I have to agree with Mr. Jensen that it is truly disgusting to see all of the conservative politicians coming out of the woodworks to bash defensive reorganization. While it is true that the loss of jobs is a tragedy it must also be remembered that our nation is one of constantly evolving concerns.
During the cold war new bases and installations were placed throughout the Midwest. Missile silos were constructed in several states and there was legitimate concern as to the possibility of a nuclear war with the Soviet Union.
When Ronald Reagan first entered office he introduced us to his policy of deterrence. Containment, or keeping communism from spreading, had been the policy since the beginning of the Cold War and was seen to have been largely ineffective. After more than 30 years we were still no closer to putting an end to the chilled relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union.
Reagan's military buildup was a means of scaring the Russians into, for lack of a better word, submission. His strong-arm Cold war policies along with a willingness to open negotiations with the Soviets are what finally put an end to the Cold War. Russia's only answer to out military expansion was to attempt to match our actions. This massive campaign of government spending led to the eventual "signing away" of the Soviet Union by Mikhail Gorbachev in 1991.
Presently, we have reached a crucial junction in American history. Times have changed, and with them our concerns. This is not the first time nor will it be the last. In order to go from a Government whose main concern is a giant nuclear-ready nation on the other side of the world, to a government whose chief enemy can attack anytime, anyplace, or anywhere with little or no notice at all.
Terrorist attacks are not at all like the conflicts that take place between governments. There is no gentlemanly war, women and children are not factors, nor do they see a difference between a military installation and a shopping mall. With war the primary function of the military is defense, with terrorists the military's first job is much more like that of an EMT.
This change in focus has led us to a time where our military interests need to be restructured in order for them to be prepared to defend our nation from its current enemies. The fact that this costs states jobs is terrible, but it's something that has to be done in order to keep us a step ahead of those who want to wipe us from the face of the earth.
A decision has to be made by each and every citizen of this nation: Which is more important, jobs or security? This is an awful decision to have to make but remember, jobs can be replaced, lives cannot.