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NEWS: Troop Shuffle is an Effort to Strengthen and Speed US Influence

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posted on Aug, 18 2004 @ 11:07 AM
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Presi dent Bush's troop realignment appears to be more of a shell game than an actual troop withdrawal. The troop shuffle and suggested base closings are designed to make the "War on Terror" more cost effective for the United States. One of the main details covered in this story seems to be in Germany, where 30,000 troops are expected to be withdrawn, and in South Korea which would lose 12,000 troops. Out of the spotlight is the fact that the US is building more permanent base in sensitive areas where they can respond more quickly than they have in the past.
 


democracynow.org - Evolving Empire: Chalmers Johnson on Bush's Major Troop Realignment
The general outlines of the redeployment plan have been known for months - namely pulling troops out of Germany and South Korea, bringing most of them home, and establishing a series of forward operating posts in Central Asia.

The administration would build training camps and smaller bases mainly in the former Soviet satellites of Eastern Europe that could be used for rapid deployments to the Middle East in a bid to make the military more flexible.

At the same time, they don't say anything about 14 permanent bases being built in Iraq. Four are already built: Tallil Air Base, Baghdad, the one in the north near Mosul and the one over on the border with Syria. They don't say anything about the bases in Jabuti, in the Saharan Desert, in Mali and places like that in our attempt to get some kind of a military base to control the oil in the Gulf of Guinea and numerous other things like this that simply are not mentioned.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


The aim of the United States is to make the military more cost effective, decrease response time, and increase flexibility. In speaking with PBS' Jim Lehrer this week, Rumsfeld said the the emphasis is on the quantity of the troop, when it should be on the quality. He believes that the use of precision aircraft and naval operations replaces the need for having large quantities of troops on the ground.

Rumsfeld further says that the strategy of the US is to have more of what he called firewater command positions. These would not be bases that military members would bring their families to, and may not always have US forces occupying them. Instead, the US will have worked out plans with the host country ahead of time so if needed, the US can have a refueling station, or a launch position for operations when it was needed.

The Bush administration is simply realizing that having troops deployed to a front where the war ended 50 years ago, will not help their current goals in the "War on Terror". It appears that the US is more interested in influencing the Middle Eastern countries, and old Soviet Block and Asian countries are the perfect place to have bases of operations for the US to gain influence in that region.

Additional Sources:
pbs.org - NEWSMAKER: DONALD RUMSFELD

Related ATS Discussions
How may people are in the U.S.A army?
Is Upcoming Troop Redeployment A Harbinger Of Marshall Law?
Broader Middle East strategy.
Do we attack Iran?

[edit on 18-8-2004 by dbates]




posted on Aug, 18 2004 @ 12:31 PM
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Some associates and I were talking just last week about how the gov't might show displeasure with European nations for their lack of support. One way was to withdraw troops and services from say...Germany? See if local economies surrounding those bases don't take a hit.



posted on Aug, 18 2004 @ 12:38 PM
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Well, all of this is really to better the U.S. Military, and make it easier to fight the war, but if Germany feels a pinch in all of this I guess it's just too bad isn't it?



posted on Aug, 18 2004 @ 01:49 PM
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Two questions...

First, what happens after we leave S. Korea and Germany? Meaning: how much money will be saved after we have to engage in the massive environmental cleanup associated with closing a base?

Second, why is the assumption that Rumsfeld is taking, that a military can be run like a business, where employees are laid off (troop reductions) to maintain the bottom line, seem so natural to everyone? If you want to reduce the cost of maintaining an army, then don't build crappy, overpriced weapons systems with no proven track record for billions of dollars. Don't spend billions of dollars being bilked by Halliburton and KBR for essential services. When it comes right down to it, better bullets and weapons systems does not translate into a greater combat effectiveness. You give a soldier $50,000 worth of equipment and he gets shot, you've got $50,000 worth of equipment strapped to a lump of rotting meat. You need to be sure you've got another soldier who is ready to strip that gear off his fallen comrade and wield it to victory. When you've got six guys out there with $1,000,000 of equipment and they get killed and you've lost that equipment and you've got no additional soldiers to go out and reclaim and use that equipment, you're gonna start losing battles.

The army isn't a business and has found success in the fact that it doesn't work all that hard to maintain an arbitrary bottom line. Once we turn our soldiers from fighters to accountants, we're toast. We simply need bodies to throw at some conflicts, not equipment.



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