Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

Why is the US military budget so large?

2456712

Posts

  • CycloneRangerCycloneRanger Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Now, don't get me wrong...I think we could achieve the same result for a lot less. I think it'd be relatively easy to cut the military budget by like 25% and still maintain the kind of superiority and power projection we have now. By cutting things like, as was pointed out, the F-22...a weapon we're designing to fight an enemy that does not exist. I'm more than confident in our intelligence community being able to give us a heads up as to when we need to develop our next generation of whiz-bang toys, and it's a lot cheaper to just figure out what your enemies are working on than to go ahead and build expensive-ass shit yourself "just to be sure."
    The F-22 has been under development since 1986. You're right about our intelligence community, but I don't think you quite realize the lead-up time required to develop a new weapon. The F-22 development was begun before the cold war even ended. The intelligent thing to do now would be to procure a whole shitload of them and to maintain those as our primary air superiority fighter for a very long time. Going back to the F-16 and F-15 would move the inevitable "time for a next generation of fighter" a good twenty years closer, and wouldn't get back the huge pile of money we've already spent developing the F-22. Most of the cost is already sunk; and an extra 20 years of unquestioned air superiority would be worth the additional cost of the aircraft themselves. And I'm not talking about the next 20 years, during which the F-16 would be quite adequate, but the period beyond that. At some point new warplanes are going to be necessary, and skipping out on a generation that we've already developed just seems foolish to me.

    MWO User Name: Gorn Arming
    StarCraft II User Name: DeadMenRise
  • ThomamelasThomamelas Bro!Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Daedalus wrote: »
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    nosnibor wrote: »
    Regarding the F-22 Raptor: IIRC, Rumsfeld was trying to kill off some of the more expensive next-gen programs, but ran up against too much Pentagon opposition. I know he was able to kill off some montrosity of a mobile artillery unit, but the Pentagon really wanted to keep their "stealth fighter."

    The thing is, we don't even need the F-22. Ever since the end of the cold war, nobody has come remotely close to challenging our air superiority. The current platforms are perfectly capable of doing the job, the only downside being the age of the airplanes. You know how you fix that? Build new F-16s! The contractor (Lockheed-Martin, I believe) already knows how to make them, and you can build 4-5 of the damn things for the price of a single F-22.

    The short answer is, defense spending has been a blank check for the Military-Industrial Complex to try out their expensive new toys ever since Eisenhower coined the term. It's a problem that has existed under the watch of both Democrats and Republicans, and it will take a lot more than one president to fix.

    Actually, there was an article in the Atlantic arguing that other countries are quickly achieving parity with the modern U.S. fighter. They have gotten very good at defeating many of our long-range capabilities through relatively inexpensive jamming technology.

    But we're never going to war with any of those fucking countries! Is Iran coming to parity with with the modern U.S. fighter? No, they're running on some obsolete Vietnam-era MiGs and the essentially unmaintained F-14s we sold them back when they were run by a fascist dictator instead of a religious dictator.

    Wars between superpowers just don't happen. The writing's been on the wall for fifty years. It doesn't matter if Russia or China has a fighter that can match ours, because we'll never get into a war with Russia or China, and if we ever do, it'll begin and end with ICBMs.

    What makes you think the Russians won't sell their next generation craft as an export version? Given that you mention Iran having MiGs, where do you think they got them? Russia is always looking for hard currency and Putin has been pushing for new military techs during his entire time in power.

  • thisisntwallythisisntwally Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Fizban140 wrote: »
    What do you mean by can not work for a defense contractor in a lobbying capacity? So they can work for one as long as there is no lobbying? I know a lot of people who make careers out of their job in the Air Force, once they get out they do a similar civilian job for about $60,000. This is with 6+ years experience though.

    This is a difficult thing to put a pin on. After all we do want defense contractors who understand the industry. Putting a time requirement puts an X year lag on the quality of information the lobbiests have.

    #someshit
  • RentRent I'm always right Fuckin' deal with itRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Fizban140 wrote: »
    What do you mean by can not work for a defense contractor in a lobbying capacity? So they can work for one as long as there is no lobbying? I know a lot of people who make careers out of their job in the Air Force, once they get out they do a similar civilian job for about $60,000. This is with 6+ years experience though.

    I'm confused what you're asking, but yes I think recently discharged members should be able to work with defense contractors in a non-lobbying capacity, for two reasons
    1) Their knowledge can be put to directly good use, and they'll make good money for that knowledge
    2) Practically every major company in the world is a defense contractor nowadays. Coca-Cola and Mars, for example, has defense contracts

  • kildykildy Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Fizban140 wrote: »
    What do you mean by can not work for a defense contractor in a lobbying capacity? So they can work for one as long as there is no lobbying? I know a lot of people who make careers out of their job in the Air Force, once they get out they do a similar civilian job for about $60,000. This is with 6+ years experience though.

    I know a bunch who get hired on for marketing gigs after being in the command structure for bases with large contractor footprints.

