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Gravitymaster

Should U.S. Troops be removed from around the world?

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Considering all the anti-American sentiments around the world in places like Europe and S. Korea, do you think it's time to start reducing the number of American troops.

I don't know the exact figure but we spend Billions of dollars each year protecting places like S. Korea where it is becoming clearly obvious we aren't wanted.

Why do we still have American troops in Europe? World War 2 has been over for almost 58 years. So why are we still there?

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Are you kidding? US military presence is controversial in many places, but not necessarily resented by those folks who have actually weighed the consequences of our absence. When you look at anti-american sentiment in general, you find plenty of it right here - would you like the US to pull out of the US? As far as Europe goes, read some of the history from the very end of, and immediately after WW-II, to figure out why we stayed. Those 58 years have not precisely been harmonious.


CZ

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All boobies aside, the point you made is good. Our mere presence, wether force is used or not, keeps the general peace in alot of regions, just like a police car sitting by the side of the road keeps (most) people from speeding. It also allows us to respond more quickly to regional conflicts, and to reinforce the military of certain countries.

Easy Does It

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This is an important point in places like Kosovo and possibly Bosnia. American forces does an important job trying to keep some sort of stability in the region, but what kind of conflict are the F-15 fighters at Keflavik (Iceland) supressing? An eskimo uprising? Viking raids?
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PCSS #10

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If we pull all troops out in an isolationist "well if I can't have it all my way then I'm taking my toys and going home" way, that's ridiculous.

If we have an agreement with a government for a base somwhere that's a good staging area (for what? who knows), then that's between us and the government.

If we have been asked, either by a country or by the UN, to help secure and protect a region, then that's between us and them. Obviously we have to take our own interests into mind, but we're part of the world, too. E.g. Kosovo and Korea.

Not everyone is going to like everything we do. We're not going to like everything others do. Damn -- it's just like life.

Should we go to Iraq? Not without the UN. It helps strengthen the UN, and it won't weaken us to do so.

Wendy W.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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Not completely, no. There are certain areas I think we should get out of, but S. Korea isn't one of them. They've been an ally of ours since WWII and if our troops weren't there, they wouldn't exist. N. Korea is sitting across the DMZ drooling and waiting for us to pull out.

And FYI, there were huge Pro-American demonstrations in S. Korea a couple days ago.

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Are you kidding? US military presence is controversial in many places, but not necessarily resented by those folks who have actually weighed the consequences of our absence. When you look at anti-american sentiment in general, you find plenty of it right here - would you like the US to pull out of the US? As far as Europe goes, read some of the history from the very end of, and immediately after WW-II, to figure out why we stayed. Those 58 years have not precisely been harmonious.



But who are protecting form whom in Europe? It initially was protection from Germany, then the Soviet Union. Thats all changed now. Russia, Germany and France are now allies. Shouldn't we consider removing our troops, bringing them home to protect our own country? We are apending Billions (I have heard close to 100 Billion) per year for what reason? We obviously aren't appreciated except for the money we spend in those countries protecting them from each other. Let the French, Germans and whomever spend their own money on their own security. Why should we continue to be the worlds policeman for free?

GM

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It's not just "them" protecting "themselves" from "each other" that would be at stake. Last I time I looked, an incredible amount of US interest in the form of investments, aid infrastructure, and education are tied up in virtually ALL states in Europe, not to mention most of the rest of the world. I agree that there are a lot of arguments/issues that we really don't have an interest in, and I agree that we shouldn't participate free of charge where we don't have an interest. That being said, there are an awful lot of diplomatic agreements and treaty obligations that require our presence, advice, aid, cash, and willing participation to ensure security in places where US interests are tied into the local infrastructure. CFE Treaty, CWC, and BWC are pretty big on the list, but there are many others.


CZ

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Considering all the anti-American sentiments around the world in places like Europe and S. Korea, do you think it's time to start reducing the number of American troops.

I don't know the exact figure but we spend Billions of dollars each year protecting places like S. Korea where it is becoming clearly obvious we aren't wanted.

Why do we still have American troops in Europe? World War 2 has been over for almost 58 years. So why are we still there?



You ask a very valid question, unfortunately, isolationism died after WWII. Remember, we aren't liked or wanted until something bad happens: Grenada, Kuwait, the Balkans (where we weren't wanted until we showed the world the mass graves), ad infinitum.

Also, our troops contribute to the local economies. 38,000 service men and women rotating on/off leave from the DMZ in ROK is a robust economic offering (as one example). Remember, 100,000 people rioting in the streets telling us to go home succeeds only in annoying the 20,000,000 citizens of that country who probably don't care that much.
So I try and I scream and I beg and I sigh
Just to prove I'm alive, and it's alright
'Cause tonight there's a way I'll make light of my treacherous life
Make light!

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Perhaps some, if not most, of the troops in Europe are not strictly necessary, but I don't think they are what takes up the majority of the budget, it's keeping a lid on the places where troops are necessary that does. Not surprisingly, most of those places don't really let the US station troops, so you use allies as bases of operations.

Remove the troops? First, they will celebrate their "victory" over a superpower. Then, they will try their newfound freedom through economy by raising prices on their neighbours, maybe even enforcing strong trade tariffs. Different ideologies will start picking fights because of this (if they even wait that long). Everyone start feverishly building armies. Voila, war.

No thanks, I vote for the US to continue playing Daddy.

