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Old 04-25-2007, 03:01 PM   #211
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Originally posted by Irvine511




no, you've missed the point and continue to present a statistic that has nothing to do with the necessity or prudence of military spending. the best way to compare is not thorugh GDP but in inflation adjusted real dollars.

GDP has nothing to do with this.

not even a little bit.

your definition of "national security" is complete bogus.

this invasion has killed more Americans, and done more to damage the abilities of the US to project soft and hard power, than Saddam could have ever dreamed of being able to do.
Fundamental US national security concerns in the Persian Gulf have not changed since the late 1940s. The crippling effect on the global economy that the siezure or sabotage of Persian Gulf oil would have on the rest of the world would dwarf the cost of the current war. In addition, allowing Saddam to re-arm his military with new weapons over time would increase the casualty levels for the United States in any potential conflict. Without the sanctions and weapons embargo, non-compliance on WMD disarmament, plus the lack of permanent stationing of large US forces in the region, regime change was the only way to solve the problem.

In order to caculate the burden any level of spending has on a country, you must compare that level of spending to the country's GDP. The country today has more wealth to spend on other non-defense issues than it did in the 1980s. In fact, total spending on defense and the wars is only 33% above where spending was in 1999, the lowest level of defense spending in the 1990s, as a percentage of GDP. That is the issue being discussed, the burden of military spending on the country.

Just comparing inflation adjusted defense spending levels will often produce inaccurate results. You could not buy the same size and relative capability of the United States military in 1945 even with a figure that was adjusted for inflation. The United States spent $111 Billion dollars on defense in 1945 and had a military force of 16 million, tens of thousands of tanks, other vehicles, planes, ships, aircraft carriers etc. Adjusted into 2006 dollars, that total would be $1,232 Billion, about double of what the United States is spending on the military and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2006. Simply doubling US defense spending today would not give you the same size forces and relative capability of the forces in 1945 vs other nations. The United States would have to spend far more than just $1,232 Billion to arrive at a force the size of the one it had in 1945.

While you would do better with such a comparison between the 1980s and now, the fact that the United States is in the middle of a war and was not in the 1980s is an enormous difference between these two time periods. Much of the equipment bought during the 1980s such as tanks and armored personal carriers were purchased and then used at a peacetime rate normal for training and other purposes. Lots of training is often done with simulators. In war time though, Equipment is used at rates that are more than 10 times greater than they are used in peacetime. This results in break down of equipment which must be fixed, parts replaced etc as well as the loss of vehicles from combat or other factors that don't exist to this degree in peacetime. The military only had to purchase x number of tanks, artillery, and other vehicles to outfit its divisions in the 1980s and could use those same vehicles throughout the decade without the need for purchasing large numbers of full replacements or parts at the massive rate needed in an extended war. The 1980s was still a peacetime environment that did not involve the cost of fighting extended multiple wars.
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Old 04-25-2007, 03:11 PM   #212
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Originally posted by Vincent Vega


Quite to the contrary, it was always stressed that it was not about oil, and that there was no interest in the oil. Nobody believed them, and the term Blood for Oil was very popular around the world, but the administration said over and over again that oil was no reason for the invasion.

And now Sting has no problem to repeat over and over again how important it was to secure the oil in that region, and how serious a threat Saddam was for the oil.
There was no interest in the oil in the sence that the United States was not invading Iraq for the purpose of helping Exxon/Mobile. This was the laughable claim of many critics of the administration. The concern was Saddam's WMD capability and the collapse of the containment regime, both of which were important factors in defending Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and yes their oil reserves which are vital to the global economy.
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Old 04-25-2007, 04:05 PM   #213
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Originally posted by Irvine511
listen, in some ways, it's all very simple.

the idea of taking out Saddam Hussein is not a new one. it had been discussed since the end of Gulf War 1 within the intelligence community and the military community. a policy of containment and sabre-rattling defined the 1990s, and in a weakened state, most thought it best to contain Saddam rather than confront him. further, while there were many strategic benefits to taking out Saddam, there were enormous risks in taking him out -- the cauldron of ethnic violence being just one of them -- and many saw some strategic advantages to keeping him in power as he effectively contained Iran.

