New Pentagon strategy stresses Asia, cyber, drones

Comments (40)
HAL.9000 wrote:

Considering the US military is an all volunteer force, it will be hard for those that look towards military service as am escape from economic hardship and joblessness as I did. But it will also be a means to trim the fat and increase the standards for military service hopefully providing for a stronger defense.

I do agree, it’s time to get out of Europe. WWII and the Cold War have long past. Focus must be placed in the Pacific and Asia given current events.

Jan 05, 2012 10:38am EST  --  Report as abuse
windycityron wrote:

It would help to bring back the military draft program. It could serve as a reminder for all Americans of the potential sacrifices that might be necessary in foreign entanglements. And, it could impact legislator war policies, especially those having family and friends subject to call-up. Of course, political deferments are always in play.

Jan 05, 2012 10:40am EST  --  Report as abuse
windycityron wrote:

It would help to bring back the military draft program. It could serve as a reminder for all Americans of the potential sacrifices that might be necessary in foreign entanglements. And, it could impact legislator war policies, especially those having family and friends subject to call-up. Of course, political deferments are always in play.

Jan 05, 2012 10:40am EST  --  Report as abuse

I have to thank Obama so much for trying to reduce the deficit and keep our military at a reasonable size. We should never have let it grown this large, but mentioning whose fault that is just brings out the conservatives to cry foul for assigning blame. Sometimes, blame is deserved, and should be assigned. Obama has succeeded where the Republicans have failed for years. I can’t wait for him to win four more years.


There will never be another draft in the United States. It was a disaster in Vietnam. It is a bad system that should not be used. It also has no bearing on the current conversation, since we are talking about CUTTING troops, and a draft program would be used to ADD troops. Why even bring it up?

Jan 05, 2012 11:05am EST  --  Report as abuse
kiapa wrote:

instead of “grandstanding” the proposed cuts to a rapidly growing budget projection… the public would be served by seeing what the actual annual spending projections are forecast to be. the numbers will blow most folks away.

the draft is a great idea… and one that our politicians and the military industrial complex will staunchly oppose. having all americans feel the cost of militarism up close & personal… would result in more questions being asked about our defense spending that the folks in washington want. eisenhower warned us. now our defense policy is shaped by our military capabilities, not the reverse. defense now has a life of its own.

Jan 05, 2012 11:56am EST  --  Report as abuse
M.C.McBride wrote:

The draft is a horrible idea. That is why it hasn’t been used in so long. Punishing people that already know the truth about “projecting power” is wrong and would not change anything. I would, instead, like to see what the polls would be for bringing ALL the troops back from foreign countries in exchange for 0 cost of tuition for all education programs that have 90%+ job placement rate and at least 80%+ graduate satisfaction rating.

Jan 05, 2012 12:34pm EST  --  Report as abuse
conserfolife wrote:

TrueIronPatriot- i think its due time we pulled out not just the middle east but europe in general. but you can’t say it never should have gotten so large. Bush did what any president would have done after 9/11 and I think the amount of troops amassed was necessary. Also don’t get too proud of Obama. He had several years to cut back the military but didn’t, he instead followed Bush’s timeline for the eventual pullout. Which is the only crying I’m going to do. Overall a good decision by the president.

Jan 05, 2012 12:36pm EST  --  Report as abuse
HAL.9000 wrote:

Concerning the draft. It was abused for Vietnam which turned out to be a waste of lives. Prompted by politicians that saw soldiers as cannon fodder. No actual threat existed and it was all for a policy on containment.

The draft comes in strong when there is an actual threat…people wont protest then.

Jan 05, 2012 12:41pm EST  --  Report as abuse
NobleKin wrote:

The draft along with the historic human resource pool from which the military sources its Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines has always come from the middle and poorer classes of America’s citizens.

This has been the tax payment imposed on those who the Tea Party and other Republicon zealots claim “don’t pay their fair share”.

These same zealots don’t want to raise a dime of taxes to pay for the ten years of warfare expenses and the interest this has racked up (tab is about $4.4 Trillion) or about 30% of our National Debt.

I agree, let’s have a draft and ensure the 2%ers send their children in harms way just like the rest of us the next time this nation needs to raise an army.

In the mean time, lets applaud this President for moving us in the right direction for our times.

Jan 05, 2012 2:19pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Innocentious wrote:

This is a good thing ( P.S. I am a Conservative ) NOW if only we can Get him to do the same thing with the growth of Government in GENERAL I would be MUCH more happy. Look Slowing the Growth of Government Expansion in General is a SIMPLE way to ‘cut’ the deficit. When Republicans ask for the same thing in Medicare and Medicaid, it is ‘cutting’ however when Obama asks for this same thing which Republicans have been asking for in other areas it is ‘not’ cutting but simply slowing the growth.

