In the pre-internet/smartphone days on Okinawa, staying in touch with people back home meant buying stamps and writing letters. Stars and Stripes was a way to keep up on the news. I enjoyed it.


Feb 11, 2020 The Hill

Pentagon proposes slashing funding to independent Stars and Stripes newspaper

“The Defense Department on Monday unveiled a $705.4 billion budget request that includes a proposal to slash funding for Stars and Stripes, the editorially independent newspaper that covers military matters around the world.”

“Stars and Stripes’ mission is not to communicate the [Department of Defense] or command message, but to be an independent, First Amendment publication that serves the troops — especially deployed troops,” Gates tweeted, taking special exception to McCusker’s view that the Pentagon has other ways to “communicate.”

Barbar Starr, CNN’s Pentagon correspondent, noted on Twitter that the Stars and Stripes print edition can be a valuable resource for service members based in areas where they “cannot use their phones because of concerns their locations will be tracked.”


Feb 12, 2020

DoD Budget Proposal Cuts All Funding to Stars And Stripes; Lawmakers Back Newspaper

“The news organization’s value to American troops’ has been proven, said Ernie Gates, Stars and Stripes’ ombudsman. He said the newspaper not only provides service members “a little piece of home” or a “welcome diversion” from tough missions, but it also provides independent, free-flowing information that they need to exercise their rights as Americans.”

“Stars and Stripes’ First Amendment mission within the Defense Department is an important expression of U.S. democratic values – a demonstration that our military can handle scrutiny from a free press,” Gates said. “It’s something to be proud of. Other countries’ military may have comparable, internal free press operations, but I don’t know of any.”

“SPJ called on Defense Secretary Mark Esper to rethink the funding cut to Stars and Stripes, which it said would be “a huge disservice to the men and women who serve our country” who rely on the physical newspaper in areas where they cannot access the internet.”

Stars & Stripes was a link to home when I was in Iraq and Okinawa,” wrote Gallego, a Marine veteran. “It’s an A+ indie take on everyday DoD news, f*** ups, and Administration & General Officer BS. No wonder this President wants to cut it. He’s got a fight on his hands.”


Feb 14, 2020

Esper Defends Move to Defund Stars and Stripes, Says News Org. Not a Priority


Stars and Stripes

Nov 14 2019 Stars and Stripes | By Corey Dickstein

Post-9/11 Wars Have Cost American Taxpayers $6.4 trillion, Study Finds

“WASHINGTON — American taxpayers have spent $6.4 trillion in nearly two decades of post-9/11 wars, which have killed some 800,000 people worldwide, the Cost of Wars Project announced Wednesday.”


Big Spending

Need more cash for undeclared/unwon wars that never end:

Feb 7, 2020

Esper Presses Congress to Bulk Up Next Military Budget

“…more funding for the military to confront China and Russia…”


Recommendation for budget savings:

Phase out ongoing undeclared/unwon wars overseas.

The Department of Defense track record for winning undeclared wars goes back to 1949.

More here:

Unsustainable Military Spending


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