Letter: Money spent on defense better spent elsewhere

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To the editor:

I am in complete agreement with Russell Freedman and William D. Hartung, the authors of the Jan. 23 oped "Iran must not sidetrack defense spending military debate." Even if the U.S. and Iran got into a small scale war in the next year under our misguided president in Donald Trump there is a very slim possibility that the U.S. would need to send a large amount of U.S. soldiers into Iran.

The way the United States military has fought both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars was to send as few soldiers from our military to these countries as was possible.The U.S. military commanders smartly realized it was much safer for our military members to train anti-government forces in both Afghanistan and Iraq so these rebel forces would do the brunt of the dangerous ground battles, which lessens the amount of casualties for American soldiers in these wars.The most important branch of our military is now the U.S. Air Force, which through bombing campaigns throughout our enemies countries is designed to weaken or destroy our enemies armed forces so that anti-government militias have a somewhat easier time in trying to keep some kind of peace in these war torn countries even though the results of this strategy have been unsatisfactory for the most part.

That is why I would think it is quite reasonable for the number of full-time soldiers to be reduced by at least 10 percent as the authors mentioned in the commentary piece. According to the New York times in March of 2017 the United States Army had 1.3 million active member troops with another 865,000 reservists ready to be called to fight if needed. However at the time only 200,000 U.S. active servicemen were deployed throughout the world. Therefore it makes sense to lessen the number of active U.S.Army members by 130,000 troops to lower our bloated military budget of $738 billion so that money could be spent on other underfunded government programs such as food stamps, heat assistance,and low income housing.

Bram Hurvitz,

Pittsfield

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