The only thing that gets me upset is the hypocrisy of this.

Please Please Please let us do the same with the rest of the Government. If we simply slowed the rate of growth in everything but social security payments to the rate of ‘growth’ Obama is proposing for the military we would be paying down the debt again WITH THE BUSH TAX CUTS STILL IN PLACE come 2022.

I am all for this Mr. President, now prove that you are not a myopic partisan and do it for the rest of Government spending SANS Social Security.

Jan 05, 2012 2:49pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Bubba311 wrote:

Hardly anyone denies the existence of some excess in the military budget. However, a real concern is that military budget reductions implemented by the political left are motivated more by a desire to avoid cuts in domestic spending and an underlying anti-military ideology. This President’s “strategy” seems to evolve from a typical left wing anti-war mindset, i.e., if we shrink our military and simply refuse to fight any more wars, we’ll then have peace and live happily ever after.

Jan 05, 2012 2:53pm EST  --  Report as abuse
r-turo wrote:

Dear Mr. President, you look desperate.

Jan 05, 2012 2:59pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TPicking44 wrote:

Great. Now all we need is Ron Paul to come in and strip even more from our defensive capabilities. Why not just put the cub scouts in charge of national defense??

This is going to increase militia membership across the country. (And then the idiots in Washington will get upset that we’re picking up the slack from their gutted military forces..;)

Jan 05, 2012 3:02pm EST  --  Report as abuse
avgprsn wrote:

Keeping in line with that vision, what about “swords” on the ground – the counter part to the drone for land. The serious development now would give the almost perfect time window for returning veterans to volunteer in the training/education required, staying in step. Creating other none military beneficial modular uses, eliminating casualities, and having a great trickle down for other technical/manufacturing jobs.
Never obviously to replace in totality, but in some ratio for strategic advantage. Having those during the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts would have mitigated IED effectiveness. The tech was just about there then – just really in want of network capabilities, I would think it’s more than here now, especially with some bleeding edge network/power sources.

Jan 05, 2012 3:10pm EST  --  Report as abuse
IntoTheTardis wrote:

Having a sizable contingent of land forces in Germany is an anachronism. We no longer occupy Germany nor are we worried about an invasion from the east. Except for a few hospitals and air bases, we can safely withdraw and put these people to better use. Let the Germans pick up the slack. They aren’t the same bellicose, militaristic people they were in the 30s, but I think they could still field a pretty good army today. And they have great equipment.

Re the Draft. Tricky subject. I served with some of the last draftees in the early 70s and these guys were reluctant soldiers, to put it mildly. Do we need to induct men today? One possible reason I could see for it is the idea of shared sacrifice. Another is that a future president might be reluctant to send a draftee army into an undeclared war. Would we so easily have gone into Iraq with an army of draftees? One can imagine the howls of outrage from their parents. Even fire breathing Cheney might have balked. That’s the scary thing about a professional standing army. They’ll do whatever they’re told, regardless of the reasons.

Jan 05, 2012 3:18pm EST  --  Report as abuse
anarcurt wrote:

He’s not even making cuts! He’s even quoted as saying it will slow the growth in spending (not reverse it). I don’t understand how anyone can claim fiscal responsibility while supporting the continued 65 year plus occupation of Japan and Germany. Most of us were not even alive when that war was settled! In addition the troops do not even serve the people; they are mercenaries protecting the interest of transnational corporations. The defense budget needs to be cut by 75%. Slowing it’s growth does nothing to help our deficit.

Jan 05, 2012 3:19pm EST  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

Republicans: “We are against ALL forms of pork and pork spending.”

Obama: “Our military will be leaner.”

Republicans: “This commie is trying to destroy America!”

Well, look on the bright side, GOP. Maybe Romney will do a better job for you. As President of the Shady Hills Condo Association in Park City, Utah. Good times.

Jan 05, 2012 3:24pm EST  --  Report as abuse
someperson wrote:

This is the first idea that I’ve heard from Obama that I like. Let’s hope he follows through and goes about it the right way. If he doesn’t then let’s hope the next president does. It is awfully needed.

