Is the US burdened by its military might ?

@laglen (19782)
United States
April 16, 2010 7:56am CST
In a little-noticed remark at the close of the two-day nuclear security summit in Washington, D.C., this week, President Obama suggested the United States is somehow burdened by its military might -- a comment that drew a stern rebuke from his former rival in the presidential campaign. Obama was responding to a question Tuesday about how the summit would play into peace-making efforts in the Middle East when he addressed the downsides of -- by virtue of America's world stature -- being obligated to intervene in international conflicts. "It is a vital national security interest of the United States to reduce these conflicts because whether we like it or not, we remain a dominant military superpower, and when conflicts break out, one way or another we get pulled into them," Obama said. "And that ends up costing us significantly in terms of both blood and treasure." The remark got little attention in mainstream coverage of the summit, but was picked up on several conservative blogs, which panned the president for suggesting Americans had grown weary of superpower status. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., slammed the leader of the free world Thursday, calling the remark a "direct contradiction to everything America believes in." "That's one of the more incredible statements I've ever heard a president of the United States make in modern times," McCain, a Vietnam veteran and former prisoner of war, told Fox News. "We are the dominant superpower, and we're the greatest force for good in the history of this country, and I thank God every day that we are a dominant superpower." http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/04/15/obama-america-superpower-like/?test=latestnews Do you think this is a big deal? Do you think McCain is blowing it out of proportion? Do you think it was n context?
7 responses
@coffeegurl (1470)
• United States
16 Apr 10
I can't say I KNOW what Obama was trying to say. But, having voted for him, and as a member of "Organizing for America," what I THINK he meant was that, despite the fact that we had nothing to do with someone's conflict, we are like the parents of the world, trying to make them behave and not fight or throw tantrums. Because of this, we have to risk our American lives and money to solve these third world problems because they don't know how to govern their own stupid countries. It's not our fault they are being stupid, but we suffer just the same.
@laglen (19782)
• United States
16 Apr 10
lol well said. I think that was a good explanation.
• United States
16 Apr 10
....but not one I accept as the truth! More like a cop-out!
1 person likes this
@spalladino (17925)
• United States
16 Apr 10
whiteheather, I'll give you one example of why what coffeegurl posted is true... Kuwait.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
16 Apr 10
I don't think that America is burdened by its military might... rather, it's burdened by overbearing military-minded strategists and politicians (like McCain?) who insist on pumping up the US war machine and drag America into wars without much regard for the state of the local economy and populace. Yeah, and all in the name of "being a dominant superpower". ;p (BTW, I'm not an American, nor do I have anything against them. But the arrogant tone of McCain's sound byte just quite piqued me...)
1 person likes this
@laglen (19782)
• United States
16 Apr 10
I understand but you should understand that there is no way in this world that McCain has the power to do anything with our military. Our Government is setuo that it takes an act of Congress (haha)
• Philippines
16 Apr 10
Oh..but the overbearing military-minded strategists and politicians (given media mileage by media outfits like Fox News) can still influence congress, can't they? :/
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@laglen (19782)
• United States
16 Apr 10
lol Congress is not supposed to watch Fox, that is what the President told them.
• United States
16 Apr 10
I would say it is good to be a world power. But then the cost of it is expensive so that can be a "burden" in economic times like this. I don't think we should be the "world police". That IS a burden we don't need. I don't agree that we "have" to get pulled into foreign conflicts. We should mind our own business. Obama is right that it cost us in American lives and in American tax dollars when we do. So I would say it is a double edged sword.
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@laglen (19782)
• United States
16 Apr 10
We should mind our own business. amen sister! It is costly but I do think it is very important to stay the strongest. I think this keeps us safest.
• United States
16 Apr 10
I agree we need to keep the strongest military in the world. It WILL keep us safest. But I still think we should mind our own business.
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@laglen (19782)
• United States
16 Apr 10
I agree unless we are asked to help. I do think it is important to promote democracy but not force it on people.
