Monday, August 16, 2004

Major Troop Redeployment

President Bush announced a major troop redeployment today. This move, which has been in the works for 3 years, involves between 60,000 and 70,000 service personnel. Another 100,000 family members and civilian employees are also effected. Details have not yet been announced, but it is expected that troops will be withdrawn from South Korea and Germany.

This move is driven by changing US security needs. Current troop levels reflect our Cold War needs. This redeployment is meant to better address our current security needs related to the war on terror and reduce costs associated with overseas troop deployments.

In the wake of the announcement, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) was quick to attack. General Wesley Clark stated that removing troops from Europe and Asia would "significantly undermine U.S. national security. This ill-conceived move and its timing seem politically motivated rather than designed to strengthen our national security." Richard Holbrooke, former ambassador to Germany and an advisor to the Kerry campaign, stated "I know that the Germans are very unhappy about these withdrawals".

Several things stand out about the DNC comments:
  • Clark's position is in direct opposition to John Kerry's comments at the convention. During the convention, Kerry stated that he wanted to expand US troop levels domestically. Apparently Clark does not see a need for increasing domestic troop levels.
  • Clark is attacking Bush because this move is deemed to be "politically motivated". Presumably this means that the move is a good thing, which contradicts his "ill-conceived" comment.
  • Holbrooke, unlike Clark, is apparently in goose-step, I mean lock-step, with Kerry. Pleasing the Germans and the French seems to be the cornerstone of the Kerry platform.
To conclude, Democrats can't agree as to whether or not we should expand domestic troop levels (although their case against the initiative is self-contradicting), they agree that in order to better run the United States of America, we need to focus on pleasing the Germans, and most importantly of all, Bush should stop all initiatives that are "politically motivated". Perhaps the DNC would prefer that President Bush take the lead from John Kerry, and stop working for the entire year leading up to the election?

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