    It's not that they're hiring lobbyists per se, the problem at times is they're using the jobs as an eventual payoff for throwing them business. It's nearly impossible to prove however, and laws stopping it would also maul trained military engineers who go on to get research and development gigs making the next generations of their technologies legitimately.

    The GAO is supposed to keep this under control, and they tend to do a decent job at it. The problem is they're Sloooooooooooooow about it. But if you do something illegal to scam the government, the GAO will eventually hunt you down. Who was it they busted for charging thousands of dollars shipping for 2-3 nails and shit?

  • TastyfishTastyfish Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    clsCorwin wrote: »
    That money also funded military guided R&D, which drives innovation into new technologies which derived for military purposes now, will filter down to the rest of us in a few years improving quality of life.

    Going by this argument we should be able to scale down military expenditure as parts of it should be paying for itself. Is there any stats on how much money the military actually brings in (not necessarily from R&D alone) - I'm not saying that the military should be profitable, but I think this argument comes up a lot in regards to funding NASA and it generally ends up that there are a lot better ways to spend the money if its just for research, and if it weren't that NASA and the military actually provided some other function in addition to this you wouldn't fund their R&D in to the same extent.

  • geckahngeckahn Registered User
    edited March 2009
    We already designed and then built a prototype of the best fighter ever made, but it didnt get made because it didn't have enough bullshit on it to make the defense contractors happy enough so they could run up their profit margin.


    If you want to learn a lot about the pentagon, and how fucking stupid is, and learn a lot about airfcraft design in the process, pick up a copy of Boyd.

  • RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    kildy wrote: »
    Off the top of my head, the rate for me as a contractor (to my contracting agency) was hovering around $107 an hour in my first two years of working an IT job. I didn't get anywhere near that, but that's what the army paid for me to be there.

    Everyone involved in the military contracting world knows military funding will never do anything but stay static or go up, so they pretty much scam people who they think they can bribe with eventual scammy jobs later. Ohhh did my company have a habit of hiring newly retired officers of the bases they contracted on into executive or marketing roles.

    Also, um, the Osprey.

    The thing with contractors is they come with a lot of overhead. Your company still has to pay your benefits, pay all the admin staff that send you a pay check, pay the people who supervise you back at the company, etc. All told, contractors are significantly cheaper for the government than hiring an employee. That $107/hr is a bargain.

  • thisisntwallythisisntwally Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Rent wrote: »
    Fizban140 wrote: »
    What do you mean by can not work for a defense contractor in a lobbying capacity? So they can work for one as long as there is no lobbying? I know a lot of people who make careers out of their job in the Air Force, once they get out they do a similar civilian job for about $60,000. This is with 6+ years experience though.

    I'm confused what you're asking, but yes I think recently discharged members should be able to work with defense contractors in a non-lobbying capacity, for two reasons
    1) Their knowledge can be put to directly good use, and they'll make good money for that knowledge
    2) Practically every major company in the world is a defense contractor nowadays. Coca-Cola and Mars, for example, has defense contracts

    So can they advise the lobbiests? How is that really any different?

    #someshit
  • RentRent I'm always right Fuckin' deal with itRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    urahonky wrote: »
    Rent wrote: »
    urahonky wrote: »
    Ideally we'd like to think that if we spent more money on military that means we'll be safer in our country. But I honestly don't think that's the case.

    I disagree, we're some of the best trained, best equipped, and most intelligent soldiers, on average, in the world
    I mean yeah there's a lot of wasteful spending but we're pretty damn good at what we do and if shit were to go down you, and everyone else in this country would be pretty safe

    Basically I'm saying I got your back :P

    Absolutely. I'd say that our military is the most trained in the world, but I don't think that money had anything to do with that. Especially not 10 times the amount China spent on military.

    Well, I dunno
    I mean, when you got a 3 million-strong military it isn't cheap to, for example, feed, clothe, and shelter all the motherfuckers, not to mention health insurance, etc etc etc
    I imagine just operational upkeep is a very significant portion of defense spending

  • ThomamelasThomamelas Bro!Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Rent wrote: »
    urahonky wrote: »
    Rent wrote: »
    urahonky wrote: »
    Ideally we'd like to think that if we spent more money on military that means we'll be safer in our country. But I honestly don't think that's the case.

    I disagree, we're some of the best trained, best equipped, and most intelligent soldiers, on average, in the world
    I mean yeah there's a lot of wasteful spending but we're pretty damn good at what we do and if shit were to go down you, and everyone else in this country would be pretty safe

    Basically I'm saying I got your back :P

    Absolutely. I'd say that our military is the most trained in the world, but I don't think that money had anything to do with that. Especially not 10 times the amount China spent on military.

    Well, I dunno
    I mean, when you got a 3 million-strong military it isn't cheap to, for example, feed, clothe, and shelter all the motherfuckers, not to mention health insurance, etc etc etc
    I imagine just operational upkeep is a very significant portion of defense spending

    $179 billion for operations and maintance. That doesn't include pay and benefits or procurement.

