Bring troops home where they belong

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I watched the president's address to the nation about the planned draw-down of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

I understand that 10,000 troops are to be home by the end of this year, and 33,000 total will be home by next summer.

As a lifelong U.S. citizen for over 52 years, I would like to say the following about these two wars and how they relate to our nation's history:

I truly believe that fighting World War I and World War II was absolutely necessary to our nation's security. I truly do not -- I repeat, do not -- believe that fighting in Korea, Vietnam or Kuwait was necessary to the security of our nation!

If my understanding of the history of these wars is correct, Korea and Vietnam were fought to prevent the spread of communism to South Korea and South Vietnam. The war in Kuwait was fought to drive Saddam Hussein out of a country that he wrongly invaded.

Considering that these three countries are so, so far from the United States, I do not see how these wars were even conceivably or remotely fought to protect our nation's security!

Now, the overpaid, underworked and clueless government officials in Washington, D.C., are continuing to force tens of thousands of American Troops into harm's way for absolutely no good reason!

It is well past time for our so-called government officials to stop being war-mongers and bring all our troops home to safety and to their families, where they all belong!

Timothy Monroe Bledsoe

North Augusta, S.C.

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faithson
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faithson 07/12/11 - 12:22 am
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Mr. Bledsoe; I think you need

Mr. Bledsoe; I think you need to understand the Military Industrial complex and the power it commands to understand our nation's propensity to make war, or shall I say, jobs, jobs and more jobs... let alone the kick back money.

blackindependent
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blackindependent 07/12/11 - 08:34 am
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Mr Bledsoe, twenty years

Mr Bledsoe, twenty years before you were born a majority of Americans felt DIFFERENTLY than you do about WWII. The national mood was exactly as yours is about the wars we have going on today. "Stay out of foreign wars that do not involve us", and "Great Britain is too far away to affect our security. There were anti war demonstrations that made the Viet Nam era look tame. For five whole years we hid behind our distance imposed security blanket while Britain was almost bombed into oblivion. Then, the Japanese, emboldened by the successes of the Axis war machine, attacked Pearl Harbor and suddenly we want to fight.

As noble and right as that war was, I wonder how many hundreds of thousands of previously pacifist American boys would NOT have had to die at Normandy and in the Pacific had we helped Britain stave off the Nazis a few years sooner, what a few thousand more planes and about a third of the troops that are in the Mideast today.

What you seem to forget is that the world is no longer so big that we can isolate ourselves only to those military actions that touch our soil. If we ignore or abandon everyone's call for our help, what would we have done at Pearl Harbor or on Spe 11, 2001? We do not produce enough oil to get our planes, ships and tanks across the Atlantic Ocean on a sustained basis to attack those Al Qaeda (oh. Maybe you don't think there was reason enough to do that). We could not fight the terrorists without the use of bass in FOREIGN LANDS that allow us to use their air and land space.

Right now almost everything we buy is made in a foreign country. What do we do if we lost all the friends ( and even our Chinese financial benefactors) that we support overseas?

Sure, we can stay out of everything that goes on everywhere else, but sooner or later the bad guys of the world will continue to grow, annexing those nations which, unlike ours, don't have the military power to defend themselves.

As a long retired member, I feel our military is capable of defending us against any nation on the Earth today. I don NOT, however, think that we could defend ourselves more than a few months against every other nation on the face of the Earth combined.

Sometimes I wonder if that would even be enough for some people to contemplate going to war.
P.S. In case you didn't know, we have an ALL VOLUNTEER military and while they CAN be "forced" to serve where they might not want to, when they VOLUNTEER, they are placing themselves in that position voluntarily. They could always just stay home and blog.
Regarding the comments of "faithson"

Dixieman
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Dixieman 07/12/11 - 08:46 am
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Yeah, bring the troops back

Yeah, bring the troops back home to America! After all, they shouldn't be used to fight overseas!! They should just...well, hang around the barracks?
This letter makes no sense at all. You never want to fight on your own soil if it is at all possible to avoid that by taking the fight to the enemy on his turf, and troops are not useful unless they are deployed.

sgmret
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sgmret 07/12/11 - 08:56 am
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It does sound nice "Bring the

It does sound nice "Bring the troops home", but it is not a safe world out there. I know some will say it is not our job to police the world. I like to think that we are doing all this for our own interest.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 07/12/11 - 09:13 am
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Dixieman, I know where you

Dixieman, I know where you are coming from because I was there as you were, but times have changed. We simply can't fight half-way wars with troops on the ground being injured and killed that affects our society in so many ways for decades.

After 9-11 we should have carpet bombed a few major cities in Afghanistan, Iran and, yes, Saudi Arabia like Curtis LeMay did to Dresden in WWII. We should have said, "That's punishment for allowing your people to attack us. Anymore attacks and more cities will disappear."

I'll bet those countries would do something we can't do with trillions of dollars and the lives of tens of thousands of Americans. They would turn their countries upside down riding it of extremists who attack America.

Chillen
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Chillen 07/12/11 - 09:19 am
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Random thoughts. Yes, it is

Random thoughts.