Jan 05, 2012 3:29pm EST  --  Report as abuse
USARealist wrote:

(1) Myths about the poor serving disproportionately for the ignorant:
“In 2008, using data provided by the Defense Department, the Heritage Foundation found that only 11% of enlisted military recruits in 2007 came from the poorest one-fifth, or quintile, of American neighborhoods (as of the 2000 Census), while 25% came from the wealthiest quintile.”
(2)Vietnam draft facts for other dumb comments above:
2/3 of the Vietnam force were volunteer. Also, less than 38% of those killed in action were draftees. The draft did matter, but not as much as some of the historically ignorant believe.
-Do you research people! Ignorance can be cured.

Jan 05, 2012 3:29pm EST  --  Report as abuse
WallStreet1 wrote:

I hope they never bring back the draft. The military is a good place for the working class and poor people to be part of so they can say they have finally contributed something to the USA. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad they do what they do and we need it, but I am just too valuable of a person to deal with those types of problems. I suggest everyone support Mitt Romney. Mitt will allow trickle down economics to return and bring us back to the glory years of GW Bush. Mitt is a really good mormon that will ensure that we invade Iran his first week in office and give them the same freedom that Iraq now enjoys. We have just as much right to that oil as they do. Let us all say Amen.

Jan 05, 2012 3:31pm EST  --  Report as abuse
sensi wrote:

“Iraq, which was invaded in 2003 to topple dictator Saddam Hussein”

Huh, nice disinformation from Reuters…

Jan 05, 2012 3:32pm EST  --  Report as abuse
sensi wrote:

“Iraq, which was invaded in 2003 to topple dictator Saddam Hussein”

Huh, nice disinformation from Reuters…

Jan 05, 2012 3:32pm EST  --  Report as abuse
USARealist wrote:

Washington Post article on the myth of the poor serving in the military. Actually, the % of higher income people serving has been increasing in the last 10+ years.

Jan 05, 2012 3:37pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Mott wrote:

$662 billion for FY2012 in the current times is a great blessing.

Not surprisingly, resource usage effectiveness is what matters considering the typical waste that goes with this level of spending – just search on DOD at

Jan 05, 2012 3:40pm EST  --  Report as abuse
EagleDriver wrote:

I have to thank Obama so much for weakening and polarizing the US economy which he now plans to accomplish within our military forces. The colossal failure of leadership and failed political games are on par for a inexperienced socialist community organizer and a batch of leftist ideologies to serve as his cronies and czars. The total lack of responsibility to the constitution and deep bowing to the lobbyist is even more apparent today as every move he makes is geared toward another polarizing re-election campaign. We cannot afford to have this leftist buffoon continue to degrade our American culture and superiority.

Jan 05, 2012 3:59pm EST  --  Report as abuse
cautious123 wrote:

You mean, after a decade of useless, wasteful, illegal and immoral war! The bumbling idiots in the Congress, Pentagon and White House are the last people we should trust with our money, or our lives–they have proven to be incompetent, reckless and foolhardy morons.

Jan 05, 2012 4:02pm EST  --  Report as abuse
WJL wrote:

A policy steered by the arms manufacturing industry and their well connected and fed politicians in Washington. Drop the troops but keep the money coming into the factory door. Example – never mind the F35 is an inferior to the new Russian, Chinese and Indian planes currently being developed and there is always the ace in the sleeve of budget overruns to maintain profits.

Jan 05, 2012 4:40pm EST  --  Report as abuse
xxixpines wrote:

Cuts to the future or money that is not yet spent, budgeted, or even printed is not a cut, its a scam.

“it will still grow” (obamma)

Real cuts now would be news.

Jan 05, 2012 5:15pm EST  --  Report as abuse
SCSOCAL wrote:

Obama is doing the same thing that Clinton did and making our mitltary weaker so that we won’t be able to defend ourselves!
This is the number one job of the President of the U.S. Keep Americans
safe and protect them! Obama is failing on so many levels.

Jan 05, 2012 5:26pm EST  --  Report as abuse

We built China’s economy by breaking our unions, closing our factories, and sending them both our industry and industrial jobs; and also by giving them unrestricted access to our consumer base while we’ve had limited access at best to theirs.

They will only grow past us if we let them. It is time to put Americans back to work, restart our industry, and bring our jobs home from both China and India. Rebuild our middle class and our economy will flourish.

Our strategic disadvantage results from the greed of the few and the apathy of the many. We have tolerated right wing drivel of lies and promises and all it’s gotten us is a warning that unless we somehow trick the system by cutting back on the military to make us safer, China will surpass us militarily as well as economically.

The president is on the right track by cutting back and refocusing, but unless we halt China’s economic growth and regrow our own by bringing our jobs home and being more competitive abroad, it’s not going to matter very much in less than a decade.

