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> Should we have a military?, Gerardo Sandoval says we don't need one
Sleeper
post Feb 23 2006, 07:55 PM
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Gerardo Sandoval, a San Francisco Supervisor dropped a bomb the other day on Hannity & Colmes.

QUOTE(Gerardo Sandoval)
Conservative co-host Sean Hannity mockingly asked Sandoval whether "America should unilaterally disarm" and discard "our tools of war."

"You know that's a very complicated question," Sandoval replied Tuesday night. "But I would say, yes, we should. We should invest our money in our kids."

At that point Alan Colmes, the liberal co-host, incredulous at what he thought he just heard, jumped in.

Colmes: This is Alan in New York. Should we not have military?

Sandoval: I don't think we should have a military. Absolutely.

Colmes: We shouldn't have a military? Wait a minute. Hold on. The United States should not have a military?

Sandoval: What good has it done for us in the last five years? That's right. What good has it done us...

Hannity: Good grief.

Sandoval: ... in the last five years.

Colmes: Gerardo, wait a second.

Sandoval: We think about the billions that we're spending in Iraq right now, if we spend it on schools. We should not...

Colmes: The United States should not have a military?

Sandoval: That's correct.

Colmes: Are you kidding me?

Sandoval: The United States should not have a military. All in all, we would be in much, much, much better shape.



The conversation goes on to where Sandoval states the Police and Coast Guard should be able to defend the United States if we are attacked.

Questions for debate:

1. Would our country be better off without a military?

2. Would the Coast Guard(which is a division of the military) and police force be able to thwart an attack on the United States?


This post has been edited by Sleeper: Feb 23 2006, 07:58 PM
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Amlord
post Feb 23 2006, 08:17 PM
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1. Would our country be better off without a military?
A country without a military can be summed up in one word: history.

The function of a government is to protect its citizens from internal and external aggressors. Its function is not to educate people (at least its basic function is not that).


2. Would the Coast Guard(which is a division of the military) and police force be able to thwart an attack on the United States?

I'd like to see the Coast Guard fend off Iranian MiGs or Russian T-90S's. How long would it take for everyone we've ever slighted (real or imagined) to get some payback?

The US spends a tiny fraction (3.2%) of its GDP on the military. That ranks us in 47th place in military spending as a percent of GDP. link

This guy probably thinks that the presence of police creates crime as well. wacko.gif

This post has been edited by Amlord: Feb 23 2006, 08:18 PM
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Dingo
post Feb 23 2006, 09:16 PM
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1. Would our country be better off without a military?
How about if we split the difference. We should have a defense and retaliatory ability when it comes to our borders, including our coastal waters. Beyond that the only additional military deployment would be for operations conducted based on broad agreements with other nations say under NATO or the United Nations. Anything else probably falls under the nebulous category of "defending our strategic interests" which generally means defending an overseas investment environment. That to a major degree is what has gotten us into Iraq and previously motivated our ill advised Vietnam incursion (Yes Vietnam too. Read Eisenhower on the topic). For a long time I have felt we ought to develop our own resources within our own national sphere and let others do the same. What we need from others we would simply purchase. That would obviate the necessity for most of our bases around the world.

2. Would the Coast Guard(which is a division of the military) and police force be able to thwart an attack on the United States?
No, by itself obviously that would insufficient. Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD), for instance, will have to be part of our military policy until such time as WMDs, particularly nuclear, are eliminated by general agreement.

This post has been edited by Dingo: Feb 23 2006, 09:18 PM
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aevans176
post Feb 23 2006, 09:22 PM
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QUOTE(Sleeper @ Feb 23 2006, 01:55 PM)
Questions for debate:

1. Would our country be better off without a military?

2. Would the Coast Guard(which is a division of the military) and police force be able to thwart an attack on the United States?

*



I would imagine that the latter question has merit, except that we'd also require some method of missle defense and coastal protection, as there are enough well armed Americans to dissuade and invasion of the continental United States. I believe that if we could dissuade attack via a well armed Navy and airforce, that a regular Army is only necessary for protecting interests abroad. A well regulated national guard might be sufficient I suppose if we were arguing defense of our shores.