-- Toggle Whippin' Yahoo
Skydiving is easy. All you have to do is relax while plummetting at 120 mph from 10,000' with nothing but some nylon and webbing to save you.

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I admit, the first post was completely unwarranted, and I do apologize. The second one is just a list of facts, no way you can say that that's bashing. No country is perfect, sorry.

I apologize for the first post. I didn't realize that it was such a big deal though, if it is, I can make the apology more public.

-- Toggle Whippin' Yahoo
Skydiving is easy. All you have to do is relax while plummetting at 120 mph from 10,000' with nothing but some nylon and webbing to save you.

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The second one is just a list of facts, no way you can say that that's bashing.



Uh, yes I can and do say it's bashing, but I'll not waste time arguing here. Rather, I ask you again: Why do you why do want "US to continue playing Daddy"?

Bob

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Uh, yes I can and do say it's bashing, but I'll not waste time arguing here.



Lets agree to disagree then. Just as an exercise, if you want me to "bash" some other country, like Canada or Israel or Russia (I've lived in all three), I'm sure I can come up with a list of wrongdoings easily. Everyone make bad choices. For the most, it's much easier than the US, too.

As for your other question, simple calculating reasons. It keeps stability in unstable areas. If it is withdrawn, something like this chain of causation will take place:

i) We sure showed them! If we could have that kind of influence on the US, we can turn all these buggers around us to dust. (everyone are saying this)
ii) Who do our neighbours think they are?

War ensues. Besides, isn't this really why the US is there? To prevent war?

This is, again, probably not strictly necessary in Europe proper today, but that question seems to me to be very complex. Maybe billvon knows enough to answer it, I don't. I'm sure you can easily come up with examples where it is necessary, though. Of course, it is your money and manforce, it's your decision. I'm simply saying what I would want to happen.

-- Toggle Whippin' Yahoo
Skydiving is easy. All you have to do is relax while plummetting at 120 mph from 10,000' with nothing but some nylon and webbing to save you.

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It's funny you should mention the F-15s in Iceland - They are assigned to the 57 Fighter-Interceptor Squadron. Thier mission is to intercept and escort Russian/former Soviet aircraft as they fly through that particular corridor. The Navy also has P-3 Orion sub-hunting aircraft stationed there, and the AF keeps one or two AWACS handy, also. The local Icelandics are grateful for the seach-and rescue teams, who are often called upon to assist local fishermen. Look on the map, and you can see it is a very strategic location, one the Russians would love to have, particularly during the Cold War. We keep few radar stations running up that way, also, for obvious reasons.

How do I know all this? I was once a member of the 57th, the Black Knights. Still have my squadron patch! I was there from 82-83, Cold War era, when we were still flying F-4E models.

Easy Does It

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F15s in Iceland, a brigade (+) in Bosnia, brigade (+) Kosovo, battalion (+) Egypt, division (+) Korea, divison (+) Germany, continuous exercises in former Soviet states, multiple deployments a year to South America same with Africa, USAF throughout UK, USN with ships patrolling every sea lane and pulling into every port. Liasons, trainers, observers in nearly every country everyday. Not a single UN or NATO exercise or mission has been conducted without US troops.

Projection of US power makes us a hot commodity, as well as a target for the quips of the pampered of other countries.

Look at the demographic of the next anti-US rally. They are made up of the same people as rallies in the US. Young adults protesting something- anything just to be heard. Or even worse state-coerced rallies that get people there through threats or food distribution after the festivities.

Let them say what they will. The next drought, flood, civil war, hangnail they have you know who they'll call. And it ain't Ghostbusters.

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Let them say what they will. The next drought, flood, civil war, hangnail they have you know who they'll call. And it ain't Ghostbusters.



Amen! B|
So I try and I scream and I beg and I sigh
Just to prove I'm alive, and it's alright
'Cause tonight there's a way I'll make light of my treacherous life
Make light!

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You ask a very valid question, unfortunately, isolationism died after WWII. Remember, we aren't liked or wanted until something bad happens: Grenada, Kuwait, the Balkans (where we weren't wanted until we showed the world the mass graves), ad infinitum.



I'm not suggesting isolationism at all. Just saying we should reconsider our prescence in countries where we clearly aren't NEEDED and in some cases not wanted. If one of our 'Real' allies neede us, we have the capability to deploy troops much faster than we did 60 years ago.


Quote

Also, our troops contribute to the local economies. 38,000 service men and women rotating on/off leave from the DMZ in ROK is a robust economic offering (as one example). Remember, 100,000 people rioting in the streets telling us to go home succeeds only in annoying the 20,000,000 citizens of that country who probably don't care that much.



I rather those troops spend money in the local economies here in the U.S. I'm pretty sure the people in places like Rantoul and other similar towns across America would too. Perhaps the 20 million who want us to stay should become more vocal about it and tell the protesters to STFU. Just a suggestion.

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Perhaps some, if not most, of the troops in Europe are not strictly necessary



The troops in Europe give us a forward staging base to enter countries in Europe and elsewhere quicker. If we had no forward presence then it would take a lot longer to initiate liaison, get the logisticians in place, get the infrastructure in place, etc. They are not necessarily there to "defend" anything but to allow the deployment of more troops from the US.
We use the German and Italian bases to enter Saudi Arabia, Kosovo, Kuwait, etc.


"Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do." Ben Franklin

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