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The U.S. defense budget


Paul Mihalka

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Verbal quote from the latest TIME magazine:

"The U.S. defense budget: Military expenditure by the U.S. currently amounts to more than the world's 20 next highest national defense budgets combined." - Scary!

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Yep, it's scary . . . and I say that as a retired military officer. I read a few years ago that no nation that had allowed its defense spending to get to as high a percentage of GNP as ours had ever survived. I don't know if that was actually substantiated, but it's a huge concern. Not only are tremendous amounts of taxation necessary to maintain the defense establishment, but the fact that the private sector has become so dependent on making things so that we can break things and kill people diverts resources from other areas of potential economic growth.

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God Bless America!!!!

 

I wonder how many people would be speaking different languages and living in fear if it weren't for our great folks in uniform.

 

That said, I think it is time for other countries to have to defend themselves so we can cut that budget.

 

;)

 

 

 

 

 

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"The others" including Russia, China and Israel??

 

Scary indeed. Brings to mind an ex "superpower" that bankrupted itself by excessive military spending...

 

--

Mikko

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We should just go invade someplace with a better climate than ashcanistan or persian gulf...

 

Hey, isn't there a lot of $$$ in the cayman islands? I'm talking deficit reduction, baby! :rofl:

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God Bless America!!!!

 

I wonder how many people would be speaking different languages and living in fear if it weren't for our great folks in uniform.

 

That said, I think it is time for other countries to have to defend themselves so we can cut that budget.

 

;)

 

 

 

 

 

THIS

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We should just go invade someplace with a better climate than ashcanistan or persian gulf...

 

Hey, isn't there a lot of $$$ in the cayman islands? I'm talking deficit reduction, baby! :rofl:

Ronald Reagan was smarter. With him the USA invaded Grenada...

Reminds me of a quote from Moshe Dayan, famous Israeli general who directed the army in the "six-day war" that Israel won against the countries around them. What asked what his main victorious strategy is, he said "first, you have to pick the right enemy".

 

(this is how I remember it - may be all wrong)

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For all you freedom bell ringers, make sure you get re-upped and orders cut before you go clanking.

We've had so many freedom fights to placate the military mavens in this country that we've effectively alienated most of the rest of the world.

Moshe had it right, pick your enemas, the middle east hasn't been a good stomping ground since the Turks lost it after WWI. Seems the Pentagon doesn't pay much attention to history.

I'd rather see our was take a few days off, bring home the brave ones and use the money here. Anybody wanna guess what we pay out in bribes over there? Get real.

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We spend so much on the production of armaments and acquisition of intelligence, yet we never seem to be rid of deadly enemies which imperil the existence of every freedom we hold dear.

 

The twin drumbeat of fear and hatred serve two purposes - they put people in an emotional state that makes it easy to slip arguments by their rational thought processes, and they allow some among us to reap huge fiscal rewards.

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We spend so much on the production of armaments and acquisition of intelligence, yet we never seem to be rid of deadly enemies which imperil the existence of every freedom we hold dear.

 

The twin drumbeat of fear and hatred serve two purposes - they put people in an emotional state that makes it easy to slip arguments by their rational thought processes, and they allow some among us to reap huge fiscal rewards.

 

Yes, interesting that you put it that way. It's parallel to the argument that welfare/social spending has failed because we still have poor.

 

I'm not sure I approve of either argument, but it was worth a grin.

 

As for your second paragraph, +1

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God Bless America!!!!

 

I wonder how many people would be speaking different languages and living in fear if it weren't for our great folks in uniform.

 

That said, I think it is time for other countries to have to defend themselves so we can cut that budget.

 

;)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yup!

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I wonder what the outcome would be if we took, say, a year's expenditures for the war in Afghanistan, and simply gave that money to every man, woman and child in the country instead. Afghanistan has roughly 30 million people, and I've read that the war costs us $190 million a day. So that's $190 million/day X 365 days / 30 million people = $2311.67/person. Per capita GDP is $800 (but this likely excludes opium). I think we'd make a bunch of happy Afghanis who'd be in a position to improve their lot in life and rebuild their society, while giving credit to the USA.

