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posted: 11/25/2012 4:52 AM

Paring military would prove costly

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Paring military would prove costly

Please understand: Cutting our military would cost far more than providing the money for it. The reason is simple: Defense always costs far more than offense. When an enemy can cheaply strike anywhere, and we must defend everywhere, an unsuppressed enemy can easily bankrupt us and bring our whole system down.

Look at what it cost our enemies to destroy the World Trade Center compared to the innumerable billions of dollars it has cost our economy since.

During the Cold War we installed the Nike missile defense system near heavily populated areas. We were considering installing a more advanced replacement as the Soviet Union built missile silos, but found the cost versus effectiveness prohibitive.

The result was MAD -- Mutually Assured Destruction. We built missile silos too. Both sides knew the defense/offense equation.

The equation is playing out in Israel/Gaza now. Cheap unguided missiles fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip that are headed for a populated area are being shot down by Israels' Iron Dome defense system -- but at the cost of $40,000 per missile.

So Israel has just used their military to blast enemy launch sites, and destroy the system of tunnels at the border with Egypt by which arms are being smuggled into Gaza. You need offense to destroy an enemy's offense.

Our military is very costly -- true -- but not more so than our whole home defense system. The military is our primary offensive tool. We need it to destroy our enemy's offensive capability wherever that can be applied.

Yes, we must carefully evaluate and implement only military options that prove cost effective. But trying to save money by cutting down on our military, when faced by a radical and determined adversary, is the costliest thing we could do.

Gib Van Dine

West Chicago

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