Lack of U.S. Military Combat Strength

Stephen A. Frye safrye at CONCENTRIC.NET
Mon Feb 2 11:56:49 MST 1998

>I have spoken to several military personnel since Clinton was elected and I
>have not yet found one that was happy with the situation.

I agree totally.  But look back into the 70's and 80's.  That's when the
major cuts began.  The 80's are when the base closures were first ordered.
These problems have not all begun just since Clinton's election.  He is
simply following the bad trend started years ahead of him.  That is the
point I have been trying to make.

>and when she came home she told me he said he retired because did not like
>serving under a man who protesting in Europe and hanging out in Moscow
>while he was in the jungles of Vietnam.

I find it difficult to believe that would be the only reason, but I respect
his personal choice.  On the other hand, I have yet to talk with one who
has voiced that opinion.

>>He didn't like
>the cuts in budgets for repairs and maintainance on equipment.

Those cuts have been going on since the 70's.  Nothing new there.  Senator
Lott said the republicans believe in a strong military.  I haven't noticed
that in their budget proposals.

I also didn't notice any presidents in the 80's vetoing the huge budget
cuts to the military or the many base closures and personnel cutbacks.

>They are having to offer bonuses because they're having trouble convincing
>people to re enlist.

The military has been offering re-enlistment bonuses since the 70's.  It is
nothing new.

>They're taking only the best people now and not the
>misfits who can't get a job anywhere else for one reason - they don't need
>as many people now because of the downsizing in the military.  It works
>like this:  If you need 1million people and you have 800,000 smart people
>and millions of misfits then you have to take some of the people who are
>less than desirable.  If you only need 700,000 people then you can take
>only the best.

I understand all of this, but I am missing the point you are trying to make.

>Then you run into another problem.  Some of these people realize they can
>make a whole lot more money in civilian life and don't have to worry about
>getting shot at work (except for cops and postal workers).  These people
>knowing they can get a better deal in civilian life dont re enlist.  They
>look at all the reasons for staying in and all the reasons for leaving and
>decide to leave.

This is definitely not Mr. Clinton's fault.  This economic choice has been
a fact of life for decades.

>I've seen the same thing in comapnies I've worked for.  I've worked at
>places where the pay wasn't good, the company had little regard for the
>employees and wouldn't spend the money needed to properly maintain
>equipment.  I would work at such places until I could find something better
>and quit.

So maybe we'll see this congress - which talks a belief in a strong
military - propose a budget which will act on that belief.  My guess is
that it is all just that - talk.  Maybe that's a good use for the surplus!

Stephen Frye

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