  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    The reasons we see so much spending for so much ineffectiveness in Iraq are:

    1) We're trying not to kill innocent civilians. If that wasn't a concern, we'd have totally rocked that country long ago. Of course, we'd be just as bad as Saddam, then.

    2) Most of our military technology is designed to fight a massive war against an army, rather than an urban guerrilla war against resistance fighters.

    3) We're at a point technologically where offensive military technology is far more efficient and cheaper than defensive military technology.

    Number three has been an ongoing concern pretty much forever. First, we invented clubs, which was an offensive technology that made an attacker have an advantage over a defender. Then, we invented hides, which could absorb blows from clubs. Then, we started throwing rocks, which could hit from a long way away, giving the attackers the advantage again. Then it was swords and longbows, giving attackers the advantage. Then the fortified castle and plate armor which, combined with longbows, gave the defenders the advantage. Then crossbows, guns, etc. and the defenders haven't had the advantage since. The most recent major development was the MIRV, which just enhanced the attacker's advantage that much more. I mean, really, right now, to build a vehicle with bulletproof windows, thick side-panel armor, etc. takes tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. A vehicle that can be blown through by a shaped charge you can create with a few hundred dollars and some very basic, cheap explosives. You can buy twenty-thousand-dollar body armor, which still isn't going to entirely protect you from a two-hundred-dollar AK-47, and most definitely won't from a five-hundred-dollar sniper rifle, or the few hundred dollars someone is willing to spend on an antipersonnel IED.

    A big place we need to look at for cutting military expenses is our nuclear deterrent. It's not the Cold War anymore. Even if it were the Cold War, we'd still have way too many nukes. We can cut down on our strategic subs, our silos, and our plane-dropped nukes by a whole shit-ton and still have the largest nuclear arsenal in the world. Disarmament will initially be expensive, but it will be a long-term investment in that we're not paying to guard and maintain the missiles we've disarmed anymore. I'm thinking disarming 70% of our nuclear missiles should be about right. It still gives us a far larger arsenal than anyone else in the world, while getting rid of a lot of weaponry we don't need.

  • RentRent I'm always right Fuckin' deal with itRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Rent wrote: »
    Fizban140 wrote: »
    What do you mean by can not work for a defense contractor in a lobbying capacity? So they can work for one as long as there is no lobbying? I know a lot of people who make careers out of their job in the Air Force, once they get out they do a similar civilian job for about $60,000. This is with 6+ years experience though.

    I'm confused what you're asking, but yes I think recently discharged members should be able to work with defense contractors in a non-lobbying capacity, for two reasons
    1) Their knowledge can be put to directly good use, and they'll make good money for that knowledge
    2) Practically every major company in the world is a defense contractor nowadays. Coca-Cola and Mars, for example, has defense contracts

    So can they advise the lobbiests? How is that really any different?
    It isn't, but we can just make it unlawful to associate with the lobbying portion of any military contractors, and investigate and arrest if so (much like we do for suspected insider trading on Wall Street)
    It's not perfect, but it's vastly better than our current system and just making all members of the military unable to work for military contractors is a terrible, terrible idea

  • RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Daedalus wrote: »
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    nosnibor wrote: »
    Regarding the F-22 Raptor: IIRC, Rumsfeld was trying to kill off some of the more expensive next-gen programs, but ran up against too much Pentagon opposition. I know he was able to kill off some montrosity of a mobile artillery unit, but the Pentagon really wanted to keep their "stealth fighter."

    The thing is, we don't even need the F-22. Ever since the end of the cold war, nobody has come remotely close to challenging our air superiority. The current platforms are perfectly capable of doing the job, the only downside being the age of the airplanes. You know how you fix that? Build new F-16s! The contractor (Lockheed-Martin, I believe) already knows how to make them, and you can build 4-5 of the damn things for the price of a single F-22.

    The short answer is, defense spending has been a blank check for the Military-Industrial Complex to try out their expensive new toys ever since Eisenhower coined the term. It's a problem that has existed under the watch of both Democrats and Republicans, and it will take a lot more than one president to fix.

    Actually, there was an article in the Atlantic arguing that other countries are quickly achieving parity with the modern U.S. fighter. They have gotten very good at defeating many of our long-range capabilities through relatively inexpensive jamming technology.

    But we're never going to war with any of those fucking countries! Is Iran coming to parity with with the modern U.S. fighter? No, they're running on some obsolete Vietnam-era MiGs and the essentially unmaintained F-14s we sold them back when they were run by a fascist dictator instead of a religious dictator.

    Wars between superpowers just don't happen. The writing's been on the wall for fifty years. It doesn't matter if Russia or China has a fighter that can match ours, because we'll never get into a war with Russia or China, and if we ever do, it'll begin and end with ICBMs.

    Wha? It's not just the superpowers that are achieving parity. India, Pakistan, pretty much any country that can afford to by jets from the Russians and have the engineers to develop jamming packages targeted at our technology. You don't need a stealth fighter if you can jam all the frequencies our missiles use.