• United States
16 Apr 10
Laglan I am so sorry I also quoted the same link as you did for a discussion. To answer your question -No I do not think McCain is blowing it out of proportion. I like feeling safe knowing that we are protecting our country. Obama is slowly taking away all our defenses - He shows obsequiousness to all foreign powers by bowing so low he is showing our submission as a country .Wants to take away our defenses because they are too expensive yet he and his motley crew have been spending our money like drunken sailors on his pet projects. Then his Obama Health Care is so bad that all the young people will not get decent medical care and therefore be too weak to be part of a decent military.
1 person likes this
@laglen (19782)
• United States
16 Apr 10
no worries whiteheather, I see no problem with more than one post, we will usually ask different questions with it. Thank you for your response, I do agree that Obama is taking away our defenses. I think he thinks he will rule the world so therefore will not need just the US Military.
• United States
16 Apr 10
OMG what a terrible thought. I wonder which country's Military he will use for his elite guard as world ruler?
1 person likes this
@spalladino (17925)
• United States
16 Apr 10
No, I'm not stalking you, whiteheather, but as you yourself pointed out, you have a similar discussion on the board, too, and I'm also participating in this one. I've done some looking around since I responded in your discussion and the fact is that we have much more than the 2,000 nuclear warheads I previously read about. We have over 4,000 partially dismantled warheads in bunkers and it is believed that Russia has around 8,000. These warheads, which are perfectly capable of being reassembled and functioning, aren't normally counted as part of the stockpiles. IMO, we have been over armed since the Cold War but let me ask you, what number would make you feel protected? Is it 2,000 active missiles or fewer? Russia and the U.S. will continue to outnumber every other nation in the world when it comes to weapons...that's a given. The president did not say that it's too expensive financially...he never mentioned money...he mentioned our troops.
1 person likes this
@hofferp (4739)
• United States
16 Apr 10
McCain may be making a bigger deal of this than warranted, because of his own political situation. But personally, Obama's remark hit a wrong cord with me. The "because whether we like it or not...", sounds too close to another one of his infamous "apologies".
1 person likes this
@laglen (19782)
• United States
16 Apr 10
That is kind of how it rubbed me too. Not sure if I was being overly sensitive.
• United States
16 Apr 10
Me too!
@spalladino (17925)
• United States
16 Apr 10
Now, laglen, you know that McCain had to object in some way...he's running for reelection and must take every opportunity to slam the president...so, yes, he blew the president's comment out of proportion. It does appear though that he had a bit of difficulty doing so. After all, it is vital to our national security interests to reduce conflicts around the world because we ARE a dominant military superpower and, as such, we do get drawn in which results in the loss of American lives. Since this summit focused on nuclear security worldwide, with the goal of keeping the nations of the world safe from nuclear weapons attacks, I don't find the president's comment to be out of line.
1 person likes this
@laglen (19782)
• United States
16 Apr 10
thank you for your response. I have for the most part disregarded McCain. He is for it before he is against it, it depends who he is talking to and I HATE that kind of politics.
@gewcew23 (8011)
• United States
16 Apr 10
Obama is right for a change, our military strength is a liability. Before WWII United States had about the tenth largest military in the world. Heck before WWI our army was no bigger than Belgium's army. Back then it was easy to stay out of world conflicts because we did not have the military strength to deal with it. WWII changed everything, when our government decided that we the taxpayers would take on the burden of protecting the whole free world first from the Germans/Japanese and then the Soviets. Our reward a very expensive military budget. If you our an USA alley why do you need a large military, you have ours at your disposal. If we down sized our military we would have less abilities to respond to every action around the world. The world will not exploded with violence if we disengage military. Also this would help out our growing national deficit and the taxpayers who will have to pay for the whole mountain of debt.
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@laglen (19782)
• United States
16 Apr 10
hhmm that is an interesting point of view.