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CNN: Kerry to challenge Bush troop plan


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My issue with Kerry he will attack someone's plan but won't think of one himself. I think if I were bush I would campaign to all the 18 year-olds saying Kerry wants a draft and I just want to realign.


CINCINNATI, Ohio (AP) -- Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry is expected to argue Wedesday that President Bush might hinder the war on terror and other aspects of national security with his proposal to recall as many as 70,000 troops from Cold War-era bases in Europe and Asia.

In a speech prepared for the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Kerry contended that Bush's policy would dangerously reduce forces at a time when the nation is fighting the al-Qaeda terrorist network in 60 countries across the globe, according to a campaign statement.

Kerry said the redeployment would undermine relations with U.S. allies needed to help fight in Iraq and in the war on terror. It also would endanger national security as the United States is working to deter North Korea's nuclear program, he said.

"North Korea has built up their nuclear weapons program over the past three years," said a statement from the Kerry campaign. "Why would we pull back our troops and give North Korea something for nothing?"

The Kerry campaign statement also said the redeployment does nothing to relieve the problem of an overextended military in Iraq. It cited a Congressional Budget Office report that said a large reduction of the U.S. military presence overseas could cost $7 billion up front, although the same report said annual savings could be more than $1 billion.

Bush announced his redeployment plan Monday before an earlier session of the same convention of the VFW, a conservative group meeting in a GOP-leaning city. Bush also used his appearance before the veterans to criticize Kerry for saying he plans to reduce the number of U.S. troops in Iraq during his first six months in office.

In response to Kerry's criticism, the Bush campaign released a list of statements from Republican senators and others praising the president's proposal as essential to fighting a new kind of war.

"The Kerry campaign's attacks on realignment demonstrate a pre-9/11 world view that doesn't address the threats facing our country today," said former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tennessee.

With voters focused on the war on terror, the VFW convention was the perfect backdrop for both candidates to tout their war plans. The convention was set in Ohio, one of the most hotly contested battleground states, with a live audience being targeted by both campaigns.

Although veterans lean Republican, Kerry also is seeking their support in this election. Kerry touts his own service in the Vietnam War as a mutual connection and is even bucking the tradition of suspending campaigning during the opposing party's national convention to speak to the American Legion.

Kerry plans to speak to the group at their convention in Nashville on September 1, in the middle of the Republican National Convention. Kerry spokeswoman Allison Dobson said it's the only event he has scheduled during the GOP gathering in New York City.

"Obviously, veterans' issues are a huge priority, so he's honored to be speaking there," Dobson said.

Kerry's appearance before the VFW was to be the first time he responded to Bush's redeployment plan, but others speaking on behalf of the campaign have criticized it along the same lines.

Retired Gen. Wesley Clark said Bush's plan "will significantly undermine U.S. national security." Richard Holbrooke, former ambassador to the United Nations, accused Bush of playing politics with the issue and trying to distract from the strain on the military by prolonged deployments in Iraq.

Kerry's criticism of Bush comes as the Democratic challenger tries to cut the president's advantage on terrorism and national security. Bush is often seen as the stronger leader on those issues in public opinion polls, but Kerry's aides say the president is vulnerable, especially as voters learn more about Kerry's record of service.

The Vietnam-era military records of both candidates remain an issue in the race, with former sailors accusing Kerry of exaggerating his war record and Democrats questioning whether Bush showed up for duty in the Texas Air National Guard.

Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, a decorated Vietnam veteran who campaigns with Bush but has worked closely with Kerry in the Senate, has called for a cease fire.

"I wish we would stop opening wounds from a war of more than 30 years ago and talk about the war we're fighting now," McCain told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "I believe they both served honorably."

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Other than supporting the German economy there is no reason in today's society and our ability to transport troops immediately to keep them there.

40k Troops in South Korea vs. the 2 million in North Korea = same scenario.. We don't have 40k Troops in Taiwan and they are in more danger than S. Korea...

We are Nuclear Powered and can be anywhere within a couple of days...

The Military has been talking about this since the wall came down... We thought it was a done deal then????

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The only reason the Dems are opposed to this is because a Republican is suggesting this....

The left has always used our troops being stationed all over the world as an excuse to call the US an imperial power. Now, they want us to keep the troops there! Also, the majority of the people in the countries where we have troops would like us to leave. However, they would like to keep the tens of billions of dollars we pump into their economies.

Didn't Kerry whine about our forces being spread too thin? How he is whining about this.

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Kerry needs to realize we are no longer fighting the Cold War and the way are troops are stationed around the war was based on the Cold War. We need to realign our troops for the type of war we are fighting today. And just as someone said earlier, its funny to listen to Kerry oppose the Presidents ideas but never lays out his plan and how it would work. All you hear him saying is we should do this, this and this. But you never hear him tell you how he plans on doing it.

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I heard Kerry going on a rant about it today on the radio. that we were "rushing to move our troops". He makes it sound like they are getting on planes and flying out next week.... but they arnt.... they are planning moves starting in two years.... and progressing for the following 10 years.

I almost laughed when he said, "this isnt the answer to the war on terror" I guess he doesnt understand that the war on terror isnt the only thing going on.

I am strongly in favor of moving bases into eastern europe (poland and maybe the ukraine) these countries want to be our friend. I was in the Ukraine in 1994 doing some joint training, i was amazed how well they thought of us. they really wanted us there and were excited to operate with us. By the way....Ukrainians are not really big beer drinkers.... but they can really put the vodka away

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The money it costs the American taxpayer for us to operate over here would make most of you cringe. I earn an additional $800.00 a month tax free due to COLA, now that might be on the high end of the scale but I assure you factor $550.00 a month times the soldiers we have in Germany and it sure adds up. In addtion there is LQA for qualifing civilians this is their living quarters allowence, I know of one GS14 who is drawing $40,000 a year in LQA tax free. We havent had a mission here in years and we are just a welfare system for the Germans, maybe this is Kerrys plan for getting the Germans to play in Iraq. Hmm:rolleyes:

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