Caribbean states don’t need armies

Dear Editor,
Why don’t governments stop wasting money to have an army, navy or air force. They should do like the Republic of Costa Rica and just have a police force and coast guard ,which are all any civilized country actually needs anyway.

Has the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago ever had to repel a foreign invader? No it has not, but elements of the Trinidad armed forces (Rafeek Shah) did once attempt a coup. It is true Abu Bakr tried to do that too, but the Trinidad Police Force and coast guard alone would have been able to defeat the 150 Bakr followers with AK-47s, so that is no justification for the amount of money wasted so that Trinidad can have an army.

It could be argued that Venezuela might invade Trinidad one day, but while that might be theoretically so, if Venezuela with its massive military ever decided to invade any Caricom country they would not stand a chance in hell of stopping them. Based on history, a Caricom country is more likely to be invaded by the USA than countries like Venezuela or Brazil, and we wouldn’t stand a chance of stopping Uncle Sam either!

The point I am making is this:  fielding armies in our tiny countries in these economic hard times is a complete waste of money. No weak country would attack us and no powerful country could be stopped by us, so why don’t we follow Costa Rica’s lead and have better paid and equipped  police and coast guard forces, and use the money saved to improve the lives of our citizens. We could provide better health care, more realistic pensions, better education for our youths, etc. These things are more important than having our own army, navy or air force.
The soldiers would not lose their jobs; they could be absorbed into a bigger and better police force and coast guard, with the saving being on no longer having the need to buy military apparatus which is more extensive and expensive than what a police force and coast guard would require.

Our politicians are always telling us that we must be ready to make and accept difficult choices, but as far as I can tell (apart from Costa Rica which scrapped its military, and Bolivia which cut every government minister’s salary in half) the only people forced to make and accept the difficult choices are the poor people who are struggling to survive.
Yours faithfully,
Damon Gerard Corrie

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