COMMENTARY | On Thursday, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta unveiled a plan that he stated will reduce the size of the military while still being able to maintain the United States' military objectives. According to a CNN report, the plan would make it so the US would not be able to fight two large wars at the same time. In my opinion, it's too little too late. It also reeks of pandering to potential voters on Obama's side of the fence.
Part of the proposal, as stated in an Associated Press report, will be a cutback in defense spending. I'm assuming the idea is if they don't have the money for more soldiers they won't be able to send them to fight. It's nonsense to believe that. After the first Gulf War, when there was a massive drawdown of the entire armed forces; we were still able to send troops to multiple locations anyway. So this promise of a military wide drawdown should not impress people that much.
The whole promise of the United States government saying it is going to take the ability away from itself to fight two wars at the same time is a very confusing message. Now that we just got ourselves out of one war that cost thousands of American lives, countless others wounded and billions of dollars; now they decide to do a drawdown? It's sort of like how American forces were in Iraq for nine years, saying that the US needed to make sure the Iraqi people were ready to handle things on their own. The tire tracks from the last Humvee out of the country weren't even printed into the ground and there was violence.
This whole drawdown could have been done years ago. It may have saved some lives. The announcement of a potential military wide drawdown is even contradicting itself even before it is really becoming public knowledge. In a quote from a Washington Post report, a Pentagon official was noted as saying that any cuts to U.S. ground forces must be gradual and reversible. Sounds like election pandering to me. They are putting out a commitment to put fewer troops in harm's way, but want the ability to bring them back if a situation requires it. So while this is a promise with good intentions, it is one that can be taken back at any time.
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