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Strong enough

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Strong enough

The Trib and its columnists are overreacting to the military cuts proposed by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. He isn't calling for unilateral disarmament. The U.S. is the strongest military power in the world and will still be strongest if those cuts are made.

The U.S. spends far more on its military than any other country. The Pentagon's annual budget is more than twice what China, Russia and Iran combined spend on their armed forces. It still will be if Hagel's cuts are enacted.

And the U.S. has more active military personnel than any other country except China. The personnel reductions that Hagel has proposed — about 40,000 out of over 1 million — won't change that.

But before saying what size the military should be, let's first decide what it's to be used for. Do we want to play world policeman, engage in nation-building, fight other countries‘ civil wars and impose Jeffersonian democracy on tribal warlords? Then we'll need to increase both spending and manpower.

But even with the cuts that are being called for, the U.S. will still have armed forces more than strong enough to defend the U.S. from military attack and protect our strategic interests and allies abroad.

Really, isn't that enough?

Thomas Gillooly

Forest Hills

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