Yes, it is time for us to bring the troops home (you conveniently left out obama's new 3rd war in Libya). We can certainly use them on the southern border to stop the invasion of illegal immigrants.

We need to bring them home so that we can save money. ALL foreign aid, wars, unnecessary military bases, etc. should be eliminated. We are at the threshold of a massive depression & we need the money for ourselves right now.

Troop deaths in the middle east are at all time high. Where is the media? When Bush was president, we were given grim daily details on each individual who perished. Oh, I forgot, there is a progressive agenda to protect.

Does anyone really believe that obama will bring these troops home? Or is he just in campaign mode and saying what his "base" wants him to say because he is at serious risk for losing his position next November (thankfully).

Lastly, due to progressives & pansies, we are no longer allowed to unleash the full potential of our military. We tip toe around the countryside, being careful not to damage or hurt anything/anyone. If we do, the military is blasted by the media & individual soldiers are brought up on charges. They are fighting wars with both hands tied behind their backs. This is useless.

allhans
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allhans 07/12/11 - 10:44 am
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I'm absolutely certain that

I'm absolutely certain that Chillen has full sympathy for others.

Do you think that firing missiles at targets only harms the target itself? Come on now...

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 07/12/11 - 11:27 am
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There is nothing

There is nothing "humanitarian" about war. It is a horrible, nasty, inhumane thing. The goal is to kill humans before they kill you, and bring an enemy to its knees. It is to be avoided at all costs, unless absolutely necessary. If found necessary, go in with maximal force to evoke the greatest damage to the enemy. That way you shorten the war and in so doing preserve as many lives as possible. The only way to wage a "humane" war is to accomplish your goal and end it ASAP. You never purposefully attack non-military targets, but collateral damage is inevitable.

cdmsr
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cdmsr 07/12/11 - 10:08 pm
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Chillen, you wrote, "Troop

Chillen, you wrote, "Troop deaths in the middle east are at all (sic) time high."

Wrong.

They did surge with the surge in Afghanistan and the grateful Iraqis are, once again, expressing that gratitude with IEDs. But an all-time high? Not even close.

Last year, there were 559 US deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan and approximately 257 thus far this year. There were 466 in 2009 and 469 in 2008. While those numbers definitely qualify as tragic, they aren't close to the 901 in 2004, 945 in 2005, 920 in 2006, and 1021 in 2007.

(http://icasualties.org/)

As to Libya, you need to chill some more. Maybe turn off Fox Noise for a while -- though even they gave up trying to sell the "US troops in Lybia" lie back in April.

'Noting that America is now in a supporting role to a NATO-led mission and U.S. warplanes continue to fly missions over Libya, Adm. Mike Mullen said Gadhafi has killed many people, both his own citizens as well as foreigners, "and he's doing it today as we speak." But Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, shot down speculation that the U.S. military might escalate its role in Libya by saying there will be "no boots on the ground" for American forces.'

(http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/119269224.html)

Not even Fox had the gall to call Mullen a liar.

As the admiral pointed out, "Obama's war," as you call it, is a limited mission in support of NATO, a role that meets our long-standing treaty obligations. In fact, the first combat sorties flown by NATO against Gadhafi were by French and British aircraft .

The only US boots belonging to combat forces that have been on the ground in Lybia were the rescuers of the crew of the F-15 that crashed on the twentieth of March.

You might think we should have left our personnel to their fate, or ignored our treaty obligations. I don't.

cdmsr
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cdmsr 07/13/11 - 02:31 am
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@Dixieman: By your logic, we

@Dixieman:

By your logic, we could avoid war by disbanding our armed forces. No military means no need to send those idle soldiers off to war to kill and be killed.

Allow me to enlighten you, as you obviously have no idea what you are talking about.

As a veteran of the period when the Evil Empire was alive and well and hadn't yet pulled its Afghanistan quagmire strategy, I was stationed at an airbase with an estimated eight-hour survival time if the Warsaw Pact tanks ever rolled. Not being engaged in actual warfare at the time, the several thousand personnel would spend hours sitting in our barracks, staring into space.

I hope you realize how stupid that sounds.

In actuality, there weren't enough hours in the day to do all that needed to be done. The personnel had been through basic military training and specialized education for their specific jobs but learning continued. Training was constant, on the job, by an assigned NCO mentor and advancement depended on proving acquired skills and knowledge. That was in addition to maintaining and operating the equipment specific to our jobs.

The military also provides entertainment options such as movie theaters and nightclubs on base. Plus, there is the option of going off base and pursuing interests 'on the economy,' as we called it.

So you see, Dixieman, sitting around the barracks isn't the usual pursuit of off-duty soldiers. And believe it or not, fighting isn't the main mission of the military. The primary mission of the military is to be ready to fight, to act as a deterrent by ensuring and, occasionally, demonstrating that any hostility toward us will be punished beyond the ability of an enemy to absorb. When a country's armed forces are made to remain in combat for year after year after year, ad nauseum, they deteriorate and become what is technically known as 'broken.'

And we are there. Our military forces need time to repair and rearm and rest and relax. They need a chance to regain their core. They need to come home.

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