  • thisisntwallythisisntwally Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Thanatos wrote: »
    A big place we need to look at for cutting military expenses is our nuclear deterrent. It's not the Cold War anymore. Even if it were the Cold War, we'd still have way too many nukes. We can cut down on our strategic subs, our silos, and our plane-dropped nukes by a whole shit-ton and still have the largest nuclear arsenal in the world. Disarmament will initially be expensive, but it will be a long-term investment in that we're not paying to guard and maintain the missiles we've disarmed anymore. I'm thinking disarming 70% of our nuclear missiles should be about right. It still gives us a far larger arsenal than anyone else in the world, while getting rid of a lot of weaponry we don't need.

    Long term surveillance and maintenance of key components here is pretty expensive. You can't just put them in a pile.

    #someshit
  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Thanatos wrote: »
    A big place we need to look at for cutting military expenses is our nuclear deterrent. It's not the Cold War anymore. Even if it were the Cold War, we'd still have way too many nukes. We can cut down on our strategic subs, our silos, and our plane-dropped nukes by a whole shit-ton and still have the largest nuclear arsenal in the world. Disarmament will initially be expensive, but it will be a long-term investment in that we're not paying to guard and maintain the missiles we've disarmed anymore. I'm thinking disarming 70% of our nuclear missiles should be about right. It still gives us a far larger arsenal than anyone else in the world, while getting rid of a lot of weaponry we don't need.

    Long term surveillance and maintenance of key components here is pretty expensive. You can't just put them in a pile.

    Can you put them in a power plant?

    vvvvvv-dithw.png
  • never dienever die Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Fizban140 wrote: »

    Body Armor is expensive, hell some screws on a B52 bomber costs up to $5, with thousands of those on the jet. That my not sound terrible but they are constantly getting replaced along with lots of other tiny parts on the jet. That is a bomber that was last produces in the early 60s, now imagine how much it costs to maintain an F22 for an entire year.

    So um, is there some reason those screws cost $5 a pop? Are they special screws? (I'm being serious.)

    Spoiler:
  • BubbaTBubbaT Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Daedalus wrote: »
    clsCorwin wrote: »
    That money also funded military guided R&D, which drives innovation into new technologies which derived for military purposes now, will filter down to the rest of us in a few years improving quality of life.

    You know, I don't buy that. If you take an amount of money from military-guided R&D, and put that same amount of money into civilian-oriented R&D, it'll have a greater effect on our quality of life and hey, maybe it can filter down to the military in a few years instead of the other way around.

    But without the military's political backing, that amount of money would never make it to R&D to begin with. For example, companies working in the development of prosthetic limbs would find it much harder to get funding without the military's political muscle. People simply react to civilians missing limbs the same as they do to soldiers who get a leg blown off. It ends up being a huge chunk of science (internet, microwave, radar, satellites, cellphones, GPS, etc.) that would have otherwise had to have been privately funded, and there aren't too many endowments around pumping out $500 billion a year.

    Plus you get the benefit of companies knowing that a technology is already proven viable from its military service. And the volume on military contracts forces manufacturers to develop mass production techniques which lowers the costs of those goods when they reach the civilian market. It's why you can get FLIR on a BMW for $2k instead of $20k.

  • DemiurgeDemiurge Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    never die wrote: »
    Fizban140 wrote: »

    Body Armor is expensive, hell some screws on a B52 bomber costs up to $5, with thousands of those on the jet. That my not sound terrible but they are constantly getting replaced along with lots of other tiny parts on the jet. That is a bomber that was last produces in the early 60s, now imagine how much it costs to maintain an F22 for an entire year.

    So um, is there some reason those screws cost $5 a pop? Are they special screws? (I'm being serious.)

    They are non-standard, this is a regular feature on millitary tech. Denmark bought some hardware off the US and we pay out the ass for maintenance because replacement parts (and screws) are only produced in the US.

    DQ0uv.png 5E984.png
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Thanatos wrote: »
    A big place we need to look at for cutting military expenses is our nuclear deterrent. It's not the Cold War anymore. Even if it were the Cold War, we'd still have way too many nukes. We can cut down on our strategic subs, our silos, and our plane-dropped nukes by a whole shit-ton and still have the largest nuclear arsenal in the world. Disarmament will initially be expensive, but it will be a long-term investment in that we're not paying to guard and maintain the missiles we've disarmed anymore. I'm thinking disarming 70% of our nuclear missiles should be about right. It still gives us a far larger arsenal than anyone else in the world, while getting rid of a lot of weaponry we don't need.
    Long term surveillance and maintenance of key components here is pretty expensive. You can't just put them in a pile.
    Recycle what you can, destroy what you can't. Alternatively, it's a lot cheaper to guard a shitload of components in a pile than it is to guard thousands of missiles spread across the entire world.

