Vegas) end up with PTSD like field soldiers do.

Worse still, programmers assigned to classified projects - required to use only known approved secure development tools and libraries - are driven slowly insane by having to spend 6 months to accomplish something they know could be done in 6 days with freely available, but not approved, tools.

Time to end the military industrial complex (5, Interesting)

litehacksaur111 (2895607) | about 7 months ago | (#46330071)

As Eisenhower warned in his farewell address, I hope this news means we have finally heeded his warning and are moving towards dismantling the military industrial complex. All of that money could be used to rebuild the crumbling infrastructure we have right here at home.

Re:Time to end the military industrial complex (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330087)

What are you, some kind of pussy? We need to walk softly, but carry a very, very, very big-ass stick.

Re:Time to end the military industrial complex (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330169)

No we don't. We just need a quality shiny hammer like JSOC.

Re:Time to end the military industrial complex (5, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | about 7 months ago | (#46330401)

Did you mean JSF, not JSOC?

The A-10 is on the chopping block, as is the U2. What I don't get about the elimination of those is that one has proven itself extremely cost-effective in close-quarters ground support (as in using bullets, rather than relying on rockets and bombs) and extremely durable when taking fire (flying back with a wing missing) and the other has been extremely effective for quick-turnaround intelligence.

Both programs are effective in the kind of engagements that we've found ourselves in during the last couple of decades and both are paid for. It's maintenance only, as opposed to development.

Re:Time to end the military industrial complex (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330645)

But the taliban are developing planes that are twice as awesome! My election donor^W^Wintelligence sources say so!

Re:Time to end the military industrial complex (2)

davester666 (731373) | about 7 months ago | (#46330387)

...which we have purchased at the low-low price of the 1/2 the GDP of the US for, well, forever.

Re:Time to end the military industrial complex (4, Informative)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46330531)

No, not even close.

Defense spending as a percentage of GDP [heritage.org]

Where Does All the Money Go? [heritage.org]

Heratige foundation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330571)

BS, I dont trust anything from those Koch sponsored morans. Dont trust the Heritage foundation!

Re:Heratige foundation (2, Funny)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46330627)

You seem to have missed this nugget: "Source: Office of Management and Budget. "

The bad news doesn't change if you pick another truthful source.

Also, from what I see, the "Koch brothers" are very minor donors to Heritage. Besides that, if you use the "Koch brothers" as your universal explanation for things you are engaged in epic fail.

Re: Time to end the military industrial complex (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330105)

I concur. Well said, sir. Our nation really needs it badly. We've been fucking with other people's countries for so long; we've forgotten to take care of our own.

Re:Time to end the military industrial complex (4, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 7 months ago | (#46330155)

All of that money could be used to rebuild the crumbling infrastructure we have right here at home.

Oh, that would be pointless. Meth-heads will just steal the rebuilt infrastructure to sell to scrap metal dealers, again.

End the MIC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330165)

The money saved from dismantling the MIC will not be spent on the "crumbling infrastructure".
Any money saved will go to welfare projections or pork-barrel projects.

"Those unaware of history are doomed to repeat it", someone once noted. Politicians make promises of "hope and change" but do not deliver. That's why the USA needs statesmen; regrettably, there aren't any and we are doomed to the cycle of politician lies.

Re:End the MIC? (0)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 7 months ago | (#46330221)

The money saved from dismantling the MIC will not be spent on the "crumbling infrastructure".
Any money saved will go to welfare projections or pork-barrel projects.

Welfare Queens, like WalMart and McDonalds.

The rest, skimmed into "services" and "outsourced functions".

The free market is a thief's paradise.

Re:End the MIC? (2, Insightful)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 7 months ago | (#46330223)

Social security and Medicaid will eat the federal budget.

Obamacare? That's just rushing one more big ticket item onto the credit card before it all goes bad.

Re:Time to end the military industrial complex (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330213)

Our military is welfare. where do you think that 800 billion or whatever it is military budge goes? we're not buying volkswagons and pokemon with it. it's going to factory workers in idaho or wherever who are being paid to build tanks even though the army has all the tanks it will ever need and then some (and has even asked congress to stop sending them more). They go straight from the factory to sit in what is essentially a scrap yard. they're only being made because the congressman who pushed the bill through is getting money for his constituents.

take the money out of defense and put it right in welfare, it'll end up with the same people.

