On the surface this may sound like a good idea: 70,000 troops from overseas to return home as part of a larger effort to reconfigure how the US military reacts and responds to threats in the world’s current and future hot-spots. But beyond this initial announcement, it is safe to say that the Bush administration’s plan is not in the best interest of the American people and the rest of the world.

At a time when American servicemen and women are fighting a war in Iraq and a global war against terrorism, America does not need to project an even greater unilateralist image of itself by withdrawing and repositioning its troops. One part of Bush’s plan calls to pull out troops along the DMZ and relocate them further south along the peninsula. Is this such a wise idea given North Korea’s nuclear threat? And what about the costs to the American people and to the foreign communities that attribute much of their well-being to the presence of these bases? There is also no guarantee that the overseas troops that return home would not be shipped out immediately to hot-spots like Iraq and Afghanistan. These issues should be dealt with before anything in the way of troop movement and base closures occur.

Not surprisingly, politicians on both sides of the spectrum, including Sen. John Kerry and Sen. John McCain have criticized Bush’s plan, calling it “ill-timed” and “misguided.” It is not an issue of making changes now with fear that they will never get done, because no one is denying that there needs to be changes to US military operations. More importantly, it is an issue of what these exact changes are and the manner in which they are that has made this announcement yet another political hot topic.

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