  • Fizban140Fizban140 Registered User, __BANNED USERS
    edited March 2009
    Demiurge wrote: »
    never die wrote: »
    Fizban140 wrote: »

    Body Armor is expensive, hell some screws on a B52 bomber costs up to $5, with thousands of those on the jet. That my not sound terrible but they are constantly getting replaced along with lots of other tiny parts on the jet. That is a bomber that was last produces in the early 60s, now imagine how much it costs to maintain an F22 for an entire year.

    So um, is there some reason those screws cost $5 a pop? Are they special screws? (I'm being serious.)

    They are non-standard, this is a regular feature on millitary tech. Denmark bought some hardware off the US and we pay out the ass for maintenance because replacement parts (and screws) are only produced in the US.
    You are exactly right, imagine how much screws and bolts cost on more rare items. A $150-200 screw is common.

    533570-1.png
  • FencingsaxFencingsax Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    A big place we need to look at for cutting military expenses is our nuclear deterrent. It's not the Cold War anymore. Even if it were the Cold War, we'd still have way too many nukes. We can cut down on our strategic subs, our silos, and our plane-dropped nukes by a whole shit-ton and still have the largest nuclear arsenal in the world. Disarmament will initially be expensive, but it will be a long-term investment in that we're not paying to guard and maintain the missiles we've disarmed anymore. I'm thinking disarming 70% of our nuclear missiles should be about right. It still gives us a far larger arsenal than anyone else in the world, while getting rid of a lot of weaponry we don't need.

    Long term surveillance and maintenance of key components here is pretty expensive. You can't just put them in a pile.

    Can you put them in a power plant?
    It's a little pure for the regular plant, but probably

    It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it
  • CycloneRangerCycloneRanger Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    A big place we need to look at for cutting military expenses is our nuclear deterrent. It's not the Cold War anymore. Even if it were the Cold War, we'd still have way too many nukes. We can cut down on our strategic subs, our silos, and our plane-dropped nukes by a whole shit-ton and still have the largest nuclear arsenal in the world. Disarmament will initially be expensive, but it will be a long-term investment in that we're not paying to guard and maintain the missiles we've disarmed anymore. I'm thinking disarming 70% of our nuclear missiles should be about right. It still gives us a far larger arsenal than anyone else in the world, while getting rid of a lot of weaponry we don't need.

    Long term surveillance and maintenance of key components here is pretty expensive. You can't just put them in a pile.

    Can you put them in a power plant?
    Yes, although that is really more of a disposal method than a storage method. In any case our nuclear arsenal is quite excessive for the foreseeable future, especially in a few areas. As Thanatos mentioned, cutting our air-delivered strategic weapons and silo-launched ICBMs would be a good place to start. I'm not sure I agree with getting rid of our nuclear submarines. From what I understand, those constitute by far the most effective component of our nuclear deterrent and would be our greatest weapon if a "real" war ever broke out between the US and another great power.

    If you want to get rid of an aircraft, I think the best option is the B-2. They cost individually ten times what an F-22 costs (which is already a lot), and their stealth technology is already outdated. Their payload is relatively small, and the advanced penetration missions that they were really designed for can be handled by modern stealth fighters (i.e. the F-22) or ballistic and/or cruise missiles, depending on the target. We just retired the F-117 for similar reasons (i.e. obviated by newer, cheaper stealth technology on the F-22).

    MWO User Name: Gorn Arming
    StarCraft II User Name: DeadMenRise
  • RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    never die wrote: »
    Fizban140 wrote: »

    Body Armor is expensive, hell some screws on a B52 bomber costs up to $5, with thousands of those on the jet. That my not sound terrible but they are constantly getting replaced along with lots of other tiny parts on the jet. That is a bomber that was last produces in the early 60s, now imagine how much it costs to maintain an F22 for an entire year.

    So um, is there some reason those screws cost $5 a pop? Are they special screws? (I'm being serious.)

    You can't go down to Home and B-52 Depot and buy a box of screws. Every part has to be specially machined from spec, and that includes the screws.

  • ThomamelasThomamelas Bro!Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    never die wrote: »
    Fizban140 wrote: »

    Body Armor is expensive, hell some screws on a B52 bomber costs up to $5, with thousands of those on the jet. That my not sound terrible but they are constantly getting replaced along with lots of other tiny parts on the jet. That is a bomber that was last produces in the early 60s, now imagine how much it costs to maintain an F22 for an entire year.

    So um, is there some reason those screws cost $5 a pop? Are they special screws? (I'm being serious.)

    You can't go down to Home and B-52 Depot and buy a box of screws. Every part has to be specially machined from spec, and that includes the screws.

    You'd have to admit though, that Home and B-52 Depot would be a pretty awesome place to shop.