Re:Time to end the military industrial complex (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 7 months ago | (#46330281)

are you sure military budget not lining fat cat and shareholder pockets?

Re:Time to end the military industrial complex (1)

icebike (68054) | about 7 months ago | (#46330355)

are you sure military budget not lining fat cat and shareholder pockets?

Some is. No doubt

Are you so sure welfare and obamacare isn't lining the fat cat and shareholder pockets?

Around these parts its commonly known that running a non-profit is one of the most lucrative gigs you can get.

Re:Time to end the military industrial complex (0)

gl4ss (559668) | about 7 months ago | (#46330637)

USA "defense" budget is 90% welfare and employment program. you would be just as safe if it was put into a welfare&jobs program intended for building bridges and roads(but that's a job that needs more education than being a soldier, really, if you think about it).

Re:Time to end the military industrial complex (1)

icebike (68054) | about 7 months ago | (#46330709)

Clearly you don't know any modern soldiers.

Re:Time to end the military industrial complex (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330343)

Our military is welfare. where do you think that 800 billion or whatever it is military budge goes? we're not buying volkswagons and pokemon with it. it's going to factory workers in idaho or wherever who are being paid to build tanks even though the army has all the tanks it will ever need and then some (and has even asked congress to stop sending them more). They go straight from the factory to sit in what is essentially a scrap yard. they're only being made because the congressman who pushed the bill through is getting money for his constituents.

take the money out of defense and put it right in welfare, it'll end up with the same people.

Actually what we've been doing lately is giving or selling them to the domestic Police.

Re:Time to end the military industrial complex (5, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 7 months ago | (#46330253)

I hope this news means we have finally heeded his warning and are moving towards dismantling the military industrial complex.

No. That is not what is happening. Almost all the proposed reductions are to fighting troops. Almost no cuts are to the bloated defense bureaucracy that make up the core of the MIC's revolving door. Hagel wants to reduce the muscle while protecting the belly fat. He is going about it all wrong anyway. Rather than trimming a little here, and a little there, it would be much better to completely eliminate a few big misguided programs. Killing the trillion dollar F-35 boondoggle would be a great place to start.

Re:Time to end the military industrial complex (4, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | about 7 months ago | (#46330377)

The last time we had such a recommendation it was to totally get rid of the Marine Corps.
The next hear Gulf 1 started, and Kuwait was over run, and those same "useless" Marines once again arrived the firstest with the mostest.

Re:Time to end the military industrial complex (3, Informative)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 7 months ago | (#46330465)

Hagel wants to reduce the muscle while protecting the belly fat. He is going about it all wrong anyway.

No, he's eliminating the parts of the Regular Army that can be (relatively) easily replaced by National Guard troops in time of trouble. He's keeping in place things like divisional command structures (we already have two divisions that are nothing more than HQ's to be filled out with 3 NG Brigades each in time of trouble) and the rear area parts of the Army which are needed in case we have to suddenly expand the force.

Then again, he's getting rid of the A-10 also. Which is probably a bribe to the Air Force, since they've always hated having to provide close air support to the Army....

Re:Time to end the military industrial complex (2)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 7 months ago | (#46330497)

Last I heard every time the Air Force wanted to drop the A-10 the Army raised it's hand and said 'We'll take it, We'll find the money'.

The Air Force can't have the Army flying fixed wing aircraft. So there it stood.

Re:Time to end the military industrial complex (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330593)

It's just a flying tank anyway. Let the army have it.

Re:Time to end the military industrial complex (5, Interesting)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 7 months ago | (#46330755)

Then again, he's getting rid of the A-10 also.

The A-10 was bought and paid for decades ago, so that is not a big savings.

Number of times we have need air-to-ground support, like the A-10 delivers, in the last two decades: tens of thousands.
Number of times we we have need an air superiority fighter, like the F-35, in the last two decades: 0.

Of course, the F-35 can do close air support, but it does it no better than the A-10, despite costing far, far, more to build, operate, and maintain.

I agree, but the U.S. makes money on preying on po (2)

Smerp (2446510) | about 7 months ago | (#46330275)

Sadly, I think the downsizing of troops is a direct result of un-manned weapons like drones.