However, our industrial and natural resources could quickly become a viable target. It only makes sense to assume that a nation (such as China) with the capacity to launch such an invasion would consider the action. This also should be considered with the fact that economically we are interested in the protection of numerous nations across the globe.

Our military has not only assured the freedom of the continental US, but has also become a major deterrent to attack on Latin American and Caribbean nations by marxist/communist regimes. Consider the fact that Cuba is was the only Soviet Presence in the Western Hemisphere.

Do we need a military? Yes.. Undoubtedly.

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moif
post Feb 23 2006, 09:40 PM
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1. Would our country be better off without a military?

No.

2. Would the Coast Guard(which is a division of the military) and police force be able to thwart an attack on the United States?

Nope.

And how would the NYPD protect American interests in the Philipines or evacuate US citizens from Beirut?

What would happen to the US defence industry (the largest and most profitable business sector on the planet)? Would the citizens of the USA appreciate the loss of jobs, influence and security as these companies relocated to other markets.

I suppose the argument is that if the USA were completely isolated then it would be safer since only its constant meddling in other nations affairs is what powers so much anger and hatred towards the USA...?

Yeah, that makes some sense... if your sitting in an ivory tower over looking utopian gardens through rose tinted spectacles.

The truth is simple. The USA is very wealthy. Wealth attracts interest. Interest means politics and politics means control.

Cutting out the military would be cutting America's throat. The wealth would be quickly stripped away by those powers who were able to fill the power vacuum... namely China, Russia, India and possibly the EU... or possibly just France.

This post has been edited by moif: Feb 23 2006, 09:40 PM
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niftydrifty
post Feb 23 2006, 10:06 PM
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1. Would our country be better off without a military?

No, of course we wouldn't. However, part of Sandoval's point is that we would be better off without some of the things that the commander of our armed forces has commanded our armed forces to do in the last five years. But to say we shouldn't have a military is insipid.

I'm glad you posted this transcript. I think is a superb example of Fox News Channel trotting out an extremely irrational strawman lefty.

2. Would the Coast Guard(which is a division of the military) and police force be able to thwart an attack on the United States?

Our current Coast Guard and our current police force? No. But it depends on what nation were attacking.

Maybe Sandoval wishes America were a true Christian nation. A true Christian nation would not have a military. cool.gif

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Sleeper
post Feb 23 2006, 10:15 PM
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QUOTE
I'm glad you posted this transcript. I think is a superb example of Fox News Channel trotting out an extremely irrational strawman lefty.


So, some how Fox News is to blame for this idiot making the statement he did? He even said that most of his constituents feel the same way. Amazing!! Want to place blame on a rape victim because she chose to park her car too far away as well?

This post has been edited by Sleeper: Feb 23 2006, 10:16 PM
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Cube Jockey
post Feb 23 2006, 10:25 PM
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QUOTE(Sleeper @ Feb 23 2006, 02:15 PM)
QUOTE
I'm glad you posted this transcript. I think is a superb example of Fox News Channel trotting out an extremely irrational strawman lefty.


So, some how Fox News is to blame for this idiot making the statement he did? He even said that most of his constituents feel the same way. Amazing!! Want to place blame on a rape victim because she chose to park her car too far away as well?
*


I guess it brings into question why you felt this was newsworthy enough to create a debate topic about. Do you really feel that the question of whether or not we should have a military is a pressing national issue worthy of debate here or did you just want to score points against "the left"? Only you can answer that I suppose but I think I know what the answer is.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I doubt you'll find anyone at ad.gif that will answer yes to these questions and state that we should not have a military. That suggestion is completely absurd. Furthermore it is one of the few things enumerated in the Constitution as an absolute responsibility of our government and the reason it exists.

However, niftydrifty also does have a point. Because this is part of that "balance" FoxNews claims to have by having liberal guests on their show. In reality this guy is in the minority even in San Francisco (and a very small minority at that) and the most complicated thing he has to decide as a supervisor is how the city should spend money on services like public transit and garbage collection. Regardless of what this guy said I can assure you that is not how any significant portion of his constituents feel. He is certainly not qualified to weigh in as an expert on issues of great public importance and this is little more than his own personal opinion. Yet somehow he is elevated to a level where people think he speaks for all liberals and the Democratic party and that is the problem. Yet another example to illustrate the many points made in that thread in the media forum.
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Sleeper
post Feb 23 2006, 10:33 PM
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Ok Cube...

