Hi Mr. Collins,

This comment is in response to your prophecy blog update titled ‘The Continuing Decline of The West’ and more precisely the comment below.
“It is hard to imagine how so much money can buy so little in the way of new weapons and additional soldiers.”
I am in an Army Reserve unit in Arkansas.  We “train” at least once a month.  Our “training” usually consists of sitting in a room watching power-point presentations that go on for hours.  They are usually about subjects that could be covered in about 10 minutes like how to properly wear a beret or they go over things like the soldiers creed or the army values.  These are things that soldiers should be expected to do on there own time. 
My point is that we hardly ever do any real training with our equipment (it’s a bridge building unit) or weapons.  My own very conservative estimate is that my fellow soldiers and I take home at least $35,000 a month in our paychecks just for sitting around drinking cokes and not paying attention to presentations that aren’t very important in the first place.  It makes me sick to sit through this “training” knowing that we are not only wasting time but also money.  We aren’t well prepared for anything.  I’m scared that this is how “training” is carried out in units across the country.  I could be more specific about how much time and tax-dollars we waist every month if I thought you needed or wanted to know.
The army is not what I hoped it was when I joined.  I am actually embarrassed to be part of it all.  I just wanted to vent a little frustration and show my disgust with the Army leadership.
Thanks for listening

Dear Rich,
Thank you very much for your personal experiences with how money is being wasted in the military budget. Its sad to think that with all the very real threats which are emerging all over the globe to threaten the USA and our allies, the “training” given to our soldiers includes little useful information on how to prepare for these threats.  Media articles and TV news stories have documented that so much military equipment has been shipped to Iraq and Afghanistan that National Guard units have little left “stateside'” on which to do any serious training.
Thanks again for your candor. Your last name and state of origin has been withheld to protect your privacy.