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Scaling Down the Troops
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A couple of days ago, Sebastian Holsclaw had a good piece on Bush's plan to scale down troops in South Korea and Europe:

This is an excellent idea that could have been implemented years ago. The troops in South Korea were positioned as a tripwire for the Cold War. South Korea is capable of defending itself against an agressive North Korea and has had large protests to get rid of the troops for decades. If we feel the need to invade North Korea, it can be done without the non-strategic tripwire installations. But frankly we wouldn't be invading North Korea without Chinese help anyway. Far more likely is a strike against the nuclear plant.

Troops stationed in Germany have mainly been a drain to the U.S. for more than a decade. They aren't located near the modern threats and have been the subject of much criticism for years.

Furthermore, this is a nice hint that Europe might want to consider funding a more realistic level of its own defense.

Yep. In addition, it would save an estimated $1 billion a year and improve troop morale and increase homeland defense by stationing more troops within the U.S.

Even Kerry talked of redeploying troops. Before Bush announced plans to do so.

"If the diplomacy that I believe can be put in place can work, I think we can significantly change the deployment of troops, not just there but elsewhere in the world in the Korean peninsula perhaps, in Europe perhaps," Kerry said on the Aug. 1 broadcast of ABC's "This Week."

Now what does he say?

"Nobody wants to bring troops home more than those of us who have fought in foreign wars," Kerry said in speech prepared for delivery to the Veterans of Foreign War. "But it needs to be done at the right time and in a sensible way. This is not that time or that way."

Gosh, that sounds familiar. Invading Iraq would have been peachy keen, if only France had warmed up to the idea, right?

So here we have the same ambiguous mush about how the policy is actually good, but not now and not in this way. If you say this kind of crap, you need to be asked, "When is the right time, and what is the right way?"

It certainly seems that now is a perfectly good time, 15 years after the fall of the Soviet Union. In fact, it seems long overdue.

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