I was concerned when I read Andrew Bacevich’s commentary, “Shrinking America’s army makes perfect sense in today’s world” (March 2). This was in the same edition of the Maine Sunday Telegram that had a Page 1 headline referring to an inside story, “Russian military seizes Crimea.” I am certain that Russian President Vladimir Putin would agree with Professor Bacevich.

The professor knows that “defending the country” from “Mexican or Canadian threat” is not the only role our Army has. We have many allies, treaties and interests abroad.

The professor states that “the Army is not a force for decisive action.” Among many examples, he must have forgotten the first Gulf War.

Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi army had invaded Kuwait and was headed for Saudi Arabia. The U.S. put a quick coalition together, and the U.S. Army led a 100-day war that liberated Kuwait, secured Saudi Arabia and left Saddam in shock and awe.

World oil prices and supply stabilized, and they were never threatened again by Saddam. Many of our allies and those who would do us harm took notice.

Sadly, in many parts of the world, talk is cheap. Only strength gets respect. Most of us understand that freedom is never free. Ours was won and is secured today by the blood and sacrifice of the finest Marines, soldiers, sailors and airmen the world has ever seen, supported by their families and government.

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