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Liberia - Send US Troops, Yes or No?(13 posts)

Liberia - Send US Troops, Yes or No?TJeanloz
Jul 16, 2003 10:01 AM
I think following the Iraq discussions most people know where I stand, but would you support sending a sizable US peacekeeping force (with or without UN approval) to Liberia?

How is your response different to your stance on Iraq, and, if it is, why?
Do they have oil ??, If so, how much ??MR_GRUMPY
Jul 16, 2003 10:15 AM
Do they have WMD ????????
Congo is a much more urgent situation.czardonic
Jul 16, 2003 10:25 AM
It is an area where massive crimes against humanity are occuring now, rather than back in the 80's, with our tacit approval -- Iraq.

Unfotunately (for them), it is also a situation where war is actually driving the price that US (and other) companies pay for raw materials down.

But, if we decide to go to Liberia (which we should) it would be hard to justify neglecting the Congo. Of course, "justification" is no longer in style.
We would have our asses handed to us in the Congo (nm)TJeanloz
Jul 16, 2003 10:34 AM
Say's who? Not saying it would be a "cakewalk". (nm)czardonic
Jul 16, 2003 10:48 AM
Wow, TJ ...OldEdScott
Jul 16, 2003 10:50 AM
I agree.

We'd have to pay our guys a hell of a 'risk premium' salary!
Military already gets a "risk premium"TJeanloz
Jul 16, 2003 11:03 AM
I'm pretty sure that everybody who signs on for the Army knows what the end result might be - they're already comp'd for that.
Not me. I was drafted.OldEdScott
Jul 16, 2003 11:15 AM
Which kinda trashes the free market, as I'm sure you agree.

What I was trying to say was, the Congro would be an extremely high-risk intervention. My way of seconding your asses-handed-to-us observation. The military's way too stretched and frazzled right now to be going after Kurtz in the Heart of Darkness.
Yes and no; mostly no.sn69
Jul 16, 2003 4:00 PM
TJ, your assertation that we know what the potential end result could be is correct. It's part of the job.

Still, "comped?!" Not hardly. Do you know how much an E-4 makes per month? How about an E-anything? O's do alright, and pilots do great, but the money our grunts/troops bring home would shame most Americans, right or left. Hell, 13% of our troops with families are on AFDC/WIC.

LAV25--care to tell TJ how much you were bringing home per month when you got out as part of your "comp?"

I'll post some current pay scales if y'all would like. ...Oh, and Czar is correct, Congo is critical, as is the entire Kenshasa Highway thoroughfare, coast to coast. 6 million dead in the past 5 years alone.....

Yes and no; mostly no.TJeanloz
Jul 17, 2003 4:55 AM
While I completely understand what you're saying, the economist in me wants to make a point.

While the monetary compensation is not really high, there is non-monetary compensation in the fact that you like what you do, love your country, or something else. There is some reason that you have chosen a path that pays less than you might otherwise make - and this reason is the compensation for being there. I'm not saying you make a lot of money per se, but your total compensation [including non-monetary] should be comparable with the market.

I totally agree that the Congo, and perhaps Zimbabwe, are the most critical situations in Africa.
Yes and no; mostly no.sn69
Jul 17, 2003 7:40 AM


Here's a link to FY'03 enlisted pay. You can also find links to warrant and commissioned officer pay. Please note that this is monthly base pay, and does not reflect additional monies such as Basic Allowance for Housing (varies based on location, rank and marital status), Hazardous Duty Pay (where applicable), Subsistance Allowances, Commuted Rations, etc.

Many of those additional monies are non-taxable, which is nice. Base pay, however, is subject to the same federal, state and local taxation as everyone else.

In terms of the intagible cost(s), you also have to consider that the average member works in an environment that's far more dangerous than the civilian world, even while in CONUS, and that he/she spend roughly half the year deployed at present.

But, like you did correctly surmise, there is an intangible benefit that makes the low pay/lousy quality of life worthwhile--it's the concept of duty and being part of something that is meaningful. While I've spoken in the past of some, right or left, who do not fully understand the total scope of what the military is or does, there's a great deal of personal and professional satisfaciton that a service member gets from being part of this.

...But the pay still stinks for our troops....
Nope.Spoke Wrench
Jul 16, 2003 1:29 PM
That was my pre-war response to Iraq too.

I have no doubt there are a bunch of evil dictators and wannabes in the world who deserve to be driven to justice. So far, we haven't proven ourselves to be very good at doing that. Until our leaders convince me that we have a plan that I think is likely to work, I don't want to send our military anyplace.
Sub-Saharin oil, of course we'll goSteve98501
Jul 17, 2003 10:21 AM
We'll send troops to Liberia, giving humanitarian aid as the reason. The reason, however, is the U.S.' increasing interest in stability in Sub-Saharin Africa, where we're predicted to get more of our oil supply by 2010 than we get from the middle east. By acting now, we may avert duplicating our troubles and risks associated with dependence on middle east oil. However, I feel very cynical about the whole thing.

My stance is similar to Iraq. I generally oppose making unprovoked attacks on sovereign nations. I especially oppose attacks using humanitarian aid as a guise for business/resource exploitation, which I believe is what our actions will eventually be revealed to be in Iraq and Liberia. I support helping people create their own freedom and opportunity.

The people we're proposing to aid - Americo-Liberians - represent about a 5% minority of the country's population, which consists mainly of traditional tribes with animist religion and some emerging Isamic following. The Americo-Liberians are pro-American (traditional ties to freed American slaves), and the rest of the population is mostly anti-American, because they don't have economic or political control of their nation, I read.

Personally, I hate for anyone to suffer. Before we commit troops, however, I'd like to be better - and truly - informed about who we're helping, and why.