 

But of course, we could never do this politically, because it would be giving taxpayer's money to people who didn't earn it. Well, maybe if we described it as "settling out of court". :)

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If we withdraw from Afghanistan the Taliban will simply re-emerge, take all the money, and use it to fund more Al Queda attacks on the US. Of course that's going to happen eventually anyway, but we already funded them once, lets not do it again.

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Ronald Reagan was smarter. With him the USA invaded Grenada...

 

Naw, that's no good. it'll be underwater soon, due to global warming. I say we just take over Mexico and then legalize and tax pot. If we keep the prices the same, we'll be raking in the dough...

 

Better hurry. Won't be long, we'll all be looking at the peso with envy.

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Of course that's going to happen eventually anyway

 

Taking that as a true statement, how do you propose to "not do it again?"

I was referring to not funding them again. I don't know how we can prevent the Taliban from returning in any short term scenario.
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Some numbers.

War Resisters

 

Interactive comparison of militry, health, education.

Visual Economics

 

CIA factbook spending % of GDP

 

We are addicted to freedom.

Cutting back spending will be hard to do.

I think we should raise taxes instead.

 

Or, elect people who can turn off the spigot and live with the outcome.

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I think we'd make a bunch of happy Afghanis who'd be in a position to improve their lot in life and rebuild their society, while giving credit to the USA.

 

Call me a doubter Bill, but I think we'd wind up with a bunch of very, very well equipped terrorists.

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The new "rifle" is certainly a great weapon, but I wonder how much good it can do for us in Afghanistan.

We already have a huge technological advantage over the taliban fighters with all the drones, armored vehicles, air force, satellite communications and pinpoint navigation, while the enemy moves on donkeys and old toyota pickup trucks.

 

But in this kind of war the technology seems to provide little advantage. Local knowledge and dedication for the cause seems to matter more.

 

At $35,000 a pice the new rifle might be nothing but another expensive toy. I hope not.

 

--

Mikko

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Maybe we should learn how to cut off our own welfare recipients before we get another culture hooked on the dole...

 

We are already way behind other developed nations in taking care of our own people, why should we try to fall behind even further?

 

--

Mikko

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Some of the above had made brilliant points. Taliban fought the Russians, made good sense to fund them and train them, back then. Can you say IED? Mostly they are still fighting century old arguments in their tribal way and want to reduce Israel to rubble. Then the world will wonderful for them again.They consider us the enemy because we support Israel. Well, that and we want to exploit any mineral/oil they may have.

All goes back to a couple English and French clerks drawing up the current political boundaries of the region breaking up the Ottoman Empire to the Western influence advantage.

But, attempting to kick ass in some dried up mountain range in the MidEast isn't doing jack diddly squat for our freedom. I believe the bankers in this country had a rather resounding negative financial impact on our freedoms. Why don't we treat them as noncombatants and send them to GitMo.

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The new "rifle" is certainly a great weapon, but I wonder how much good it can do for us in Afghanistan.--

Mikko

 

The reasons for this is largely because of the way we fight our wars. The USA, in my humble opinion, goes to great lenghts to target enemies and spare everyone who can be spared. I know that some will read that sentence and want to gag, but the picture I see painted by our media (I know they are a highly suspect source of information) as well as documentaries on the Viet Nam war illustrate armed forces that are not at all free to just go in and clear an area out. We show respect for all manner of exceptions from religious buildings to hospitals to schools to civilian gatherings -- even though the enemy might be holed up in there and using those places for cover or to organize. We put our own soldiers at HUGE risk in an effort to keep the peace and favor of the local citizens of where ever we happen to be fighting.

 

To those who consider us to be some sort of military imperialists or something like that, I only ponder what the old Roman Empire would be like if they had our technology? You ain't seen nuthin'! :eek:

 

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Maybe we should learn how to cut off our own welfare recipients before we get another culture hooked on the dole...

