Tag Archives: military budget

Will a Sex Scandal (terrorist act?) Collapse Our Military Budget

General Allen, who is now commanding our forces in Afghanistan, sent 30,000 pages of personal emails to Jill Kelly, a married socialite and mother of three, during the two year period he has been conducting the Afghanistan war. Ms. Kelly turned General Patraeus, head of America’s Central Intelligence Agency over to the FBI when she received threatening emails from Paula Broadwell, Patraes’s mistress.

Now 30,000 pages amounts to General Allen writing three pages of personal emails to Jill Kelly for every hour of every day of every month that the General was awake in Afghanistan. Not judging his need for personal relations with Jill Kelly, but is anyone concerned that the commander of our armed forces spent this much time not focused on the critical issues of his command?

It has come out that General Allen’s emails were of a “flirtatious nature.” We tend to think our Generals are like steel sheets, unaffected by the horrors of war. Yet three pages of emails per hour per every day of the year seems more like an obsessive response of PTSD to try to forget about how war affects one. I do not see how he can take on his next, larger assignment after displaying such a distracted attention to the men and women in harm’s way in Afghanistan.

America’s two top military officials have been taken down, not by their dalliances, but by the bizarre connection these affairs had to Ms. Kelly. Ms. Broadwell accused Ms. Kelly of “squeezing the General’s leg” under the table. If true, how did Ms. Kelly gain such “close” access to America’s chief spy?

Why would Ms. Kelly be involved so deeply in the lives of America’s top military officials? Why did this married mother of three have such access to and encourage such a distraction like 30,000 pages of emails during America’s war when so many soldiers are in harm’s way? Did Ms. Broadwell’s affair uncover a sexterrorist cell in Tampa? Or Did Ms. Broadwell believe she was instead a patriot helping our nation’s military leaders deal with the stress of war?

And why would Ms. Kelly run to her connection in the FBI when her hand-on-thigh movement was uncovered? Why would this yet undisclosed FBI agent uncover his torso and send pictures to Ms. Kelly? And why would the naked torso FBI agent circumvent his superiors and go to Congress when he felt they would cover up not only his torso but Patraeus’ thigh and Allen’s flirty emails? What is it about this woman that has made all these men cuckoo? And why is this perhaps unintended espionage coming out in the midst of the single most critical debate about the future of our nation’s military budget.

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Filed under American Governance, War

Is It Time to Rethink Our Military Foreign Base Strategy?

Empires have historically extended military reach to extract value from other countries. At the height of its power in 117 AD, Rome maintained 37 foreign military bases within its extended empire. Great Britain had 36 such major bases at its zenith in 1898, quartering troops in major cities of its colonies, the likes of which incited America to revolution. The United States now maintains 37 major bases, similar to other historical empires.

However, America’s military dominance extends well beyond its major bases, or any empire in history. With a military budget of over $1.4 trillion a year, the United States spends twice the budget of all other nations combined, supporting 1,200 bases on foreign soil, controlling 95 percent of the world’s foreign military bases at a cost of $120 billion a year (Not including Iraq and Afghanistan). Our military has grown staggeringly to consume the majority of America’s tax dollars, supporting:
• 2.5 million military personnel
• 800,000 civil service and private hires
• Deployments in 135 countries with bases in 63 countries valued at $700 billion
• 865 foreign bases (Not including 200 in Afghanistan and Iraq, and perhaps an additional 200 unlisted sites)
• 4,400 domestic U.S. military sites
• 22 million acres of owned land and an additional 10 million of leased land
• 845,000 owned buildings

Yet our foreign bases concentrate on outdated strategies of antique wars (735 out of 865 bases) rather than transferring and transforming to future strategic security needs:
• 289 Germany
• 230 Europe (Including 30 NATO, Not Including Germany)
• 129 Japan
• 117 South Korea
• 48 Middle East (Not counting Iraq and Afghanistan)
• 16 strategic supply Islands
• 15 South and Central America
• 6 East Asia (not Including S. Korea and Japan)
• 2 Africa
• 1 Australia

We have built amenities to support our foreign bases such as 230 military golf courses yet have established wasteful and unclear military goals for our foreign bases. As an example, about 200 bases were built in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most of the $2.4 billion was spent building a dozen bases that originally were intended to continue America’s history of establishing outposts in defeated lands. In addition to airports and fortifications, we built 25-meter swimming pools, football and softball fields, full-service gyms, squash courts, and movie theaters. Now, we are preparing to turn these bases over to Iraqis who have shown a propensity to gut and loot our bases only hours after our departure.

If America’s military strategy is to protect the American people, then its foreign base budget is overtly out of line with its mission, and has misplaced priorities outside our national interest. If it is to tamp down on past international aggressors, their American allegiance can in no way justify our current base expenditures. If it our strategy is to continue our pre-globalization era colonization strategies of projecting gunboat diplomacy to control the world’s commodities, it has already been encircled by China’s alternative worldwide strategy of commodity collaboration. If it is to secure our significant share of the world’s energy resources, our unintended destruction of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency is quickly destroying any military control of oil and gas options except for conquest and occupation.

Continuance of our fixed base strategy has outlived Russia’s dominance, sourly witnessed North Korea’s and Iran’s nuclear circumvention, and now faces a Chinese military buildup that will technologically outmaneuver our aging fleets. America cannot be bludgeoned by our political system that continues to waste precious military expenditures on outdated military structures at the expense of a national strategy to propel us much more cost effectively into a more militarily secure future that stresses agility as opposed to foreign fortresses.

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Filed under National Security, War