Thursday, July 19, 2012

US Military Muscle Cramp

The 31,000 ton USNS Rappahannock recently fired on a small fishing boat off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, killing an Indian fisherman and seriously wounding others of the crew. As the two ships neared each other in the shipping lanes, the US vessel, a 677 ft (206 m) Naval support ship, came to believe the much smaller craft was a potential threat. The 25-foot skiff (which proved ultimately to have no radio and no weaponry), "ignored defensive, non-lethal warnings" by the US Naval vessel before being raked with machine gun fire and partially disabled.

(photos not to scale)

Such incidents are likely to occur.

American troops are deployed in assorted sensitive areas around the world, and must be sensitive to the threat of attack.

How can accident and bloodshed be avoided? Best redeploy in the mainland USA, and slowly shrink the size of the US military -- it is too large, too widely deployed, too expensive. Posting US military forces all around the world generates trouble.

Too often US military presence relies on cozy relationships with despotic and non-democratic unpopular regimes. When we prop-up the hated government, no doubt local people despise our presence. Bring the US troops home.