Please show where I said he speaks for the Democratic Party. If you can't please don't put words into my post that I did not place there.

Also he is from the same board of Supervisors who voted to NOT have the USS Iowa on display in the SF harbor.

And also one of the ones who voted to ban military recruiting at schools.

If things like this have passed I would say he is not the minority.



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Cube Jockey
post Feb 23 2006, 11:36 PM
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QUOTE(Sleeper @ Feb 23 2006, 02:33 PM)
Please show where I said he speaks for the Democratic Party. If you can't please don't put words into my post that I did not place there.
*


I think you need to read between the lines a little more. By having this guy on Hannity and Colmes that assumption is already there for a majority of their viewers.

QUOTE(Sleeper)
Also he is from the same board of Supervisors who voted to NOT have the USS Iowa on display in the SF harbor.

How is that relevant to this topic? Here is the story on it.
QUOTE
After a wrenching debate, supervisors voted 8-3 to reject a resolution urging congressional leaders to fight to bring the 48,000-ton vessel here, citing concerns such as possible costs incurred for maintaining and housing the World War II battleship; the disinclination of taxpayers to support a military monument; and the ongoing discrimination against gay Americans by the armed services.

That sounds perfectly reasonable to me, I sure don't want my tax money going to maintain some battleship (I'm a resident of SF), there are much bigger problems in the city that deserve that funding. I for one would like to see the roads continue to be improved, public transit improved, etc. In the article it also cites that the USS Hornet in Alameda loses money and currently owes Alameda $500,000. The whole "the military doesn't support homosexuals" portion of this is just icing but does play well to most of the city, the tax implications are enough for me to reject the idea. So good call by the city.

QUOTE(Sleeper)
And also one of the ones who voted to ban military recruiting at schools.

Actually that measure was called "College Not Combat" and it doesn't ban military recruiters from school, although you wouldn't know that if you get your news from FoxNews - source
QUOTE
Measure I, dubbed "College Not Combat," opposes the presence of military recruiters at public high schools and colleges. However, it would not ban the armed forces from seeking enlistees at city campuses, since that would put schools at risk of losing federal funding.

Instead, Proposition I encourages city officials and university administrators to exclude recruiters and create scholarships and training programs that would reduce the military's appeal to young adults.


I guess there are just too many words there, that'd be too complicated. It is easier to just call it a ban. Heaven forbid we encourage young people to go off to college instead of getting hooked by propaganda like the "try one" program. People should join the military because they want to, not because it is the only way they can get to college (i.e. money and scholarships).

But I'm going to ask the question again - is this something of national importance that is being seriously debated or is this simply an attempt to show up a guest on Hannity and Colmes? If this is so important where is the national support for it?

I'm sure there are plenty of guests on talk shows across the country with crackpot ideas that have no support, why is this one special?
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Sleeper
post Feb 23 2006, 11:56 PM
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Not to take this thread further off topic than it has been going... I just wanted to address just how far out there some elected officials in San Francisco are.. not just some random guest on a talk show.
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Cube Jockey
post Feb 24 2006, 12:01 AM
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QUOTE(Sleeper @ Feb 23 2006, 03:56 PM)
Not to take this thread further off topic than it has been going... I just wanted to address just how far out there some elected officials in San Francisco are.. not just some random guest on a talk show.
*


Still, what is your point? I have already explained to you what a supervisor does and I have further explained to you that he isn't representing the city as a whole or something (although it appears that way to FoxNews viewers).

How is this guy representing a national viewpoint worthy of debate? This guy may be an elected official but he isn't in a position to act upon his opinions and he isn't billed as some sort of expert. Were this a senator or congressman or maybe even a governor it might be a bit different.

Given that he has no power to take any action here the fact that he is an elected official is irrelevant, he is no different than a random person on the street in this instance.

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Sleeper
post Feb 24 2006, 12:09 AM
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QUOTE(Cube Jockey)
How is this guy representing a national viewpoint worthy of debate? This guy may be an elected official but he isn't in a position to act upon his opinions and he isn't billed as some sort of expert. Were this a senator or congressman or maybe even a governor it might be a bit different.

