Friday, May 13

Marine Theology

" I have a Bayonet in my left hand, the Bible in my right. One will save you today, the other tomorrow. You have to know how to use both tools." Major General Nash

Sunday, May 8

Conventional Wisdom

Later this week the final announcements for the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) list come out. Here in Enid, OK, home of Vance AFB, everyone is waiting with apprehension. And well they should. Vance brings in around $182M worth of revenue to this small town on the Oklahoma plains.
The closures are coming about due to Def. Sec. Rumsfield's plan to "streamline" the military and "make it a leaner, meaner force." What I do not understand is why he is doing this while we are a nation at war. In fact, this is just not any war, but a war that is expected to continue for decades. With other enemies that we have our eye on but have not engaged yet, there will be no rest for quite some time to come.
The Marines, for example, are experiencing a 7 month tour over to the Middle East, and a 7 month time at home, which by the way, includes time needed to work up for your deployment. This does not include all of the smaller peacekeeping missions the U.S. has become so concerned about over the past decades.
I understand and respect the initiative on the part of the government to cut back on their spending in order to curb our national debt. But is it wise to cut back the military when we are at war? One of the government's jobs is to provide for the common defense; I would gather from our recent decisions that it is the government's job to provide for the common welfare. Let the American people eat cake...the rest will take care of itself.
Finally, if we are so concerned about the common welfare, why not consider the economic impact our military bases have on the local communities. It seems to me that more is being done for the American people in the way of providing $182M to the local economy in the way of jobs, infratructure, etc than welfare has ever been able to do. Sounds like we are killing two birds with one stone...but hey, so much for conventional wisdom.