  • thisisntwallythisisntwally Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    A big place we need to look at for cutting military expenses is our nuclear deterrent. It's not the Cold War anymore. Even if it were the Cold War, we'd still have way too many nukes. We can cut down on our strategic subs, our silos, and our plane-dropped nukes by a whole shit-ton and still have the largest nuclear arsenal in the world. Disarmament will initially be expensive, but it will be a long-term investment in that we're not paying to guard and maintain the missiles we've disarmed anymore. I'm thinking disarming 70% of our nuclear missiles should be about right. It still gives us a far larger arsenal than anyone else in the world, while getting rid of a lot of weaponry we don't need.
    Long term surveillance and maintenance of key components here is pretty expensive. You can't just put them in a pile.
    Recycle what you can, destroy what you can't. Alternatively, it's a lot cheaper to guard a shitload of components in a pile than it is to guard thousands of missiles spread across the entire world.

    Well you can't pile it. And I think its cheapest to cycle the stuff through constantly, since it requires some upkeep. Also its way too pure and the wrong metal for most power plants. Also its pretty expensive to build a facility to put the waste in to watch after it goes through the plant. Also, no one has built one anyway.

    #someshit
  • RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    A big place we need to look at for cutting military expenses is our nuclear deterrent. It's not the Cold War anymore. Even if it were the Cold War, we'd still have way too many nukes. We can cut down on our strategic subs, our silos, and our plane-dropped nukes by a whole shit-ton and still have the largest nuclear arsenal in the world. Disarmament will initially be expensive, but it will be a long-term investment in that we're not paying to guard and maintain the missiles we've disarmed anymore. I'm thinking disarming 70% of our nuclear missiles should be about right. It still gives us a far larger arsenal than anyone else in the world, while getting rid of a lot of weaponry we don't need.

    Long term surveillance and maintenance of key components here is pretty expensive. You can't just put them in a pile.

    Can you put them in a power plant?

    No, you can't. No more than you could take left-over rocket fuel and use it in you minivan.

  • Fizban140Fizban140 Registered User, __BANNED USERS
    edited March 2009
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    A big place we need to look at for cutting military expenses is our nuclear deterrent. It's not the Cold War anymore. Even if it were the Cold War, we'd still have way too many nukes. We can cut down on our strategic subs, our silos, and our plane-dropped nukes by a whole shit-ton and still have the largest nuclear arsenal in the world. Disarmament will initially be expensive, but it will be a long-term investment in that we're not paying to guard and maintain the missiles we've disarmed anymore. I'm thinking disarming 70% of our nuclear missiles should be about right. It still gives us a far larger arsenal than anyone else in the world, while getting rid of a lot of weaponry we don't need.

    Long term surveillance and maintenance of key components here is pretty expensive. You can't just put them in a pile.

    Can you put them in a power plant?
    Yes, although that is really more of a disposal method than a storage method. In any case our nuclear arsenal is quite excessive for the foreseeable future, especially in a few areas. As Thanatos mentioned, cutting our air-delivered strategic weapons and silo-launched ICBMs would be a good place to start. I'm not sure I agree with getting rid of our nuclear submarines. From what I understand, those constitute by far the most effective component of our nuclear deterrent and would be our greatest weapon if a "real" war ever broke out between the US and another great power.

    If you want to get rid of an aircraft, I think the best option is the B-2. They cost individually ten times what an F-22 costs (which is already a lot), and their stealth technology is already outdated. Their payload is relatively small, and the advanced penetration missions that they were really designed for can be handled by modern stealth fighters (i.e. the F-22) or ballistic and/or cruise missiles, depending on the target. We just retired the F-117 for similar reasons (i.e. obviated by newer, cheaper stealth technology on the F-22).
    The B2 payload is not small, just getting that out of the way. They play an important role, stealth bomber. It is the only one we have now and that is a huge nuclear deterrent to any country.

    533570-1.png
  • tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Rent wrote: »
    Fizban140 wrote: »
    What do you mean by can not work for a defense contractor in a lobbying capacity? So they can work for one as long as there is no lobbying? I know a lot of people who make careers out of their job in the Air Force, once they get out they do a similar civilian job for about $60,000. This is with 6+ years experience though.

    I'm confused what you're asking, but yes I think recently discharged members should be able to work with defense contractors in a non-lobbying capacity, for two reasons
    1) Their knowledge can be put to directly good use, and they'll make good money for that knowledge
    2) Practically every major company in the world is a defense contractor nowadays. Coca-Cola and Mars, for example, has defense contracts

    It's actually the same problem that Nate Silver wrote about on 538 today in relation to Wall Street: http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/03/two-birds-one-stone-regulation-and.html

    It's a system that feeds on itself. The gov't uses contractors for lots of shit they do. They pay these contractors way more than they would pay internal people to do shit. Hence, anyone worth anything gets out of the gov't as fast as possible and goes to work for a contractor, doing maybe even the same exact thing they did while a gov't employee, except now it costs the gov't 10 times as much.

    steam_sig.png
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    A big place we need to look at for cutting military expenses is our nuclear deterrent. It's not the Cold War anymore. Even if it were the Cold War, we'd still have way too many nukes. We can cut down on our strategic subs, our silos, and our plane-dropped nukes by a whole shit-ton and still have the largest nuclear arsenal in the world. Disarmament will initially be expensive, but it will be a long-term investment in that we're not paying to guard and maintain the missiles we've disarmed anymore. I'm thinking disarming 70% of our nuclear missiles should be about right. It still gives us a far larger arsenal than anyone else in the world, while getting rid of a lot of weaponry we don't need.

