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Acadiana Lifestyle

From The Publisher: March 2014

03/14/2014 08:00AM ● Published by Aimee Cormier

By Art Suberbielle

   When Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced that the Obama administration is proposing a reduction in U.S. troops in a press conference at the end of February, I was surprised that there was not a huge outcry from every corner of the U.S.  What is going on in our country? Has the general public grown more apathetic during the last few years?
   Hagel cites budget cuts as the motivation to reduce the number of active members of our military force. Indeed, Congress has imposed some budget cuts on the military. But it appears that Obama and Hagel have not even attempted to find alternative measures. For example, most of the new weapons programs and aircraft under development and shipbuilding are running well over budgets. Why not start with these examples of excessive spending and start reductions? It still is a mystery to me how our government can sign contracts with defense suppliers and allow these unbelievable overruns in costs. Who is responsible for monitoring these contracts? Why haven’t they held the contractors accountable? These programs that are well over their budgets need to be reined in. Just demanding these stay in budget could bring about a large portion of the total reductions called for in the current defense spending.
   Of even greater concern than being over budget is the question as to how the U.S. military will be able to continue holding its position as one of the strongest military forces in the world. At one time, there was no question that the U.S. military was the strongest worldwide force. However, due to the buildup of military might in China and the resurgence of the Russian military, our force may not still hold on to the No. 1 spot.
   At a time in history when there is more turmoil than ever occurring across the globe, it seems foolhardy that the U.S. would compromise its fighting force. President Obama himself seems to be either ill-advised or oblivious to the facts. Consider how little clout he now has on the world stage. The President called on the Syrian president recently to halt his use of nerve gas on that country’s citizens. Obama’s strong words fell on deaf ears. Instead, Russia’s President Putin negotiated an agreement that was not even close to what the U.S. had hoped to achieve.  Fast forward to today and the crisis unfolding in the Ukraine.
   President Obama issued a stern warning to Putin saying, “there will be costs” if Russia deployed its troops in the Ukraine. Apparently Putin didn’t worry much about Obama’s words, because Russian troops showed up in various areas in the Ukraine two days later.
   How would the U.S. military be prepared to meet worldwide challenges with a smaller force? Today, we have troops fighting on multiple fronts with global terrorism on the rise. We cannot afford to sacrifice our military strength.  Contact our U.S. Senators and Representatives and let them know you stand for a strong U.S. military no matter what it takes.


Verse of the Month
“Help me, Lord, my God; save me in your kindness.
Make them know this is your hand, that you, Lord, have acted.”           Psalm 109: 26 - 27



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