 

We are already way behind other developed nations in taking care of our own people, why should we try to fall behind even further?

 

--

Mikko

+1
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Maybe we should learn how to cut off our own welfare recipients before we get another culture hooked on the dole...

 

We are already way behind other developed nations in taking care of our own people, why should we try to fall behind even further?

 

--

Mikko

Care to name a few??

We need to make those who depend on so few to take care of themselves.

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Maybe we should learn how to cut off our own welfare recipients before we get another culture hooked on the dole...

 

We are already way behind other developed nations in taking care of our own people, why should we try to fall behind even further?

 

--

Mikko

Care to name a few??

We need to make those who depend on so few to take care of themselves.

Off subject - clear danger of politics rule violation - let's stop now.
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Dave McReynolds

The reasons for this is largely because of the way we fight our wars. The USA, in my humble opinion, goes to great lenghts to target enemies and spare everyone who can be spared. I know that some will read that sentence and want to gag, but the picture I see painted by our media (I know they are a highly suspect source of information) as well as documentaries on the Viet Nam war illustrate armed forces that are not at all free to just go in and clear an area out. We show respect for all manner of exceptions from religious buildings to hospitals to schools to civilian gatherings -- even though the enemy might be holed up in there and using those places for cover or to organize. We put our own soldiers at HUGE risk in an effort to keep the peace and favor of the local citizens of where ever we happen to be fighting.

 

 

I don't think the tactics you describe are working. I don't think the Taliban or the indigenous population of the countries where we're fighting hate us any less for sparing hospitals, schools and civilian gatherings. Those tactics work when we invade countries like France during WWII, where we and the indigenous population are fighting a common enemy (even then, I don't believe the French liked us very much, but at least most of them liked the Germans even less).

 

I would be in favor of a measured response, hit and run attacks, use of cruise missles, drones, etc., while being based outside of hostile countries. This seemed to work well for us during the period between the Iraq invasion of Kuwait and our invasion of Iraq. I'm really not sure this strategy would work any better than the one we're now using, but it might. And I'm pretty sure the strategy we're now using isn't working, and probably will never work.

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Dennis Andress
Maybe we should learn how to cut off our own welfare recipients before we get another culture hooked on the dole...

 

We are already way behind other developed nations in taking care of our own people, why should we try to fall behind even further?

 

--

Mikko

 

 

Providing a lifestyle at the government tit is not the same as taking care of a need.

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This issue of public welfare and social safety nets can be highly controversial, so tred carefully if you dare pursue it. I would only add this one thing, though, and that is that we need to be careful not to judge matters using popular mainstream political ideolgies.

 

What I mean is this: just because someone is against social safety nets of various sorts does not mean they don't care about the well being of their fellow citizens. Sometimes, they care quite a bit! Some people feel that the end effect of these programs is to create a dependent class of people who no longer know how to, nor care to know how to, function in a manner that leads to their own independence. Dependence is weakness, only independence leads to the freedoms and quality of life our Founding Fathers envisioned for this nation.

 

Also, just because a person promotes social welfare, doesn't mean they do care about their fellow citizens (although I know Killer absolutely does). Some people advocate for these programs as a cost containment measure or a social peace effort -- if the poor are able to get by, then they won't riot so easily, and riots are bad for business (see what Brazil is going through right now for instance).

 

So I would encourage us to drop the old tired cliche's that attempt to associate a person's morals with how they feel about various social programs. To me, there is little to no association here -- maybe there is in the land of political ideology, but not in the real world.

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So, in a nut shell, even Killers have feelings? :dopeslap:

 

This issue of public welfare and social safety nets can be highly controversial, so tred carefully if you dare pursue it. I would only add this one thing, though, and that is that we need to be careful not to judge matters using popular mainstream political ideolgies.