Re:I agree, but the U.S. makes money on preying on (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 7 months ago | (#46330405)

that's because the next big war will be between the rich and the poor, and live soldiers are less likely to fire on their family, friends and neighbors.

Re: Time to end the military industrial complex (0)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 7 months ago | (#46330443)

But, Defense contracts are much more profitable than infrastructure projects, so at this moment an army of lobbyist are in D.C. reminding every congresscritter how many defense dollars are funneled into their district and how many defense contractor dollars are funneled into their campaign funds.

Re:Time to end the military industrial complex (1)

cupantae (1304123) | about 7 months ago | (#46330493)

right here at home

insensitive clod, etc.

less solders... (0, Troll)

mexsudo (2905137) | about 7 months ago | (#46330083)

But the style of the war making is changing. Drones, civilian targets, etc.

First Post!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330085)

Woot!

What is it good for? Absolutely $$$! (2)

qw(name) (718245) | about 7 months ago | (#46330093)

They are saying that they are downsizing but before it takes affect we get involved in a war. No need to downsize. Problem solved.

Re: What is it good for? Absolutely $$$! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330131)

Ahahahahahah! Yeah. Some "excuse" will come up. Aliens this time?

Re:What is it good for? Absolutely $$$! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330195)

They are saying that they are downsizing but before it takes affect we get involved in a war. No need to downsize. Problem solved.

Just what are you implying?

Re:What is it good for? Absolutely $$$! (3, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about 7 months ago | (#46330385)

He's saying as soon as you appear weak, you are weak.

Re:What is it good for? Absolutely $$$! (1)

Xeno man (1614779) | about 7 months ago | (#46330725)

Is that the sales pitch they use to keep selling Americans more tanks and missiles that they don't need?

"And here we have a gun with a knife taped to it.
We really have all the guns we need...
You don't want to appear weak do you?
I'll take 100,000 units."

I'm in the wrong business.

Re:What is it good for? Absolutely $$$! (1)

JustOK (667959) | about 7 months ago | (#46330267)

They might outsource.

Suposedly fiscall conservatives in fits (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330109)

Watch all the Repubs scream and shout and throw fits as their favorite military pork programs and campaign contributors face cuts.

Watch them make liars of themselves as they advocate big govt and govt funded jobs held by military contractors.

Jobs (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330219)

I worked for an airline. 90%-95% of our pilots and air plant mechanics came from the military. The airline was started by a Marine Aviator and leaded his leadership skills in the Marines. Miniaturization of electronics is the results of war and the MIC. The lowly and common microwave oven is a by-product of war and the MIC. Don't sell the MIC short--the Internet with all its tubes is the invention of, not AlGore, but war and the MIC. The Democrats have benefited from the MIC far more than the Republicans.

Re:Jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330303)

Which war created the Internet?

Re:Jobs (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46330327)

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) created the internet.

Re:Jobs (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 7 months ago | (#46330515)

It's ability to route around damage was specifically to make in robust in case of nuke war.

Re:Jobs (2)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | about 7 months ago | (#46330675)

That's an old myth. Yes, it was designed to be resilient and was funded by various government agencies, however its design was not with espionage or war in mind. In fact it was quite clear early on that it was not secure or even terribly reliable for many critical military needs. True, the government funded it as a defense project, but it was envisioned by academics, developed by academics, and developed to be agnostic to the nature of the user organizations (eg military, government, business, university).

Re:Jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330481)

Which war created the Internet?

The Cold War.
The internet was a result of research into a distributed communications system which could survive during a nuclear attack even if large portions of the infrastructure was destroyed.

Re:Jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330431)

So how about we invest directly in to research and training instead of funneling it through a bunch of connected industrialists and military pork scams?

Yeah, advocate that and you'll end up being "suicided"

But will they shrink man-hours? Spending? (4, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | about 7 months ago | (#46330121)

Or are they just privatizing more military functions?

Re:But will they shrink man-hours? Spending? (0, Troll)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46330189)

No, they are genuine cuts in the armed forces. There will be substantial cuts on the civilian side, and overall funding. Sequestration started it.

Future attacks on the US will be handled by diplomatic notes form Secretary of State Kerry expressing strong disapproval.

Re:But will they shrink man-hours? Spending? (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 7 months ago | (#46330255)

You joke, but last time this happened the only things that didn't have strong enough advocates in DC to keep the money flowing was trivial stuff like ammo for the troops.

