The shift in the military

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by mchlwalters, Jan 6, 2007.

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  1. mchlwalters

    mchlwalters Banned

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    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-brooks5jan05,0,3406790.column?coll=la-opinion-rightrail

    "The Military Times released its annual poll of active-duty service members, and the results showed something virtually unprecedented: a one-year decline of 10 percentage points in the number of military personnel identifying themselves as Republicans. In the 2004 poll, the percentage of military respondents who characterized themselves as Republicans stood at 60%. By the end of 2005, that had dropped to 56%. And by the end of 2006, the percentage of military Republicans plummeted to 46%. "

    "The poll shows that only 35% of military personnel approve of the president's handling of the war, and three-fourths of those polled say that the military is "stretched too thin to be effective." Anecdotal evidence suggests that many career officers also are skeptical of the administration's approach to combating terrorism and unhappy with its undermining of the norms of the Geneva Convention."
     
  2. mchlwalters

    mchlwalters Banned

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    I don't have the original source (The Military Times poll) but I would love for someone to dig it up if they can find it.
     
  3. USNA69

    USNA69 Banned

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    Temporary I am sure. There is probably a lot of "frustration" in the public perception that they are not "winning" the current war. All it will take is one democratic administration to change their minds. No operating money. Cut back training schedules. Flying around at max conserve in order to squeeze the most flight time out of each gallon of gas. Toilet paper running out three quarters of the way through the fiscal year. Being in the military under the democrats is not a pleasant experience.

    I did find out after I retired and went to work with a construction company doing mostly govt contracts is that both parties spend equally on the military. The Republicans buy weapons and readiness, the democrats build housing and infrastructure (more money into the working end of the economy).
     
  4. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    You ain't whistling Dixie, buddy. :mad:
     
  5. RetNavyHM

    RetNavyHM USN (RET)

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    I'll chime in and and agree with the last two posts as well!!
     
  6. justawife

    justawife Founding Member

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    Right now the PCS budget for AF is nearly zero. They slashed the budget for cleaning so everyone who is not a general now has to clean the their own offices and bathrooms. My spouse is an 0-6 he has generals in his office all the time, it needs to vacuumed but there isn't vacuum to do it. A dust buster didn't hack it. He isn't take mine on the metro.

    Currently the AF is shedding 40,000 people to pay for airplanes, so we will have new planes not enough people to do the missions. The chief wants to change the uniform again.

    I have always thought that the Dems listen to their Generals because they don't want to be soft/stupid on military issues. These people do not. My spouse was at CENTCOM on 9/11, I know how many times the plan was redone with fewer troops then they wanted. These people don't seem to know that many of the of the rules are written in blood.
     
  7. mchlwalters

    mchlwalters Banned

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    Let's look at the Clinton Administration. It is obvious to say that he wasn't popular and let's look at why. From my viewpoint.

    1. By the time Clinton came in to office the Cold War was over. It would be foolish to keep up the type of spending on the Arms Race as under Reagan since the Soviet Union was done with. IMO, the military was upset that there was a cut in funding because its their gravy train, but it was what had to be done. Clinton recognized that in the new post Cold War era there wouldn't be a war between two countries or hyperpowers if you will, but largely asymmetrical warfare that needed a lighter, more specialized military. This was echoed by Rumsfield, who was hardly a Clintonian liberal. Keep in mind Republicans controlled funding (Congress) for 75 percent of Clinton's Administration and they obviously passed it in.

    2. The Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy. Clinton was between a rock and a hard place. He couldn't put an outright ban on gays in the military because that would bring in tons of lawsuits because it violates equal rights and it would be immoral. I think the military probably would be pushing for the aforementioned stance that Clinton would not take for obvious reasons. If he allowed gays publicly in the military, this would alienated some in the military brass. So he took the middle ground. It wasn't perfect. But the other two options would have been worse. There was no alternate. IF you looked at the article, many in the military is Southern and Rural, and if you look at the margins in which civil unions lost in Southern States, it has to do more with homophobia then a "foolish Democrat."

    3. The nature of military incursions had more of a humanitarian bent in much of the world and incursions involved surgical strikes at selected targets. I think Clinton saw terrorism, at least terrorism at home, as more of a law enforcement issue than a military issue of invading countries full scale. Our present situation in Iraq adds to the value of this statement in showing that large-scale military attacks to combat terrorism isn't a grand idea.
     
  8. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    Here's some quotes from the Navytimes: www.navytimes.com
    -Must be a subscriber to log in:

    "For the first time, more troops disapprove of the president’s handling of the war than approve of it. Barely one-third of service members approve of the way the president is handling the war, according to the 2006 Military Times Poll."

    "When the military was feeling most optimistic about the war — in 2004 — 83 percent of poll respondents thought success in Iraq was likely. This year, that number has shrunk to 50 percent."

    "Only 35 percent of the military members polled this year said they approve of the way Bush is handling the war, while 42 percent said they disapproved."

    "Just as telling, in this year’s poll only 41 percent of the military said the U.S. should have gone to war in Iraq in the first place, down from 65 percent in 2003. That closely reflects the beliefs of the general population today — 45 percent agreed in a recent USA Today/Gallup poll."