 

What I mean is this: just because someone is against social safety nets of various sorts does not mean they don't care about the well being of their fellow citizens. Sometimes, they care quite a bit! Some people feel that the end effect of these programs is to create a dependent class of people who no longer know how to, nor care to know how to, function in a manner that leads to their own independence. Dependence is weakness, only independence leads to the freedoms and quality of life our Founding Fathers envisioned for this nation.

 

Also, just because a person promotes social welfare, doesn't mean they do care about their fellow citizens (although I know Killer absolutely does). Some people advocate for these programs as a cost containment measure or a social peace effort -- if the poor are able to get by, then they won't riot so easily, and riots are bad for business (see what Brazil is going through right now for instance).

 

So I would encourage us to drop the old tired cliche's that attempt to associate a person's morals with how they feel about various social programs. To me, there is little to no association here -- maybe there is in the land of political ideology, but not in the real world.

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We spend so much on the production of armaments and acquisition of intelligence, yet we never seem to be rid of deadly enemies which imperil the existence of every freedom we hold dear.

 

The twin drumbeat of fear and hatred serve two purposes - they put people in an emotional state that makes it easy to slip arguments by their rational thought processes, and they allow some among us to reap huge fiscal rewards.

 

Yes, interesting that you put it that way. It's parallel to the argument that welfare/social spending has failed because we still have poor.

 

I'm not sure I approve of either argument, but it was worth a grin.

 

As for your second paragraph, +1

There is indeed a lot of agreement here. Both arguments seem specious at best.

 

The 2nd paragraph is true and applies to all sorts of "solutions" proposed by our leaders to include the fear spread to induce our nation to accept "the need" for the bailouts we've witnessed in over the past few years. Dennis is correct to bring up how casually we can discuss those horrific numbers - and talk about how big our defence budget is.

 

OK, I admit I have worked all my life either in the military or in the military industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us about, but I'm not one of those who believes that we should spend ourselves to "ruination" in order to be 'safe' either?

 

Do I believe the Defense budget could be reduced? Absolutely! There's no doubt in my mind there are many weapons developments on-going that don't serve the war we are in, where troops are on the ground and aircraft are in the air flying missions, and may never end up being needed.

 

Do I believe the leaders we elect should be able to figure out which programs really should need to be cut? Absolutely!

 

Have they? Absolutely not! Why not? Well you can blame the big military industrial complex - the big businesses - as they are no doubt part of the problem as well as being part of the solution (I can't say the same is true for the failed banks and insurance companies we bailed out to heinous levels who were reporting being solvent until right up to the end when they all rather sudden-like "needed" the buyouts!).

 

But all one need do is look to Congress. Cutting the Defense budget means making choices about which new weapon system developments, updates, and/or intelligence gathering systems/operations must be cancelled. And THOSE all mean job losses. Even the most anti-military "sounding" congressmen start having conniption fits the moment a system is going to be cut in their state/district. That's when the drug deals start happening. And the Administrations are left trying to make a policy they can get through congress.

 

When it comes right down to it, we either believe that our government is much better at starting things than really managing them OR we must believe that they are incapable of resisting the promises and/or out-and-out payoffs of big business OR we believe some combination of the two.

 

But then we're making the same accusations others made in opposing the HealthCare Insurance Program/deal still in question. If you had so much faith in the government for choising to go down that path, how can we now say that same government is somehow selectively prone to making bad plans with regard to military expenditures and it's related Big Business?

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Dennis Andress

Thanks for saying that so eloquently James. I find it difficult to write full sentences, let alone a paragraph, while I'm deep into a bunch of Java code. That's why my posts are short and to the point.

 

Even though my paycheck is part of the defense budget, I've no doubt defense is a self-feeding beast. Where I was once proud of serving in SAC, and feeling like I'd done something important when the Iron Curtain fell, I now feel like a loser when I see my nephew returning to Afghanistan. Hopefully, we can establish enough security to bring them all home and then cut the defense budget to the bone. Any good soldier would want nothing less...

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