    Long term surveillance and maintenance of key components here is pretty expensive. You can't just put them in a pile.

    Can you put them in a power plant?
    Yes, although that is really more of a disposal method than a storage method. In any case our nuclear arsenal is quite excessive for the foreseeable future, especially in a few areas. As Thanatos mentioned, cutting our air-delivered strategic weapons and silo-launched ICBMs would be a good place to start. I'm not sure I agree with getting rid of our nuclear submarines. From what I understand, those constitute by far the most effective component of our nuclear deterrent and would be our greatest weapon if a "real" war ever broke out between the US and another great power.

    If you want to get rid of an aircraft, I think the best option is the B-2. They cost individually ten times what an F-22 costs (which is already a lot), and their stealth technology is already outdated. Their payload is relatively small, and the advanced penetration missions that they were really designed for can be handled by modern stealth fighters (i.e. the F-22) or ballistic and/or cruise missiles, depending on the target. We just retired the F-117 for similar reasons (i.e. obviated by newer, cheaper stealth technology on the F-22).
    I'm not saying we should cut subs completely, just cut down on them some. Yes, they're the most effective portion of our deterrent, but they're also the most expensive to maintain. Cutting down on them saves a shitload of money.

  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    urahonky wrote: »
    Rent wrote: »
    urahonky wrote: »
    Ideally we'd like to think that if we spent more money on military that means we'll be safer in our country. But I honestly don't think that's the case.

    I disagree, we're some of the best trained, best equipped, and most intelligent soldiers, on average, in the world
    I mean yeah there's a lot of wasteful spending but we're pretty damn good at what we do and if shit were to go down you, and everyone else in this country would be pretty safe

    Basically I'm saying I got your back :P

    Absolutely. I'd say that our military is the most trained in the world, but I don't think that money had anything to do with that. Especially not 10 times the amount China spent on military.
    I can say, with confidence, that the reason it's 10x higher is because a major portion of China's army is crap.

    As in a lot of their reserves practice self defense in a field and receive no formal military training kind of crap.

    PSN: allenquid
  • urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Quid wrote: »
    urahonky wrote: »
    Rent wrote: »
    urahonky wrote: »
    Ideally we'd like to think that if we spent more money on military that means we'll be safer in our country. But I honestly don't think that's the case.

    I disagree, we're some of the best trained, best equipped, and most intelligent soldiers, on average, in the world
    I mean yeah there's a lot of wasteful spending but we're pretty damn good at what we do and if shit were to go down you, and everyone else in this country would be pretty safe

    Basically I'm saying I got your back :P

    Absolutely. I'd say that our military is the most trained in the world, but I don't think that money had anything to do with that. Especially not 10 times the amount China spent on military.
    I can say, with confidence, that the reason it's 10x higher is because a major portion of China's army is crap.

    As in a lot of their reserves practice self defense in a field and receive no formal military training kind of crap.

    Yeah you're right.

    Saturday Oct 4th @ 3pm EST I will be hosting a Game Night with a bunch of friends. We plan to stream everything to the following twitch account, so please join us!
    Twitch.tv account: GameNightGoesll
    Direct Link
  • GungHoGungHo Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    tsmvengy wrote: »
    It's a system that feeds on itself. The gov't uses contractors for lots of shit they do. They pay these contractors way more than they would pay internal people to do shit. Hence, anyone worth anything gets out of the gov't as fast as possible and goes to work for a contractor, doing maybe even the same exact thing they did while a gov't employee, except now it costs the gov't 10 times as much.
    I'm not sure how many times people need to get fucked over by massive conflict of interest problems in the government/in business before they get tired of it. There's a lot of focus on officers within a corporate entity and within a governmental entity, but the focus is very blurry when someone looks at ties that exist once someone has left that entity... partially because it's so much harder to track. Even when it's OBVIOUS.

    "Adios, mofo" -- TX Gov Rick Perry (R)
  • KevinNashKevinNash Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Our military is based on the philosophy that we should be able to wage two full-scale wars at the same time. Which we did, with Afghanistan and Iraq. Being able to pull that off is expensive.

    Beyond that, we are pretty much at the forefront of military technology. We create some bad-ass stuff.

    Beyond that, we grossly overpay most of our contractors and allow them to run over-budget willy-nilly.

    All that taken together makes running our military expensive.

    Of course, you may argue that we don't need awesome, state-of-the-art stuff. I would disagree. (Though I would agree that much of the awesome stuff we make is unnecessary or misguided - see also: ABM shield.)

    You may also argue we don't need to be able to wage two wars at once. Here, I would agree.

    This is all true but you omitted that we're deployed all over the fucking globe serving as both deterrent, police force and army for hire. We have 737 foreign bases and almost 300,000 personnel deployed outside of the US, that includes foreign contractors.