Given that he has no power to take any action here the fact that he is an elected official is irrelevant, he is no different than a random person on the street in this instance.



Wow you are acting like he isn't that important to you... You don't think City Supervisors are almost as crucial as Senators and State Reps? I definitely would not call him no different than a random person down the street, his comments hold alot more weight than that of a man on the street type interview.
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Cube Jockey
post Feb 24 2006, 12:14 AM
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QUOTE(Sleeper @ Feb 23 2006, 04:09 PM)
Wow you are acting like he isn't that important to you... You don't think City Supervisors are almost as crucial as Senators and State Reps?  I definitely would not call him no different than a random person down the street, his comments hold alot more weight than that of a man on the street type interview.
*


When I want someone to fund the local public transit system, make sure the garbage is being picked up and keep the streets fixed sure he is important, at least for his district which I don't live in.

However, when it comes to issues of national policy like the question of whether we should have a military the fact that he is an elected official is completely irrelevant. In that instance he is just a random person expressing an opinion. You wouldn't have even known who he was before this program Sleeper and I bet you couldn't even name two other supervisors in San Francisco without looking it up.

On the national scene Sandoval carries no weight at all and is completely unknown, he is just a citizen.
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post Feb 24 2006, 01:02 AM
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1. Would our country be better off without a military?
2. Would the Coast Guard(which is a division of the military) and police force be able to thwart an attack on the United States?

Depends on whose attacking. I certainly don't think our coast guard and police are capable of defeating any standing army or navy, as they simply aren't armed with what is neccessary to fight a war with.

What might protect us is foreign support from Europe or Canada, and perhaps we could use our nukes to use MAD to deter attacks. Foreign support however takes time, and MAD is a game chicken which we probably aren't willing to follow through with.

A more difficult question to answer, would be should we drastically cut the military budget, and stop interventionist military action overseas, but you didn't ask that.
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Christopher
post Feb 24 2006, 01:50 AM
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1. Would our country be better off without a military?

2. Would the Coast Guard(which is a division of the military) and police force be able to thwart an attack on the United States?


I wouldn't agree with not having a military here at home. we would still need a protection force but I do question the usefulness of troops outside our borders.
Who can actually attack us? No one! not even the chinese have the necessary logistical support to actually invade and hold America. hell we are the strongest military force ever to walk the earth and we can barely hold iraq together.
We are more than capable of producing the technology capable of defending our borders.
I also have no doubt as to the incredible numbers of Americans who would take up arms to defend their homeland if anyone was ever insane enough to try and invade us.

Because really thats what it would be. insanity.

No nation has the military capability of invading and conquering the United States.

hell I doubt several nations combined could come up with the capital or logistics/materials necessary to pull it off.

Anyone want to gues at the bse numbers necessary to even have a fair chance of success?

Hell the global economy would collapse anyways making the success of the venture a negative return.

Wanna see what a real insurgency looks like? try holding kentucky. I dare ya.

Can any of you actually picture any foreign nation holding onto Texas? or Brooklyn?
West by God Virginia? Hell with a handful of Southie's and a few Hillbillies from the west by god, there aren't many places i would be worried walking around in.

By concentrating our military into a home protection force we can accept only the top candidates--and pay them well enough to ensure they stay after they are seasoned.
effective satelite weapons systems could drop enough damage on any apporaching force to actually feel pity for them--well kind of. What's left would be a turkey shoot.

and yes the savings would very well go a long way towards strengthening our country's foundations and infrastructure.

complete isolationism--No.
Still do business with the rest of the world, vacation there, make friends, invest, buy sell.

But no more foreign entanglements, no more propping up tinpot dictators who eventually become the Saddam's and Osama's. no more.

I think it would work well.

This post has been edited by christopher: Feb 24 2006, 02:52 AM
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post Feb 24 2006, 03:43 AM
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QUOTE(Dingo @ Feb 23 2006, 04:16 PM)
Beyond that the only additional military deployment would be for operations conducted based on broad agreements with other nations say under NATO or the United Nations.
*

If an overseas operation isn't necessary for defending our interests, then we shouldn't be doing it at all. If it is necessary, then we don't need permission from other countries to do it, as long as we can know that we're conducting ourselves ethically and responsibly.

