Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Desperate to defend other people's lands

When, last October, the Taliban attacked a post in Nuristan Province, Afghanistan, eight American soldiers were killed. Our incompetent military leadership admitted that this post had "no tactical or strategic value." In fact, it was virtually undefendable, and was considered a "sitting duck." Ho-hum, mistakes will happen, won't they?

When U.S. troops abandoned the base just days later, commanders actually stated that they had planned to abandon it all along. What were the feelings of those soldiers who were comrades of the unfortunate dead ones, knowing that callous disregard by their superiors might have cost their lives also?

Since then, more lives have been wasted – for nothing.

In "Bring Our Marines Home," Pat Buchanan tells of the movements abroad to expel the U.S. military from various territories. Like Japan, will Afghanistan find American troops still hunkered down within its borders 60 years from now?


All of which raises a question. If Tokyo does not want Marines on Okinawa, why stay? And if Japanese regard Marines as a public nuisance, rather than a protective force, why not remove the irritant and bring them home? Indeed, why are we still defending Japan? She is no longer the ruined nation of 1945, but the second-largest economy on earth and among the most technologically advanced. The Sino-Soviet bloc against which we defended her in the Cold War dissolved decades ago. The Soviet Union no longer exists. China is today a major trading partner of Japan. Russia and India have long borders with China, but neither needs U.S. troops to defend them. ...

Comes the retort: American troops are in Japan to defend South Korea and Taiwan. But South Korea has a population twice that of the North, an economy 40 times as large, access to the most advanced weapons in the U.S. arsenal and a U.S. commitment to come to her defense by air and sea in any second Korean War.

And if there is a second Korean War, why should the 28,000 U.S. troops still in Korea, many on the DMZ, or Marines from Futenma have to fight and die? Is South Korea lacking for soldiers? Seoul, too, has been the site of anti-American demonstrations demanding we get out.

Why do we Americans seem more desperate to defend these countries than their people are to have us defend them? Is letting go of the world we grew up in so difficult? ... Is it worth a clash with China to prevent Taiwan from assuming the same relationship to Beijing the British acceded to with Hong Kong? In tourism, trade, travel and investment, Taiwan is herself deepening her relationship with the mainland. ...

A strategic retreat from Eurasia to our own continent and country is inevitable. Let it begin by graciously acceding to Japan's request we remove our Marines from Okinawa and politely inquiring if they wish us to withdraw U.S. forces from the Home Islands, as well.

Read complete article here.

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