the debate went backwards and forwards, but most came to the conclusion that the risks involved in taking out SH outweighed the potential benefits.

then 9-11 happened, and the Bush administration -- filled with people from the AEI and the Project for a New American Century -- manipulated this national tragedy to create a sense of crisis and urgency and overstate the danger SH presented to individual Americans. this is where the WMD issue came into being -- no talk about persian gulf oil, regional stability, arab democracy, etc., was going to be able to convince Joe and Jane American to send their sons and daughters to Iraq to die. thus, we had Cheney and Scooter driving across the Potomac every Wednesday in 2002 to check in on the CIA analysts (this is well documented) and how their "assessments" of the threat was coming along.

and you know what then happened.

and it turns out that the skeptics of the removal of SH were correct. what has happened has not justified his removal. we have a worse situation today than we did in 2001, and there's been tremendous damage to US soft and hard power as the US sits at it's lowest standing internationally since the late 1970s. Bush is no Truman; Bush is the flip side of Carter -- where Carter's passivity emasculated the US, Bush's belligerance has made us fall on our own sword.

and, tragically, the biggest crises facing the planet -- global AIDS, global warming, Israel/Palestine, NoKo, genocide in Africa -- are precisely the issues that would benefit most from effective US engagement. the US, for all it's myriad faults, has been a force for good in the world, and it may be once again. but the damage done to the US by this foolish invasion and years of now laughable bellicosity will take decades to undo.
Early on, it is true that most people supported containment. It was felt that given the defeat that Saddam suffered in 1991, he would never again challenge the West and would likely be gone within 5 years, replaced by a more moderate Sunni leader with no hostile intentions towards Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Initially, Saddam complied with the weapons inspectors and the dismantlement of his WMD capability. But Saddam's behavior in regards to disarmament changed in the late 1990s until finally he ended all cooperation. In addition, the country's that had initially supported the sanctions and weapons embargo slowly started to break them.

By 2000-2002, a situation had developed where Saddam was in total violation of the disarmament issue he had agreed to comply with, plus the sanctions and weapons embargo, so vital to containing Saddam had crumbled. If Saddam had not complied with the UN Ceacefire Agreement in March 1991 and it was viewed that sanctions and a weapons embargo would not be possible, US forces which were only 100 miles south of Baghdad at that time would have moved in on the capital.

The point here is that you could only avoid the need for regime change if Saddam cooperated fully with disarmament of WMD and the sanctions and weapons embargo remained in place. Without those two factors, you run the risk of repeating August of 1990 given that so few US troops could be stationed on the ground there on a permanent basis. Sending 150,000 troops to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in late 1994 was far more than just sabre rattling, but a response to a serious potential risk to US national security. The level of bombing done by the Clinton administration in late 1998 on Iraq is not something you do to a country that is weak and not a threat as so many liberals claim.

Without Saddam's compliance plus the crumbling of the containment regime, the only way to insure security was regime change. Containment can't work when its key components are no longer in place.

Joe and Jane America actually realize that there are threats to the United States that go well beyond simply protecting US borders unlike many democrats and liberals. Thats why they supported the largest deployment of US troops anywhere in the world since World War II in 1990/1991. Thats why they supported the 1991 Gulf war, despite the fact that the vast majority of Democrats did not support that war. Thats why Joe and Jane America re-elected George Bush in 2004. It is only the difficulties of a long nationbuilding and counterinsurgency task plus the Democrats carefully cherry picked attempts to undercut the need for the war, that have turned public opinion against it at the current time which is what Sunni Insurgents and Al Quada want to see.

The situation for fundamental US security concerns in the Persian Gulf, the security of oil in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, is better than it has been in decades and far better than it was in 2001 when Saddam had 430,000 troops, 2,700 tanks, 2,000 Armored Personal carriers, 2,500 artillery pieces, over 300 combat aircraft, thousands of unaccounted for stocks of WMD, virtually no effective sanctions or weapons embargo preventing him from starting to re-arm his military with new weapons. You must look at the situation from the perspective of defending Kuwait, the country that Saddam's invasion caused the largest deployment of US troops anywhere in the World since World War II. Kuwaits ability to defend itself from any hostile element within Iraq has never been this good. No hostile element inside Iraq, unlike Saddam's military capability in 2001, even has a fraction of the combat strength required for a cross border invasion of Kuwait.