Federal procurement has political issues.

Re:But will they shrink man-hours? Spending? (1)

icebike (68054) | about 7 months ago | (#46330543)

I don't think he was joking. You may think so at your peril.

The last time [time.com] cuts of this nature were proposed the idea was to entirely stand down the US Marine Corps. (Still beating that drum today [time.com] ).
Because we were never going to have to invade any country again.
Then Saddam over ran Kuwait, and was looking hungrily at Saudi Arabia.
Guess who arrived first ?

Re:But will they shrink man-hours? Spending? (4, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | about 7 months ago | (#46330453)

Well, judging from TFA, they are cutting spending for FY 2015 to 496 bln, then raising it to 535, 545 and $559 bln in following years. That means if you deduct the wartime finding for Iran and Afghanistan, the baseline spending level will be back to pre-sequester levels, and as much as the next seven countries in defense spending rank put together.

Not that spending is at all a measure of how much defense we get. One of the things the budget does is it retires the A10 Warthog attack plane which costs less than $18K/flight hour to operate and replaces it with the F-35, which is currently *promised* to cost $32K/flight hour, if it ever becomes combat ready.

Re:But will they shrink man-hours? Spending? (4, Informative)

artor3 (1344997) | about 7 months ago | (#46330289)

If these changes go through, it will actually reduce spending. We spent $670B on "defense" in 2013. This change would get us down to around $500B for the 2015 budget.

This was already passed as a part of the sequester -- this story is really just discussing how the Pentagon plans to get under the limit set by the law. The budget that got passed in December rolled back a few of the sequester cuts, and I'm sure Republicans will push to roll back more. However, the Democrats will want new taxes on the rich to offset any further increases in military spending, and I doubt the Republicans will budge on that front, so any further changes are likely to be minimal.

It looks like this is actually going to happen, and it's about damn time.

Re:But will they shrink man-hours? Spending? (1, Insightful)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46330351)

However, the Democrats will want new taxes on the rich to offset any further increases in military spending, and I doubt the Republicans will budge on that front, so any further changes are likely to be minimal.

Likewise the Democrats will almost certainly balk at any reforms to social welfare spending, which is the major portion of Federal spending and which dwarfs the defense budget.

Re:But will they shrink man-hours? Spending? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330511)

Isn't it the same thing? Paying for all that military stuff you wont ever use IS welfare, just welfare for rich people, like Jesus intended.

Re:But will they shrink man-hours? Spending? (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46330589)

No, it really isn't. Maybe you could read this and explain to me how you could hand out free bread and cheese in American cities and achieve the same affect (liberating enslaved Americans)?

Jefferson Versus the Muslim Pirates [city-journal.org]

Re:But will they shrink man-hours? Spending? (3, Interesting)

artor3 (1344997) | about 7 months ago | (#46330609)

I don't see how that's relevant. We're talking about negotiations here. Increased military spending and decreased social spending are both things Republicans want.

I was pointing out that the Republicans don't have anything they're willing to trade in order to stem the sequester cuts to military spending. The only way they could stave off the cuts would be by accepting increased taxes, and they're not willing to do that.

I get the feeling you took my comment as a slight against Republicans, and posted some knee-jerk response. I'm only pointing out the reality of the negotiations.

Re:But will they shrink man-hours? Spending? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330715)

Likewise the Democrats will almost certainly balk at any reforms to social welfare spending, which is the major portion of Federal spending and which dwarfs the defense budget.

You have some problem with several hundred million people being served, many from their own tax dollars? It is expensive, but in total, not necessarily individual.

But what reforms besides PRWORA would you like to implement? That law was signed by Clinton and had around 50 Democrats (in both House and Senate combined) vote in favor of it. Clinton himself had run on a Welfare reform platform, but was more focused on universal health care, but then we still haven't gotten that, so obviously despite his dictatorial seizure of power, Obama hasn't managed that either.

Re:But will they shrink man-hours? Spending? (1)

icebike (68054) | about 7 months ago | (#46330549)

It won't reduce spending.
If you believe that you are delusional.

History (1)

sycodon (149926) | about 7 months ago | (#46330123)

Wash, Rinse, Repeat

Misleading in the grand scheme of things (1)

Strange Ranger (454494) | about 7 months ago | (#46330145)

Spending the money on killing machines doesn't win you anti-bloat points.
 