The time to act is now.

Jan 05, 2012 5:45pm EST  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

SCCOCAL complains: “Obama is doing the same thing that Clinton did and making our mitltary weaker so that we won’t be able to defend ourselves! This is the number one job of the President of the U.S. Keep Americans safe and protect them! Obama is failing on so many levels.”

So when Reagan sent cash and weapons to Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, and long-range missiles to Iran…. that was a success in keeping us safe? I think SCSOCAL listens to too much AM radio.

A wasteful military and throwing cash around does not equal a safer country.

Jan 05, 2012 6:08pm EST  --  Report as abuse
oldschool wrote:

These are all moves in the right direction. We no longer need to station American troops in strongly allied countries like England, Germany, Italy, Spain, etc. If the need arises we can get troops there soon enough. How would we feel if England, let’s say, had a military base in the US?

Jan 05, 2012 6:21pm EST  --  Report as abuse
JJSchwartz01 wrote:

I fully concur with ‘windycityron.’ It has been too long that the 99% of Americans that don’t have a connection to the military are so separated for the 1% that are doing the sacrificing. There should be no free lunches in a democracy. Further I believe that if our political leaders had military service exposure we wouldn’t so readily become engaged in foreign entanglements. Though mandatory national service is anathema to our society and a draft is definitely not approved by the military as a ‘social program’ I believe that a draft (or encouraged enlistment) would be very healthy for us as a nation as it would ‘force’ people that wouldn’t normally interact with those very different from themselves. E pluribus unum is the motto of this nation yet we are becoming more and more a country of ‘us’ and ‘them’ which is not healthy for a democracy.

Jan 05, 2012 6:32pm EST  --  Report as abuse
bates148 wrote:


I recommend you start here:

Jan 05, 2012 6:54pm EST  --  Report as abuse
jimmy6p wrote:

I’m OK with almost any strategy, as long as it’s not “shoot first”.

Jan 05, 2012 7:13pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Mediaman wrote:

The unspoken subtext in this is remnants of the military fighting the “last war,” military-industrial-complex politics, and lack of recognition of the U.S.’s planned change in world politics, previously driven by business, including energy ties.
The U.S. should be advising treaty and other allies that the strategic plan has changed. As in Libya, and soon in the farEast, American might will be projected for usre, but so will increased relaiance on democratic nation-states to “field their own forces,” use the umbrella of treaties and alliances to allow the U.S. to be participatory, lead from behind. The U.S. has long recognized that many/most nation states are too territorial, too resouce-hunger-driven by far to allow them free rein to start their own mischief, much less dragging us into the fray. Similarly in Europe, there is little or no rational reason for U.S. military forces in Germany, and in other countries, exept as a check on ambitions of partners, and of the potential threats facing them.
The biggest opportunity, and concurrently the biggest threwat to U.S. interests, is the juxtaposition of economic interests and military support that furthers them. Most of our economic goals could be achieved with use of “dollar ammunition” rather than drones, cruise missles, and 7.62 rounds.

Jan 05, 2012 7:21pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Martyz wrote:

We would have more then enough troops if we pulled everyone of them out of Japan & Europe… We need to allow both of them to deal with the threats they have on their own & bring our folks back & SAVE the billions of dollars. We need to also station a nuclear sub off the coast of North Korea & stand up in front of the UN & announce that if the North invade the South, we will flatten the whole of the North within one hour with nukes, plain & simple.

Jan 05, 2012 10:43pm EST  --  Report as abuse
JimsZ wrote:

@TPicking44 – I don’t believe Ron Paul ever stated he would dismantle the military. What he does want is for us to stay away from the hornets nest and we don’t have so much to worry about getting stung! You go up and mess with it, there’s a good chance something is going to happen, whether it’s terrorism on our own soil, a ship sunk and lives lost, overseas terrorism to our citizens, etc. Live and let live. If it doesn’t affect us, why is our nose in every bit of it?

Jan 05, 2012 10:51pm EST  --  Report as abuse

Why is it that when Uncle Sam focuses…it always involve enhanced military presence? Truly exceptional country.

Jan 06, 2012 4:13am EST  --  Report as abuse
JoeDietz wrote:

“Cyberwarfare and unmanned drones would continue to grow in priority”

If we want drones to be the way, we need to secure our assets in space. If we go to a military that is primarily faught by unmanned vehicles, our communications, GPS, and imagery infrastructure would become the enemy’s target.

Jan 06, 2012 1:49pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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