Ever since President Obama announced plans to cut defense spending the right has been up in arms, accusing him of "gutting the military". Sadly though the Republicans aren't the only ones upset over it:
Panetta said the U.S. Army would still have about 37,000 soldiers in Europe even after it withdraws two of its four combat brigades - about 7,000 soldiers - as part of efforts to cut $487 billion from the defense budget over the next decade.
"Our military footprint in Europe will remain larger than in any other region of the world," Panetta told a Munich security conference.
"That's not only because the peace and prosperity of Europe is critically important to the United States, but because Europe remains our security partner of choice for military operations and diplomacy around the world. We saw that in Libya last year, and we see it in Afghanistan every day," he said.
We constantly hear politicians talk about the "runaway spending" in Washington and our growing national debt. They want to do things like cut spending on infrastructure, education and health. While all three of those things have a direct influence on our national security, Republicans constantly argue against cutting spending on defense.
Our defense spending is already the biggest part of our budget and we spend more on it than rest of the world combined. We usually get presidents trying to cut defense spending, even Republican ones, but as soon as lawmakers take up the issue pork projects take precedence and the spending ends up going up.
But we do have a budget problem and huge deficits. That means that the United States can no longer afford to be the police of the world. It's time for other nation's to worry about their own security and we start eliminating all the stationed troops around the world. It's time to scrap wasteful military programs, like the F35 fighter jet.
If we want to be serious about getting our fiscal house in order then we need to stop spending so much on our defense - period. Sadly though the GOP will refuse to hear any such thing and our defense spending will continue to skyrocket while our future soldiers are less educated, fatter and won't even have decent roads to travel on to get to their bases. That is the very sad state of our union and one that must be addressed.