Shrink the budget. Shrink the percentage of budget based on adjusted GDP. We're becoming all brawn and no brain.

Re:Misleading in the grand scheme of things (1)

Strange Ranger (454494) | about 7 months ago | (#46330177)

To be clear: Drones and Secrets instead of Troops on the Ground... That doesn't mean we shrank our war machine.

Re:Misleading in the grand scheme of things (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330331)

Ars has an article about scraping the A10 to keep the F35 [arstechnica.com] , the slow, fat, but stealthy, Jack-of-all-trades that'll apparently get shot down [washingtontimes.com] in a conflict. Of course there's a lot more pork with the F35 than the A10.

More robots & drones ... fewer people. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330171)

And the costs will increase.

Finally! (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 7 months ago | (#46330173)

Finally The Man is acting like a true progressive. Most of his policies have been either centrist or conservative-leaning (despite Fox/Rush characterizations). Even the "commie" ACA (ObamaCare) was borrowed from the Heritage Foundation and a former Republican governor of MA.

Re:Finally! (0, Flamebait)

rubycodez (864176) | about 7 months ago | (#46330241)

hardly, not after that war mongering against Syria and even now providing arms to Al Qaeda affiliated rebels. What a liar Obama is, what a corporate bitch.

Re:Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330299)

This move is necessary because of Obama's failure to get the economy out of the crapper. Plus, Liberals will always try to cut defense. Nothing Progressive about it.

Re:Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330373)

"The Man is acting like a true progressive"

The idiocy atround here is truly epic. Do you really think they intend to save money and put less effort into killing?

Then why is the state buying ammo at an unprecented rate?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ralphbenko/2013/03/11/1-6-billion-rounds-of-ammo-for-homeland-security-its-time-for-a-national-conversation/

"Most of [Obamas] policies have been either centrist or conservative-leaning"

Uh huh. Forget for the moment Heritage, forget your Republican governor, and you are seriously asserting that the ACA is conservative?

Conservative at its most fundamental seeks to support the equal treatment of all under the law, strong support of individual liberties and personal responsibility and a weak central government.

There is nothing in the ACA that works towards these goals, nothing whatsoever. What is more, the law is designed to attack and erode all of these (and other) conservative ideals. It's not conservative, period. It doesn't matter how many times you say Heritage and Mitt Romney, none of that makes this law conservative.

Facts on the other hand often get in the way of statist designs on power, some of us understand this.

Re:Finally! (4, Informative)

crunchygranola (1954152) | about 7 months ago | (#46330561)

...

Then why is the state buying ammo at an unprecented rate?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ralphbenko/2013/03/11/1-6-billion-rounds-of-ammo-for-homeland-security-its-time-for-a-national-conversation/

...

You mean buying ammunition at a highly precedented and declining [gao.gov] rate?

Even Fox News [foxnews.com] more or less debunked this bit of conspiracy baiting.

And who's the biggest spender? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330205)

Cutting the Army won't do much to curtail spending. Cutting the Air Force, however...

Re:And who's the biggest spender? (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 7 months ago | (#46330269)

look up facts before spewing, army is biggest part of the defense budget at 32%

Re: And who's the biggest spender? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330273)

The Army, by a wide margin. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_budget_of_the_United_States

Plans to shink the US army (3, Funny)

Michael Woodhams (112247) | about 7 months ago | (#46330229)

Ha! I'm going to beat him to it. I just need to steal some super-rare crystals stored at Los Alamos first, to complete my shrink ray. And a white kitten.

Not looking out for the little guy... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330257)

The biggest problem I can see coming from this is the lack of things to fall back on for the soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and coast guardsmen.

Not to say they are lazy (well not all of them... I am pretty lazy.). I am a sailor. I supposedly have equivalents to various IT certs that will not fly in most if not all job positions. My only hope is that I can impress someone enough to get a job outside of the military due to what I can do. Despite the "initiatives" most employers would not want this and I am not sure I blame them. I MIGHT be more than worth it but why take the chance? My best bet is the railroad service (They actually don't seem too bad... plus I like trains.). Most other advertisers for GI Jobs are you guessed it minimum wage.