US led alliances have remained intact and continue to help throughout the world. The idea that US "soft and hard power" is at its lowest point since the 1970s is a delusion. Country's all over the world continue to cooperate with the United States on a wide range of issues. International trade, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan as well as helping victims of natural disasters, all have elements and levels of interational cooperation and engagement that did not exist in the 1970s. The world community has never shown the level of unity about Iranian nuclear activities that it is currently showing.

Addressing global warming, aids in Africa, genocide in Africa and many other issues can only be done by the United States and the world community from a position of security and prosperity. A severe economic depression caused by an oil disruption in the Persian Gulf or some other disaster would prevent the United States and the world from helping these other issues. Only a United States that remains strong and secure will be able to provide help and solutions to many of the worlds humanitarian problems. These are all important issues, but US national security and global economic security come before them, because without them, helping out would be impossible.
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Old 04-25-2007, 05:23 PM   #214
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The ultimate "liberal" dichotomy, there is of course the third option of not spending it at all.
An equally relevant and valid option, of course. But we're talking about the US here.
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Old 04-25-2007, 05:25 PM   #215
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Originally posted by STING2

Joe and Jane America actually realize that there are threats to the United States that go well beyond simply protecting US borders unlike many democrats and liberals.


STING, you are truly a comedy routine.

So Joe and Jane America = Republicans and conservatives and everyone else = those other stupid people that happen to live in our country.
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Old 04-25-2007, 05:58 PM   #216
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Originally posted by STING2

Joe and Jane America actually realize that there are threats to the United States that go well beyond simply protecting US borders unlike many democrats and liberals. Thats why they supported the largest deployment of US troops anywhere in the world since World War II in 1990/1991. Thats why they supported the 1991 Gulf war, despite the fact that the vast majority of Democrats did not support that war. Thats why Joe and Jane America re-elected George Bush in 2004. It is only the difficulties of a long nationbuilding and counterinsurgency task plus the Democrats carefully cherry picked attempts to undercut the need for the war, that have turned public opinion against it at the current time which is what Sunni Insurgents and Al Quada want to see.

shameless. you're a total coward.

this is not just incorrect, it's indefensible and irresponsible.

but continue to lay the groundwork to blame the democrats when the incompetents you've supported come crawling out of Iraq.

no one, but NO ONE, has turned Joe and Jane American against the war -- and do you really think Joe and Jane American would have supported an invaison of iraq in 1991 or is that why Bush 1 turned around at the border -- except for the obvious fact that the people you support were completely wrong in their decision to go to war and then astonishingly incompetent in their prosecution of the post-war.

blame NO ONE BUT YOURSELF.

at leats be a man and admit that its YOUR FAULT the public has turned against the war. just take a small amount of responsibility for the positions you've advocated and the people you've defended.

the American people are against the war because there is no end to the war, the incompetency -- from the looting to the disbanding of the military to the firing of the Baathists to the Bremer administration to the disregard for the sectarian tensions that you continue to ignore while chasing Al-Qaeda boogeymen -- they never signed on for a prolonged occupation, they never signed on to police a civil war, they, and they never signed on to be mislead by a ruthless vice-president who deliberately doctored intelligence and then shamlessly manufactured a sense of urgency in regards to the specific threat Saddam's fictitious WMDs presented to the American homeland.

that is one major reason why the American people threw the republicans out of washington in 2006 -- but, as always, elections are never decided upon a single issue, much as you'd like to make Bush's narrow victory in 2004 about Iraq. 2006 was about more than Iraq, it was about competency in general -- witness Hurrican Katrina -- and corruption at large.

but continue with your myopia. it's the only way to continue to support the senseless slaughter in Iraq.
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Old 04-25-2007, 07:17 PM   #217
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Originally posted by anitram




STING, you are truly a comedy routine.