    "Almost half of those responding think we need more troops in Iraq than we have there now. A surprising 13 percent said we should have no troops there. As for Afghanistan force levels, 39 percent think we need more troops there. But while they want more troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, nearly three-quarters of the respondents think today’s military is stretched too thin to be effective."

    "Among the respondents, 66 percent have deployed at least once to Iraq or Afghanistan. In the overall active-duty force, according to the Defense Department, that number is 72 percent."

    "While approval of Bush’s handling of the war has plunged, approval for his overall performance as president remains high at 52 percent. While that is down from his high of 71 percent in 2004, it is still far above the approval ratings of the general population, where that number has fallen into the 30s."

    Those are some of the highlights.
     
  9. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    I'd be willing to bet that if a poll was run as follows:

    "What do you, Mr. Soldier, think we should do in Iraq: Continue nationbuilding or simply wipe them off the map?"

    ...the answer would horrify the same people who are now touting this poll, because I can guarantee you they'd want to wipe the slate clean and come home.
     
  10. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    I'm interested in the three nation proposal that some have been talking about. Some for the kurds, some for the shiates (spelling?), and some for the sunni's. I'm not sure how they would split the country and if it would just become a yugoslovia. I think this may be the best option on the table right now.
     
  11. USNA69

    USNA69 Banned

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    Could this maybe perhaps be the primary reason for the poll results?
    Today, we don't have the troops to fight our way out of a paper bag.
     
  12. USNA69

    USNA69 Banned

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    Me too, but it would look like "defeat" and is, therefore, not an option with this administration.
     
  13. mchlwalters

    mchlwalters Banned

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    We're kind of diverging from the topic of the thread, but in the spirit of the conservation splitting into 3 nations is a foolish idea with no likelihood of success. The winning formula is to temporarily increase troops and to get into dialogue with Iraq's neighbors (Iran and Syria). Too bad our neo-con administration refuses to enter into dialogue with Iran and Syria, even though they (neo-cons) got us in this mess in the first place.
     
  14. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    That never happens around here :biggrin: never

    I'm not so sure that it is such a "foolish idea with no chance of success." Although I'm not poly sci genius it would seem to help with one of the major problems in the rebuilding of Iraq: seperating enemies into seperately governed components. I believe it a long road to the point where Shia and Sunni get along in that country. The majority party (I forget which is which at this time of night with football on TV) was the lower tier under Saddam and now that they have the power they appear to want their piece of revenge against the minority.

    I think the troop surge is unlikely to have a long lasting effect. From my understanding they are talking around 30,000 troops. In reality what is that going to accomplish? A real troop surge in my eyes to have an effect would need to be in the hundreds of thousands, not just 30. My feelings of the 'troop surge' at this time is it's like sticking a finger in the dyke. With that said I think it's better than no change.
     
  15. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    3 nations would not work for one BIG reason: resources. The Kurds would get the oil rich north. The Shiites would get the port and oil east. The sunni's would get a desert with nothing there. Oil is the huge problem, you can't split the resources evenly, and none of them want to.
     
  16. mchlwalters

    mchlwalters Banned

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    Hornet pretty much summed up the first main point. The second main point is that there are several mixed cities. Ever hear of Baghdad? Sunni is the minority that had power under Saddam, Shia is the majority that has power now.
     
  17. mchlwalters

    mchlwalters Banned

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    The troop surge is mostly secondary. Opening up diplomatic ties with Iraq's neighbors is the main important idea.
     
  18. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    If only we had entered into a dialogue with Hitler and Tojo.... :rolleyes:
     
  19. mchlwalters

    mchlwalters Banned

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    Noone ever said diplomacy always works or is it the end it be all. However, what you don't understand about dialogue is that you lose nothing. Case in point follows. If you do a troop invasion and it doesn't work you've lost billions of dollars and thousands of lives. If diplomacy fails, you've lost very little, just the cost of flying Condi to Beirut. I'll donate my frequent flyers if neccesary. However, the neocons won't make such a diplomacy initiative.
     
  20. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    WRONG.

    If you attempt diplomacy with someone who has no interest in dealing with you legitimately (as Iran and Syria do not), then what you lose is TIME. The enemy will use that time to strengthen their position while you sit there picking your nose and being strung along by the "diplomats" you're dealing with.

    Stop being so damned naive. You think the idiots who stormed our embassy and held our hostages for 444 days are going to negotiate in good faith? Do you actually think that a regime that repeatedly has called for and threatened the nuclear destruction of Israel can be dealt with through diplomacy? Do you seriously believe that a regime that is funding, training, and supplying the people who are killing our troops are actually going to sit at a table with us and negotiate in good faith?

    Get your head out of the sand before the people you want to practice diplomacy with show up and hack it off for you.

    The only diplomacy these vermin understand is that done at the tip of a sword or with the barrel of a gun. It's stupiduty like "Let's negotiate with them" rather than, "Let's kill them before they kill us" that has been the problem this whole time.
     
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