I think this condition mostly exists because before the "boom" times of war (Yeah I hate myself for saying that.) it was not in the best interest for the military to train you with the option to get out. Sadly things rarely change. It is hard to be able to go to college that is not a paper mill or get a trade that can cross over.

Sorry pity party over. At least I have that MGIB! Also at least I am single.... Alot of the people who will be cut will be those near retirement.... with families....

Makes sense. Its just the Army. (4, Insightful)

ClassicASP (1791116) | about 7 months ago | (#46330279)

I'd me more surprised if it were the marines or the navy seals being downsized. The Army is a lot of bulk manpower that just sits around for the most part and maintains control of areas that have already been seized from the enemy via the attacking efforts of the marines. Advancements of technology means drones and stationary automated turrets can do a lot of that defending work I'd imagine. Just gotta have some protected folks around to maintain control and change the batteries every now and then. Probably way more affordable than actual people. The marines and seals on the other hand can't be so easily replaced by a machine.

Re:Makes sense. Its just the Army. (3, Funny)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 7 months ago | (#46330411)

A Recon Marine, a Navy Seal, and an Army Ranger sat around the fire one evening discussing who was the toughest.

The Recon Marine described his training, which included being dropped off in the middle of nowhere with a mark on a map for a rendezvous point, and his diet of raw bugs and reptiles as he struggled toward the LZ for five days.

The Navy man regaled with the legendarily difficult, 90+% failure rate, Seal training program that requires a man to learn to swim like a fish, but kill like a lion.

The Ranger took a long,quiet look at the others, squatted on his haunches, and stirred the coals in the fire with his fingers.

Re:Makes sense. Its just the Army. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330553)

"no brain no pain", mumbled the SF guy lurking in the shadows...

Re:Makes sense. Its just the Army. (3, Funny)

germansausage (682057) | about 7 months ago | (#46330667)

When I heard the joke it was a Marine telling it. It ended with " ...and the Marine just sat quietly, stirring the ashes with his dick."

Military relation to 9/11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330361)

Is there any actual connection between military spending before 9/11, in relation to the safety of America, the nation? Not just to American interests in other countries, which I'm of which I'm sure many are directly protected by the US Military, but mainland USA.

I see this rationale used every time there's talk of shrinking military funding; more military funding wouldn't have stopped 9/11, would it have? 9/11 happened due to intelligence failures, government ineptitude and a novel concept, not because America and its interests weren't under guard by the US Armed Forces.

Where are the ennemies (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about 7 months ago | (#46330379)

With the US amounting for 50% of army expenses worldwide, and NATO accounting for 80%, it is not obvious where the enemies are.

The USSR does not exist anymore. A much smaller army would protect US security as well as the current one.

Re:Where are the ennemies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330423)

Holywood's answer to this problem is to fight aliens. Works for them.

Re:Where are the ennemies (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330519)

With the US amounting for 50% of army expenses worldwide, and NATO accounting for 80%, it is not obvious where the enemies are.

The USSR does not exist anymore. A much smaller army would protect US security as well as the current one.

When the cops stop patrolling an area, the residents start buying guns. Inevitably, somebody gets the idea that they can use them.

If you think maintaining the Pax Americana was expensive, just wait 'till you see the bill for a full scale war.

Re:Where are the ennemies (3, Interesting)

felrom (2923513) | about 7 months ago | (#46330579)

Southeast Asia.

China just launched its second aircraft carrier. India just launched its first, is building two more, and is buying 120 Rafales. South Korea is buying Apaches and F-15s (or maybe F-35s). Malaysia and Thailand want to buy AH-1Zs. Thailand is also modernizing its current fleet of western fighter planes. Japan just launched its first helicopter attack ship, is buying V-22s, and is no longer keeping up the pretense of only having a defensive force. The Philippines is begging us to come back and reopen a base in their country. The Norks are rattling the sabers as usual. Taiwan has some truly revolutionary anti-ship missiles. Vietnam is in the process of fielding 6 new submarines. Indonesia is in the middle of a large new naval buildup. In 2012, Singapore spent 24% of its national budget on its military.

The entirety of southeast Asia is in the midst of an arms race the likes of which hasn't been seen since the European interwar period. And similar to that same period, we're cutting our military budget and shrinking the forces, even in the face of what's brewing among our allies.

Is doing that right? Wrong? Who knows? I can't see the future. History tells us it's foolish. Maybe this time will be different.