    For some of this we're compensated, but it doesn't make up for the overall expenses.

  • thisisntwallythisisntwally Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I'm thinking cut down on the no bid contracts. And maybe question the $20,000 body armor. I mean, that like what we pay the soldiers wearing it. Does it make them 2X as effective?

    #someshit
  • ThomamelasThomamelas Bro!Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I'm thinking cut down on the no bid contracts. And maybe question the $20,000 body armor. I mean, that like what we pay the soldiers wearing it. Does it make them 2X as effective?

    Putting aside the emotional aspect (which shouldn't be put aside lightly) the cost to train a soldier is between $35,000 to $50,000 depending on what specializations they have. Spending the money on body armor reduces the number of soldiers that have to be replaced. If the emotional argument doesn't sway you, then view it as protecting an investment.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I'm thinking cut down on the no bid contracts. And maybe question the $20,000 body armor. I mean, that like what we pay the soldiers wearing it. Does it make them 2X as effective?

    Well, the body armor the average soldier wears doesn't cost $20K. With plates I'd be surprised if it tops $5K, and IIRC the last time I signed for my shit the vest itself (which still stop shrapnel and handgun rounds) only runs like $1700.

    Also whenever you talk about the cost of protecting soldiers you have to consider the cost of losing them. Which is a pretty big chunk of change, considering all the benefits that go to the families and the cost of training a replacement.

  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    mcdermott wrote: »
    I'm thinking cut down on the no bid contracts. And maybe question the $20,000 body armor. I mean, that like what we pay the soldiers wearing it. Does it make them 2X as effective?

    Well, the body armor the average soldier wears doesn't cost $20K. With plates I'd be surprised if it tops $5K, and IIRC the last time I signed for my shit the vest itself (which still stop shrapnel and handgun rounds) only runs like $1700.

    Also whenever you talk about the cost of protecting soldiers you have to consider the cost of losing them. Which is a pretty big chunk of change, considering all the benefits that go to the families and the cost of training a replacement.
    There's also the cost of actually getting them to sign up. The army with decent body armor is going to have to pay out far lower bonuses than the army without. And most armor sticks around a lot longer than any individual service member.

    PSN: allenquid
  • CycloneRangerCycloneRanger Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Fizban140 wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    A big place we need to look at for cutting military expenses is our nuclear deterrent. It's not the Cold War anymore. Even if it were the Cold War, we'd still have way too many nukes. We can cut down on our strategic subs, our silos, and our plane-dropped nukes by a whole shit-ton and still have the largest nuclear arsenal in the world. Disarmament will initially be expensive, but it will be a long-term investment in that we're not paying to guard and maintain the missiles we've disarmed anymore. I'm thinking disarming 70% of our nuclear missiles should be about right. It still gives us a far larger arsenal than anyone else in the world, while getting rid of a lot of weaponry we don't need.

    Long term surveillance and maintenance of key components here is pretty expensive. You can't just put them in a pile.

    Can you put them in a power plant?
    Yes, although that is really more of a disposal method than a storage method. In any case our nuclear arsenal is quite excessive for the foreseeable future, especially in a few areas. As Thanatos mentioned, cutting our air-delivered strategic weapons and silo-launched ICBMs would be a good place to start. I'm not sure I agree with getting rid of our nuclear submarines. From what I understand, those constitute by far the most effective component of our nuclear deterrent and would be our greatest weapon if a "real" war ever broke out between the US and another great power.

    If you want to get rid of an aircraft, I think the best option is the B-2. They cost individually ten times what an F-22 costs (which is already a lot), and their stealth technology is already outdated. Their payload is relatively small, and the advanced penetration missions that they were really designed for can be handled by modern stealth fighters (i.e. the F-22) or ballistic and/or cruise missiles, depending on the target. We just retired the F-117 for similar reasons (i.e. obviated by newer, cheaper stealth technology on the F-22).
    The B2 payload is not small, just getting that out of the way. They play an important role, stealth bomber. It is the only one we have now and that is a huge nuclear deterrent to any country.
    The B-2's payload is just under half of the B-52's payload. It's not small, of course, in an absolute sense—but in comparison to other bombers it certainly is. And I still think that the role of "stealth bomber" is irrelevant (or nearly so) now that we have an even stealthier fighter to use. The F-22 is designed for air-to-air combat, but ground attack is certainly an option. Larger targets (including anything you'd want to nuke, I imagine) can be handled with missiles. I'd certainly rather be without the B-2 than the F-22.

    I was mistaken regarding the cost, though. A B-2 actually costs closer to five times what an F-22 costs.

    MWO User Name: Gorn Arming
    StarCraft II User Name: DeadMenRise
  • deadonthestreetdeadonthestreet Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    So what's the deal with the F-35, which apparently has much of the tech that is in the F-22, but is significantly less expensive and is being sold to all sorts of countries that aren't the US?

Sign In or Register to comment.