So Joe and Jane America = Republicans and conservatives and everyone else = those other stupid people that happen to live in our country.
I interpreted these comments the same way myself.
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Old 04-25-2007, 07:19 PM   #218
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Originally posted by STING2
The concern was Saddam's WMD capability and the collapse of the containment regime, both of which were important factors in defending Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and yes their oil reserves which are vital to the global economy.
yep....that containment collapsed....look at all the WMD we found.
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Old 04-25-2007, 07:35 PM   #219
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yep....that containment collapsed....look at all the WMD we found.
Because they shipped them to Syria silly! Outstanding results no matter how you look at it.
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Old 04-25-2007, 07:48 PM   #220
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Because they shipped them to Syria silly! Outstanding results no matter how you look at it.
Oh yeah, and why aren't we going after them?
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Old 04-25-2007, 08:14 PM   #221
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Because what happens in Iraq, stays in Iraq; so much of the materials of Saddams weapons programs is still unnacounted for, and regime change doesn't alter that fact.
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Old 04-25-2007, 08:33 PM   #222
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Originally posted by Irvine511



shameless. you're a total coward.

this is not just incorrect, it's indefensible and irresponsible.

but continue to lay the groundwork to blame the democrats when the incompetents you've supported come crawling out of Iraq.

no one, but NO ONE, has turned Joe and Jane American against the war -- and do you really think Joe and Jane American would have supported an invaison of iraq in 1991 or is that why Bush 1 turned around at the border -- except for the obvious fact that the people you support were completely wrong in their decision to go to war and then astonishingly incompetent in their prosecution of the post-war.

blame NO ONE BUT YOURSELF.

at leats be a man and admit that its YOUR FAULT the public has turned against the war. just take a small amount of responsibility for the positions you've advocated and the people you've defended.

the American people are against the war because there is no end to the war, the incompetency -- from the looting to the disbanding of the military to the firing of the Baathists to the Bremer administration to the disregard for the sectarian tensions that you continue to ignore while chasing Al-Qaeda boogeymen -- they never signed on for a prolonged occupation, they never signed on to police a civil war, they, and they never signed on to be mislead by a ruthless vice-president who deliberately doctored intelligence and then shamlessly manufactured a sense of urgency in regards to the specific threat Saddam's fictitious WMDs presented to the American homeland.

that is one major reason why the American people threw the republicans out of washington in 2006 -- but, as always, elections are never decided upon a single issue, much as you'd like to make Bush's narrow victory in 2004 about Iraq. 2006 was about more than Iraq, it was about competency in general -- witness Hurrican Katrina -- and corruption at large.

but continue with your myopia. it's the only way to continue to support the senseless slaughter in Iraq.
The United States DID invade Iraq in 1991 and yes your Joe and Jane America supported it. US troops came within 100 miles of Baghdad and the largest tank battle since World War II occured in Iraq.

Two years ago, the majority of Americans still supported the war and George Bush was re-elected by the first majority for a president since 1988. When the country is at war, the #1 issue is always the war and both the election and polls at the time show that a majority of Americans still supported it, despite the constant flow of Hollywood films attacking the war. As with all nationbuilding and counter insurgency operations, the insurgency depends on the fact that the occupier will be forced to withdraw prematurely because of the cost and time it takes to complete such an operation. That political opposition would mount in such a situation is natural. But its certainly been helped by those that go out of their way to try an undercut the policy. Pre-mature withdrawal is the potential result, which helps Al Quada and other elements in Iraq that are hostile to the United States and its allies.

Most informed people understood that going into Iraq would involve a deployment lasting for years. The United States still had troops in Bosnia, Kosovo as well as Afghanistan. A date was never set for the return of all US troops. Yes, many mistakes were made. Few wars are devoid of mistakes. But none of those mistakes changes the necessity for regime change in Iraq or the need to rebuild the country to prevent a return of hostile elements as well as preventing Al Quada from gaining a safe haven in the country.

