Midnight Rantings

Tired rantings in a tired world.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Time to Bring Troops Home

We are involved in a war on terror, which may go on forever. The war on terror, although important, seems to be a war against insurgency. Fighting an insurgency takes patience and may not bring visible outcomes. I think we have had some success against terrorism. We have shown "rogue" states that we will not tolerate their actions. We have hunted down terrorists. Whether one believe in the war in Iraq or not, I do believe our success there will bring success in other areas. By having a presence in the Middle East, we will be able to bring about political and cultural change.

World War II ended in 1945. Yet, we have troops stationed in Germany and Japan. Sixty years ago these troops were needed to either fight against the "Red Menace" or to insure against military build-up. Stationing our troops in these countries was needed then. Although major conflict in Korea has been over for about 50 years, we still have a front line presence there. Technically a state of war still exists, but South Korea does not even want us there.

As the European Union takes off, we see that they want to be more active in regional defense. It is rather ironic that someone from Finland laid it out. Finland, although a sparsely populated country, was able to successfully fend off a Soviet attack. With the exception of Germany and Britain, the last century saw little military prowess in Europe. Although the French had one of the largest armies in the world, they had no clue to how to use it.

By having our troops stationed in other countries, which are should be able to shoulder the burden of home defense, we are spending too much money and maybe stretched too thin. With the fall of the Soviet Union, we do not need troops stationed in Germany. With Japan realizing the path to dominance is economically, we do not need troops in Japan. The Japanese have always been able to defend themselves. The South Korean President may not have said he wanted US troops in his country, but he was not exactly wanting them there either. Besides, can 14,000 troops fend off the whole army of North Korea?

I see no need to have these troops stationed in these far away places. We have more problems with Islamists than communism. If we have to station our troops anywhere, we should station them in the Middle East. The Middle East is vital to our national security. Germany, Japan and South Korea are not.