Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Mitt Romney and His "Strongest Military" Pledge

Dear Mitt Romney,

Please take a moment to re-asses your notion of America's military might.

As a member of the Federation of American Scientists, a group dedicated to nuclear non-proliferation, I have had the opportunity to study US and international military powers.

Your commitment to enlarging the US military to such a size that would "make it impossible for anyone to oppose us" is frankly absurd. Aside from the face we already have a military decades ahead of any other it is impossible to maintain a military that would eliminate any and all threats.

The idea that any blue-water navy nation would attack us is something that is not in the realm of possibility. What is possible is having rogue nations or terrorists groups attack us. The problem is that countries like Iran have no capability to attack us directly and there is no solution to "terrorism" since it is nothing but a tactic carried out by small bands of individuals and even a military twice our current size couldn't hope to stop all acts of terror without shredding the Constitution.

If you look at Iran, the "long-range" missile they recently tested only had a range of 125 miles. The US has dozens of missile types with ranges from 1,000 to over 8,000 miles directly and world-wide given our air and sea delivery platforms.

Please consider theses facts.

The United States Navy is the most powerful navy on Earth. In fact our Navy outweighs, battle fleet tonnage, the next 13 largest navies combined. We also have 75 nuclear powered submarines. On the other hand Russia only has 24 nuclear powered subs with that number expected to be reduced to 20 over the next few years.

Our Navy also has 11 aircraft carriers, the total number of aircraft carriers world-wide is only 21. On top of our massive naval capabilities the US Navy owns some 3.3 million acres of land along with bases in over a dozen foreign lands.

The US spends some $700 billion a year on "defense" compared to $190 billion a year for China, the world's 2nd largest military spender. Iran spent $7 billion.

The NSA (National Security Agency) intercepts, daily, 4-7 times the amount of information held within the Library of Congress.

Of the nearly $800 billion we spent in Iraq some 600,000 civilians were killed, yet only 23,000 "insurgents" were and the number of attacks do not seem to have changed a great deal. This demands that we rethink our tactics and the reasons why people attack us. The notion that it's because we're free or rich simply doesn't pass muster. I do not recall any attacks against Switzerland or Fiji.

The problem isn't that our military is too small or weak or even could become potentially weak. The problem is engaging in multiple, non-declared, wars and policies that directly harm the security of the United States.

A little bit of history will show you that it was our direct involvements in the affairs of other nations that led them to being our enemies. For example, there have been over 50 years of non-stop meddling in the sovereign affairs of Iran, including the overthrow of a duly elected government.

We trained, supplied and paid for Bin Laden as well as gave him cause for concern due to our military presence in Saudi Arabia.

We have maintained strong sanctions and military threats against Cuba and North Korea for decades and yet the only thing it's done has caused those nations (and others) to unit together against what they see as a common foe. On top of strengthening their leadership it has also led to the deaths of millions in famine and other disasters.

However, if you take the case of Vietnam, after loosing 50,000 American lives we decided brute force wasn't the answer. Today we actively trade with them and tourism is on the rise. A similar case for peace can easily be made if you look at the Cuban Missile Crisis. Both nations had the capability of destroying one another and the USSR made many similar statements about our destruction as Iran has made about us and others. However, instead of invading, we had a leader with enough wisdom to talk.

The US does not have the moral or legal authority to lay claim to any territory other than our own nor do we have the right to dictate what other nations can do, even if we don't like it.

I urge you to reconsider your plan for massive military buildup, your ideas of un-ending warfare and to please recognize that sometimes when the US does something it causes harm and instead of promoting those policies we should step back from them and look to other options which will save lives. Sec. of State Albright may have thought the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi civilians was justified during our 10 year bombing campaign in the 1990s but I assure you, your Mormon faith does not and neither do the American people.

--Jacob Bogle

For additional information about Americas thirst for peace please check out this link: