I agree with the author that we should withdraw U.S. armed forces from many foreign countries. To relieve the pressure on our Armed Forces, we should immediately withdraw out forces from all countries in Europe. This would deploy about 125,000 service men and women back to the U.S. It would eliminate billions of dollars in payments to European governments. It would eliminate the European part of the DODEA school system and save billions of dollars. We should also withdraw our forces from South Korea, Japan and other countries in the Asian area. This would deploy about 75,000 service men and women back to the U.S. It would eliminate billions of dollars in payments to Asian governments. It would eliminate the Asian part of the DODEA school system and save billions of dollars. These actions alone will release from foreign garrison duty 200,000 or 14% of the U.S. Armed Forces for other duties. These forces would deploy to the U.S. and occupy bases in the U.S. This would pump billions of dollars into our economy.
Remember when President Bush was reluctant to have the U.S play the world’s policeman? He was attacked as an isolationist. It is necessary for the U.S. to project military and economic power to protect the homeland. That was the reason the U.S. deployed up to 400,000 service men and women to Europe. That deployment of 40+ years resulted in the defeat of the Soviet Empire. If we don’t pursue our enemies in other lands, they will attack us in our homeland. The current crisis in manpower was caused by President Clinton and his decisions to reduce the U.S. Army from 14 divisions to 10 divisions. He also reduced all the other branches of the US Armed Forces by a like level. Then he radically increased the operational tempo of the US Armed Forces and thousands of members of the Armed Forces left the service. Yes we should increase our military back to the level President Bush (41) set in 1991.p>We will leave Iraq when the people of Iraq acting through their democratically elected government can withstand the attacks of terrorists, Baathist and foreign. To do otherwise would be to repeat the shameful act of abandoning a people to evil. The U.S. government did that in the fall of 1974 when the Congress over the President’s veto cut off the Republic of Vietnam’s supplies and air support. That shameful action resulted in millions of deaths and genocide in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. To this day millions of people live in slavery because of that shameful act. We should NEVER do such a thing again. br> — Wade Smith br> Fredericksburg, Virginia /p>
I agree with your observations as to troop dispositions. However there is also a structural reason that enlistments are down. The period 1972-1975 is the lowest birth rate of the postwar era, down nearly a million births from the 1956 high. We don’t reach that level again till 1989. This was the ‘baby bust’ period.p>Considering that it takes nearly 20 years to reach enlistment age that puts the ‘enlistment bust’ period at around 1993 forward. So the U.S. military since then has had a smaller pool of candidates to enlist, presuming all other factors remain static. What should concern the military is whether the enlistment remains flat over the next five years. Their enlistment pool should be rising over this period tracking to 1989 birth peak. After that it becomes harder still as a birth shadow appears following the 1972-1975 lows.