'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

11 January 2011

Another hit, and "Restoring America's Future"

Well my friends, our little family took another hit today. The Six called it when he said this was going to be a tough year. I'm not going to go into details just yet, but our situation is going to put off any significant blogging for a bit longer yet.

That all being said, however, my real goal is not one of sorrow, but rather one of joy. Dad created this space as a place to vent his frustrations, and in the year and a half it's been up and running, it has become so much more. Political frustration and discourse aside, this has become a safe place of shared sorrow and of joy, a place to bang heads on tables and to put up a collective cheer. To say that this wouldn't have been possible without all of you is not only obvious it's silly. However, it's also true. That you take the time to comment, to peruse past and empathize, to read with interest, has been an amazing blessing. That we live in a nation (well, most of us!) that allows us the freedom to interact with one another in an open and honest way is amazing; it is both a gift and duty to use such freedom. Dad's desire to speak out was partially to vent spleen, and partially to be a part of the voice of the people, and that in itself is a testament to the power of the ideals held by the founders of this great nation.

With that I'm going to mention something that painfully affects the military and yet has been widely overlooked. I'm not in a state to write much, but I did want to point everyone to the "Restoring America's Future" proposal put out by Obama's Debt Reduction Task Force. I'm very much the fiscal conservative, and I embrace the idea of cutting spending, I just want those cuts to be show to the public, and to be talked about.

Included in the proposal is cutting the billets for 275,000 soldiers, "reforming cost sharing" for Tricare (meaning military families would pay more out of pocket for their medical care, which they state outright on pg 102), and "transitioning from the current military retirement system to one more similar to that in which federal civil servants participate" (think 401k, no cash till retirement age, and time in service requirements of between 30 and 40 years, with an addendum of a new 10 year partial retirement option). (pg. 100-101 for both quotes). Oh, and they want to change the intelligence community quite a bit, including the "greater use of commercial imagery." Cause why get our own imagery when we can just get it from Google instead?

Those 275,000 they want to fire?

"Reduce active duty end strength by 275,000, of which 92,000 would come from reversing the ground force buildup of the past ten years, 80,000 would come from withdrawing additional U.S. forces in Western Europe and East Asia, and 100,000 would come from eliminating infrastructure positions held by uniformed personnel in the Department of Defense."

Meaning we slowly pull out of Europe and Asia, and farm out more military positions to civil contractors. Which, honestly, I get. As much as I love being in Europe, there isn't a drastic and driving need for us to be here in the numbers we are. But the point here is that Afghanistan is still very problematic (to say the least) and there are still troops in Iraq, yet they want to draw down military numbers over the next 5 years. Overseas assignments keep moral up, and interactions with civilian contractors can be tricky.

The one I'm shakingly angry about, though, is the greater burden put on military family when it comes to health care. Not because my co-pays go up, but because of all the rhetoric I hear about how we must push for the "right" to free health care to be extended to all, yet the privilege already extended to the military is going to be drawn down.

As this is just a proposal many of the above items aren't fleshed out; however there are interesting conversations being had about what this will all mean. The military aspects are but a few of the topics covered, and there is much interesting information lurking in the linked pdf. I haven't had the time to go through it all, but I'll be putting in on the kindle to read, that's for sure.

~The DO


Ed Rasimus said...

There was never much doubt about the inevitable dropping of both shoes by the Bamster and Gates with regard to the military disappearing. The promises made to those who served were expedients of the time and not binding on the panderers of the moment.

Most significantly though, I've got to disagree about the need for forces in significant numbers in both Europe and Asia. While the immediate requirement to do battle is waning the maintenance of relationships with host nation militaries and alliances is invaluable. Keeping current on capabilities of facilities available for contingencies is critical. When you pull back out of Europe and Asia you make points with the pacifist welfare crowd but you set yourself up for losing the next war. Response time in the modern world is close to zero.

The DO said...

I appreciate your view points, Ed. I know that we need to drop spending, but this seems to be a cruel way to do it. Where this proposal also increases the co-pay of Medicare and Medicaid, it seems to specifically target the military and that is a scary idea. Beck talks about the need to control the military, and this proposal certainly seems to prove your point of trying to make our superiority, if nothing else, disappear. It's going to be an interesting year!

Ed Rasimus said...

I'm not sure I've heard from Beck about controlling the military. I can't watch him since he became overly sincere and repentant.

But, the military is quite well controlled. It has long been controlled by the political process that must be mastered to become a general officer. The list of "Perfumed Princes of the Pentagon" grows longer each year will the warriors are weeded out by witch hunts and political correctness. Mullen? Wes Clark? Tony McPeake? You've got to search for a Peter Pace, Tommy Frank, Chuck Horner or Norm Scwartzkopf. They seldom are across the Potomac from the capitol.

LauraB said...

I will say this: the only people who deserve and should get health care for life are those who serve.

And this: No matter the impact on
world politics and our response time...I think we will need every able body home. I have long considered that the lengthy duty and recurring internecine battles were merely to ensure the ranks were reduced and the moral individual stretched thin so that they were less effective when they got home.

But then...that's just me. I could be wrong.