As for a plan for Iraq, Democrats want to withdraw all combat forces from Iraq by 2008. The highest area of Al Quada activity is in Iraq, and Democrats insist on removing all US combat troops quickly and sending some of them to Afghanistan, where there is virtually no Al Quada activity. The Democrats approve General Petraeus being the commander in Iraq, but then do everything to undercut the policy he is pursuing. How will withdrawing US combat forces from Iraq improve the United States ability to target Al Quada in Iraq? Who will replace US and coalition combat forces that peform vital security task everyday within the country? The Iraqi military needs at least another 4 years of development, but Democrats appear to believe that the Iraqi military is ready to stabilize the country on its own.

Say what you will about the ethnic and tribal nature of the conflict in Iraq, the situation is even more tribal in Afghanistan. There is certainly a much stronger Iraqi identity, than there is an Afghan one. Yet, Democrats will make these criticisms about Iraq and completely ignore the fact that these conditions exist in Afghanistan to a much greater degree. Al Quada is essentially in-active in Afghanistan, but somehow, the Afghanistan mission needs to continue and the mission in Iraq must be abandoned, according to Democrats in congress.

The Democrats only have one goal, and that is to win in 2008. To hell with a sound policy that addresses and works to solve US security problems, its all about withdrawing US combat forces as soon as possible and pretending some how that things will be better and that the Iraqi military will be able to take over from coalition forces as soon as they leave. The greatest area of Al Quada activity, and Democrats want to withdraw US combat forces from the area, giving Al Quada its first safe haven since before 9/11. The Democrats don't have a strategy to secure America and its interest, they have strategy to win an election based on the temporary political popularity of certain policies no matter how dangerous such policies will prove for America in the long run.
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Old 04-25-2007, 08:37 PM   #223
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Most informed people understood that going into Iraq would involve a deployment lasting for years.
Unfortunately informed does not a majority make; unless the fighting is done by cheap robots its politically unsustainable.
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Old 04-25-2007, 08:49 PM   #224
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yep....that containment collapsed....look at all the WMD we found.
The containment regime that was designed in 1991, while it did work for most of the 1990s, had collapsed by the time of the 2003 invasion. There were no sanctions restrictions and weapons embargo restrictions along the entire border with Syria. Saddam had failed to account for thousands of stocks of WMD. Investigations after the initial invasion while they did not find such weapons found plenty of WMD programs that were still active, and in violation of the resolutions. These programs were never presented to inspectors prior to the invasion further showing Saddam's intentions. With the collapse of sanctions and the weapons embargo, it was only a matter of time before Saddam would successfully re-arm with more advanced conventional and non-conventional weapons. The only policy that would prevent that from happening given the collapse of containment was regime change. Regime change was the only way to insure full and complete disarmament given Saddam's behavior the state of containment.
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Old 04-25-2007, 10:03 PM   #225
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And the broken record continues. Some may even call it consistency. Just like Bush, Sting here believes the same thing on Wednesday as he did on Monday, no matter what happened Tuesday! (thank you, Mr. Colbert)

A few interesting articles worth reading:

http://www.foreignaffairs.org/200705...ikes-back.html - Al Qaeda Strikes Back

Very lengthy and in depth article, but here is their quick summary:
Quote:
By rushing into Iraq instead of finishing off the hunt for Osama bin Laden, Washington has unwittingly helped its enemies: al Qaeda has more bases, more partners, and more followers today than it did on the eve of 9/11. Now the group is working to set up networks in the Middle East and Africa -- and may even try to lure the United States into a war with Iran. Washington must focus on attacking al Qaeda's leaders and ideas and altering the local conditions in which they thrive. Al Qaeda is a more dangerous enemy today than it has ever been before...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...064703,00.html - The last thing the Middle East's main players want is US troops to leave Iraq

The gist of the second is this:
Quote:
while the US can no longer successfully manipulate regional actors to carry out its plans, regional actors have learned to use the US presence to promote their own objectives. Quietly and against the deeply held wishes of their populations, they have managed to keep the Americans engaged with the hope of some elusive victory.
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