Reactive Defense Too Expensive

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Editor:

Democrat supporters argue we unnecessarily lost the lives of 500 Americans in Iraq. Viewing that claim in the historical perspective, the 500 lives lost in Iraq are less than 1/1,000 of military deaths in our four major wars of the last century. Each one began in a Democrat's administration. Democrats consistently favor popular social programs over defense preparedness.

Adequate long-range planning might have avoided some of those wars. With a credible defense initially, we could certainly have won more quickly and decisively with less casualties and expense.

Under Reagan and Bush administrations, long-range defense policy resulted in dramatic savings in lives of soldiers and long-range military expenses of prolonged wars. Over Democrat opposition, Republican presidents' programs provided America a credible defense. The Democrats ridiculed Star Wars, but in the Persian Gulf War that concept saved many Israeli lives. Iraqi long-range missiles were frequently shot down.

The biggest long-term savings in lives and resources occurred when Russian Communists recognized they could not win an arms race with an alert, determined America. They then gave up their long-range world strategy of control.

The naive view that we cut defense and intelligence because we are protected by two oceans is outdated because of weapons technology developments. Democrat rhetoric on defense is exemplified by President Johnson's notion that we could have both guns and butter. The result was unaffordable social programs and inadequate support for our troops in Vietnam.

The Democrat preference of social programs over defense is too deeply ingrained for them to change now. They haven't learned much from 100 years of history, indicating that the long-term cost of their short-sighted policies is too great. These policies practically invite attack by hostile, irresponsible people of whom some already have weapons of mass destruction. It costs too much in American blood and other resources to have a reactive defense policy.

Jim Winter, Payson

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