And oddly... (1)

kenh (9056) | about 7 months ago | (#46330393)

... Federal Spending will still increase.

80000 more layoffs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330503)

Where will those poor slobs find civilian work? This is America! There are no jobs in America.

Re:80000 more layoffs (2)

z3r0w8 (664036) | about 7 months ago | (#46330517)

yeah. At least these guys were getting paid for doing SOMETHING.

Perfect timing? Right before WWIII (1)

AmazinglySmooth (1668735) | about 7 months ago | (#46330541)

Seems like the world is getting more dangerous and we are spending money on retirees and freeloaders instead. I'm sure this will end well.

The Army could stand to be downsized... (5, Interesting)

Taelron (1046946) | about 7 months ago | (#46330559)

The Marine Corps handles 90 to 95% of all "Peace Time" military actions while subsisting on the hand-me downs from the other branches and a paltry 3% of the Defense Budget. Navy Seal teams get more money for training ammo than the entire Marine Corps.

At the beginning of the 1st Gulf War, the Marines were just getting the M1 Abrahms tanks the Army was swapping out for newer models (before that the Marines were still on old M60 tanks).

In the late 90's (97-98) the Marines were just starting to get the venerable Singars radios. Up till then they were still using post-Vietnam era AN/PRC-77 radios.

Time and time again the Army goes and asks for more men and money, new gear, etc, because they state they cant accomplish the mission with what they have.

And time and time again the Marine Corps happily takes that "old outdated" equipment with fewer men and exceed... There has long been a rivalry between the branches, but maybe its time for the other branches to take a page out of the Corps manual and learn how to do more with less. You could drop military spending by half at least, if not more, by following the Marines lead.

Useless (0)

gmuslera (3436) | about 7 months ago | (#46330567)

Why maintain soldiers if they can make the enemy population do the dirty work for them [firstlook.org] ? Venezuela, Uzbekistan, Syria and other arab countries, and probably more to come, all follow the same pattern. And if well you can't tell when or when not they used the weapon they have and are willing to use, you must assume the worst.

mod 30wn (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330569)

you are a screaming May distUrb other

Not really... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330585)

The DOD is asking for an increase in spending from the sequestration level that congress failed to revise in time. They're framing it this way to muddy the water.

Before US entry into WW II maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330595)

A quick check shows that the US army in '38 was 170K. This is much closer to the size that appeared once Europe got going on its continent-wide urban renewal plan.

Downsizing the military.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330629)

....and increasing the size of Homeland Security.

All well and good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330695)

Until the next Tea Bagger Republican wins the White House and invents WMDs in some third world, oil rich shithole.

He'll tell us we'll be in and out in a year and it'll only cost $60B and will pay for itself. Everyone will believe him, but after 16 years, 8K casualties, and $6T up on smoke we'll still be stuck there.

Cut much, much deeper (1)

swillden (191260) | about 7 months ago | (#46330703)

Here's a better idea: Scale the US Army down to about 100,000, or less. Retain a small full-time force to man the equipment and technology-heavy portions of an army (e.g. armor, artillery and highly-specialized forces), though even most of those can be turned over to national guard forces (especially artillery), and use the rest to form a training and logistics cadre whose job it is to prepare to train and equip an actual army, should we need one.

To make that easier, encourage the unorganized militia to self-train and equip. Expand the Civilian Marksmanship Program, funding more rifle ranges and more competitive shooting events, especially dynamic events like three-gun competitions and others that attempt to simulate the level of fitness and the skills required for combat. Make competitive shooting a widespread high school and college sport.

Of course, a tiny professional army designed to be filled out by quickly recruiting and equipping a large pool of semi-trained civilians is great for defending the nation against invasion, as per the apocryphal quote attributed to Admiral Yamamoto "You cannot invade the mainland United States, there would be a rifle behind every blade of grass", but terrible for projecting force around the world. I happen to think that's a good thing.

This, of course, is a design closer to that which was intended by the authors of the US Constitution.

Cuts made in wrong areas (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46330721)

The bloat in the Pentagon is on such things as $300 toilet. Personell is absolutely the wrong place to make cuts. The cuts to benefit packages will not attract the high quality personnel that is needed by the military. You have some huge white elephants like F35 that could be reduced. Bases are small potatoes in comparison, it is a good deal to keep them open.

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