QUOTE(christopher)
Who can actually attack us? No one!

By any chance, have you forgotten about a certain incident in Manhattan about four and a half years ago?
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Bikerdad
post Feb 24 2006, 03:57 AM
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1. Would our country be better off without a military?
No. If we were to completely stand down our military tomorrow, there would be foreign invaders here before the April Fool's Day. Notice that not even the Swiss, legendary for the neutrality, have disarmed themselves.

2. Would the Coast Guard(which is a division of the military) and police force be able to thwart an attack on the United States?The Coast Guard is not a division of the military, it falls under Homeland Security, and before DHS was created, the USCG was part of the Department of Transportation. During wartime, the Coast Guard is placed under the Department of the Navy. It is a unique institution in America, the only Federal para-military (para-naval actually) organization.

That said, there is no way that the Coast Guard could defend the United States against a seaborne invasion by the following countries:

China
Japan
United Kingdom
Russia
France
Spain
India
Brazil
Germany
Italy

All of those countries currently have sufficient naval firepower to blow the USCG out of the water, and there's quite probably another dozen that would make the list. The police would face an even greater challenge. Aside from the very different training that policework involves compared to combat operations, there is the little issue of "military grade" equipment versus law enforcement. A single modern combat brigade has more firepower than all of the police in the US, at all levels of government, combined. Whether or not an invader under this scenario could actually conquer this country isn't even relevant, because an invader could cause enough economic, environmental, social and human damage that all of our defense spending since WW2 would pale in comparison.

***************************************************************
QUOTE(Christopher)
we would still need a protection force but I do question the usefulness of troops outside our borders.
Who can actually attack us?  No one!
The only reason no one can mount an invasion is because the US Navy rules the oceans and the US Air Force rules the skies. If both were to change, then we could be invaded.

QUOTE
not even the chinese have the necessary logistical support to actually invade and hold America.
In 1937, the US would have been hard pressed to invade Cuba. By August 1942 we were conducting amphibious invasions in the South Pacific, with Operation Torch, the landings in North Africa to follow in November. So the question becomes, how long would it take for another nation to build the capacity needed to womp us?
QUOTE
hell we are the strongest miliray force ever to walk the earth and we can barely hold iraq together.
We could easily hold Iraq together, doing so would simply requires that we change how we're doing things over there. Forget helping the Iraqis, we just destroy anything and kill anybody that looks in the slightest bit threatening. Think of the challenges that faced Arnold Schwarzennegger's character in Kindergarten Cop. Its not that we can't, but that our own self-imposed restrictions limit us.

QUOTE
hell I doubt several nations combined could come up with the capital or logistics/materials necessary to pull it off
I don't. Again, WW2 is quite instructive. Germany was essentially equal in size to France, equal to England, and smaller than Russia. Yet look how close that was.... Israel is smaller by all measures than the combined Arab nations that threaten it, yet it has managed to beat them 4 times in straight up combat, although the 6 Day War was very close.

QUOTE
By concentrating our military into a home protection force we can accept only the top candidates--and pay them well enough to ensure they stay after they are seasoned.
Seasoned how? One huge advantage that the US currently has is the combat experience that our troops are getting. How would our "home protection force" get the experience? It is a given that military competence degrades over time without experience. The combat experience that many Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe members gained in the Spanish Civil War was crucial to Germany's early successes.

QUOTE
effective satelite weapons systems could drop enough damage on any apporaching force to actually feel pity for them--well kind of. What's left would be a turkey shoot.
Weaponization of space is a touchy subject, but even if we proceeded with it, we would have the problem of "resupplying" the satellite weapon systems.

QUOTE(A Left Handed Person)
What might protect us is foreign support from Europe or Canada
Uhhh, who or what is going to protect the Europeans? While they could certainly re-arm in a meaningful way, until they do they remain vulnerable themselves. And this assumes that the Europeans aren't the ones we need support against! As for Canada, they currently can't even defend themselves. The Texas National Guard could motor on up I-35 and conquer Canada all by itself. Seriously, one of the factors (albeit not a big one) in the Liberal defeat in the recent Canadian elections is the sad state of Canadian defense capability. At the end of WW2 they had the 3rd largest navy in the world, today they're not even in the top 10. Their Army and Air Force have been similarily weakened. As long as the Canadien's can rely upon the US to insure the security of North America, they've been willing to spend more on butter than bullets.

