I've spent a number of hours reading over the Pentagon discussed idea of a massive cut on the Army (released Monday).
There are three observations to make.
First, the amount of money that it takes to run the entire US military is massive. Anyone who thinks otherwise is kidding themselves. If you hire up a eighteen-year-old kid.....he will be around for twenty-odd years. You can figure almost a million will be spent on him, his pay, his benefits, his chow, his barracks, his tent, his training, his medical requirements, his social welfare, his travel, his water, and his pension. If we were talking a twenty-two-year-old college graduate, who will be a helicopter pilot.....figure around three million spent over his career.
In the grand scheme of thing....it's a heck of a lot of money....for a near-peacetime Pentagon. Toss in the cost of humanitarian operations and Afghanistan.....it's a fair sum of money, which has to come from tax-payers and company taxes.
Second, if this does occur.....they might as well shut down most of the US military operations in Europe and Japan....maybe even South Korea. Bring the guys home.....tell the media that you aren't too keen on humanitarian operations, and that you won't be reacting in the same old fashion as you did in the 1980s or 1990s.
Third and final.....it is a peace dividend (2.0). The President won't say it in public, and no Democratic Senator will dare suggest it on TV. But it's a peace dividend. So....here's the comical side of this cut.....it's not really cut....it'll just be moved over to another government program. That's the sad part of the story. When we might carve our military and shift to a smaller force....the money requirement doesn't go away.
I think if most people realized that....they'd ask stupid questions, and demand accountability with the rank-and-file of Congress. It's an odd thing though....they kinda woke up yesterday and asked how you cut all these folks, and maintain the bases in their home districts. For some reason....the Pentagon didn't really discuss that part. I'm guessing it won't be pleasant for folks in Texas, Florida, or any Republican-theme state.
So, all summed up...it's a gimmick....that may or may not pass.