U.S. always regrets

cutting its military

Regarding Andrew Bacevich's March 5 column, "Today's reality: U.S. no longer needs a large Army":

Maybe this professor should brush up on his history. He says our Air Force and Navy would be enough to quell any conflict. A bad assumption.

He also states that "given a choice between a few hundred of today's Abrams tanks and a few thousand vintage Shermans, Gen. George Patton would not hesitate to choose the former." The German Panzer Corps in World War II had vastly superior tanks compared to ours. They were overwhelmed by the sheer number of tanks America and the Allies threw at them.

Every time we have allowed our military to fall by the wayside, we have initially had our heads handed to us in a crisis. It happened in World War I, WWII and Korea. In WWI and WWII, even with the draft, it took years to bring the military back up to an effective force. In Korea, we sent some kids into combat who could not even field strip their weapons. The results were obvious.

I don't hear of any other country, especially Russia and China, downsizing anything. We never need the military until we need the military. In today's world that may be too late.

But maybe downsizing will come automatically. The way this administration is treating service members and veterans, it may happen as young people lose interest in joining the military.

If that happens and this country gets in a jam, maybe the professor will pick up a weapon and stand the line. But I doubt it.

JOHN CLEMENTS

Hammonton

Building dunes

is a make-work project

I have lived in Margate for more than 60 years and have witnessed countless dune projects throughout South Jersey. Every one of those dunes had to be replaced at one time or another. In most cases, more than once. Beach replenishment is a costly endeavor, and it can prove to be a difficult burden on public budgets.

On the other hand, the jetties originally built in Margate more than 60 years ago are still present. They have not washed away as dunes inevitably do. They have succeeded in doing what they were designed to do - to trap blowing sand and sand carried by water currents.

The proof is evident. The jetties at Essex Avenue and Cedar Grove Avenue are now one-fourth the size visible in the 1950s. They are covered in the sand they have trapped. The jetties that were built at Jerome, Jefferson, and Coolidge Avenues are either buried or barely visible, proving their worthiness.

Employees of the Army Corps of Engineers are in the business of perpetuating their careers. How would you like to be paid big money to build houses that collapse every two or three years, only to be built (and paid for) over and over again? Dunes are an example of planned obsolescence. They mean jobs for the Army Corps.

If the Army Corps built additional or larger jetties and reinforced and slightly elevated the bulkheads, it would be a one-and-done project. But that would end these people's careers. So they avoid such projects and attempt to promote the mythical "forever" dunes.

JIM HILTNER SR.

Margate

How about trimming

county, state staffing?

Regarding the March 14 story, "Christie cites progress on property taxes":

I must be living in the wrong part of New Jersey. Where are property tax increases less than 2 percent?

My fourth-quarter tax was 9 percent more, and my 2014 taxes will be 8 percent higher than my 2013 taxes.

There is constant talk of ways to alleviate the property tax problem. Consolidating municipal services is a favorite topic. But isn't it strange that there is hardly a whisper from Trenton or Mays Landing about creating efficiencies in county or state workforces?

I checked the phone book. There are five whole pages of listings for the state and county. That would appear to be a fertile source for some government pruning. And then, perhaps, there would be more money available to help local governments with their escalating budgets .

ED DEAN

Somers Point

Alternate turn lanes

on Black Horse Pike

Regarding the March 14 story, "Egg Harbor Township fire chief: I'll open up pike gaps":

The project to remove cut-throughs on the Black Horse Pike was halted because the design of turn lanes resulted in vehicles that were turning in opposite directions blocking each other's view of oncoming traffic.

Until a more permanent solution is found, why not designate alternate cut-throughs for eastbound and westbound traffic, with appropriate signage letting drivers know which is which. Just a thought.

DAVEY YOUNG

Pomona