QUOTE
Beyond that the only additional military deployment would be for operations conducted based on broad agreements with other nations say under NATO or the United Nations. Anything else probably falls under the nebulous category of "defending our strategic interests" which generally means defending an overseas investment environment. That to a major degree is what has gotten us into Iraq and previously motivated our ill advised Vietnam incursion (Yes Vietnam too. Read Eisenhower on the topic).
Vietnam? You do know that Vietnam was conducted based on broad agreements with other nations, say under SEATO? Considering this point, I fail to see why conducting operations under NATO or the UN would be any better than Vietnam.

QUOTE(aevans176)
as there are enough well armed Americans to dissuade and invasion of the continental United States
No there aren't. Unless the "well armed Americans" are supplied with advanced military grade weapons, there is no way that the civilian populace could stop an invasion. Assume that whoever invades us has no interest in minimizing loss of American life.... As an analogy, consider the Israel-Palestine conflict. Israel could end the conflict permanently in less than 2 weeks, and there's nothing the Palestinians could do to stop it. The Palestinian's survive only because the Israelis tolerate them, and Israel believes (probably correctly), that enough non-Palestinian's wouldn't tolerate genocide. I'm think it would be quite unwise for us to make such a hopeful assessment about any would be invasion of the US.

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The US Navy is, economically speaking, the most important defense organization in the entire world. Globalization literally depends on the watchful eyes of the Navy. Just as the most robust trade in the ancient Mediterranean took place under Pax Romana, so too does the global economy depend on Pax Americana. And yes, we benefit from this as well.

If the US were to unilaterally disarm tomorrow, within 5 years I would venture that more than a billion people would be dead as every wannabe empire builder sets out on the path to glory. And that doesn't even count the potential cost to America itself. Since the end of the Cold War, the greatest challenge for every tinpot despot (aside from surviving the next coup) has been staying just under the American radar. Think of it as riding in the car and teasing your sister in the back seat just enough to avoid getting backhanded by Dad. Mom's nagging is a small price to pay, but you don't want to get Dadsmacked!
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Delvy
post Feb 24 2006, 08:59 AM
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QUOTE(Bikerdad @ Feb 24 2006, 03:57 AM)

The US Navy is, economically speaking, the most important defense organization in the entire world.  Globalization literally depends on the watchful eyes of the Navy.  Just as the most robust trade in the ancient Mediterranean took place under Pax Romana, so too does the global economy depend on Pax Americana.  And yes, we benefit from this as well.



To be fair this is not just the American navy; the British navy for one plays a large part in patrolling the Worlds seaways still, as do most of the G8 nations, but essentially yes - the naval powers of the world maintain the international trade that globalisation relies on.

To answer the questions raised

1. Would our country be better off without a military?
No. Most countries in the world could admittedly do with re-examining how they utilise their military but their are very few nations that would be better off without a military.

2. Would the Coast Guard(which is a division of the military) and police force be able to thwart an attack on the United States?
Quite simply no. The Coast Guard is built for a very different purpose than defence of your shores against a foreign invader and a police force is never as effective as a trained military. A cop car stands little chance against a 2nd world war tank let alone a modern one.
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Dingo
post Feb 24 2006, 09:02 AM
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QUOTE(Blackstone @ Feb 23 2006, 08:43 PM)
QUOTE(Dingo @ Feb 23 2006, 04:16 PM)
Beyond that the only additional military deployment would be for operations conducted based on broad agreements with other nations say under NATO or the United Nations.
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If an overseas operation isn't necessary for defending our interests, then we shouldn't be doing it at all. If it is necessary, then we don't need permission from other countries to do it, as long as we can know that we're conducting ourselves ethically and responsibly.

That begs the question. What is in our interests? My contention is we have spread to wide a net and have also failed to give sufficient concern to the notion that international problems deserve international solutions. This go it alone invent our own reality and to heck with anybody else leads to things like Iraq and Vietnam.
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