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Monday, December 10, 2012

THE 10% SOLUTION FOR WORLD PEACE

For a long time now I have been advocating reducing our military budget by 10%/year, with the carrot that all other countries do the same.  These funds can then be utilized for higher priority domestic needs.  In time, there will come Peace, forever.  Sure, pollyannaish and absurd, but sensible.

I have had a series of Huffington Post articles on the subject, but let me refer you to just two:

  Well, Barack, We Have a Problem...
  May 29, 2008 (my very first HuffPo)

  The 10% Simple Solution to Peace
  July 6 2010

About a year ago I won the U.S.  News and World Report Debate Club issue on Defense Spending.  Also participating were luminaries such as then presidential candidate Ron Paul (he came in second) and J. Randy Forbes, House Chairman of the Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee (he took last place).  Today I saw an editorial by the Chicago Tribune's Steve Chapman:

  It's time for U.S. to draw down on armed forces abroad

The key points he made were:

1.  It has been 67 years since World War II, but we still have 37,000 troops in Japan and 53,000 in Germany.  The Korean War ended in 1953 and we have 28,500 troops there.  Even PSY, that Gangnam Style virus, protested ten years ago against our presence in South Korea.  Yes, there is North Korea (which Chapman labels a pipsqueak) but the economy of South Korea is 80 times that of the North.  And, the Cold War is over.

2.  Taking $492 billion away from the Pentagon over the next decade wouldn't be hard to do if we forced other nations to take more responsibility for their own defense.  Japan is now doing this.

3.  In a YouGov poll earlier this year 63% of Americans said the country faces greater threats to its security than during Cold War.  (The following is my editorialization:  Republicans thought this was 80%.  What are they afraid of?  A rag tag assortment of terrorists?  Iran?  China?  There is no nuclear winter threat anymore.)

4.  We spend more on the military than the next 17 nations combined, and most of these are our allies.  You have to go to #25, Iran, to find a real enemy.  The last Al-Qaida (yes, they have a flag) attack on American soil was more than a decade ago.

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Cyclone Claudia is at 120 MPH in the Indian Ocean, but is heading nowhere important and will soon weaken.

Super Typhoon Bopha's Philippines death toll is now approaching 1000.

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