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Why is the US military budget so large?

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Posts

  • ToxTox I kill threads Pharezon's human garbage heapRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    GungHo wrote: »
    Aren't the A-10s starting to have airframe wear & tear problems like the F-15?
    Then build more A-10s (and F-15s/16s).

    Seriously... they need to demonstrate the benefits of the new design, rather than waving their hands in front of my face and saying "it's got new crap on it." We can put the new crap in the old crap. Some of the old crap we made is pretty goddam good crap, and while the F-22 is a hell of a jump forward, I don't see it in the F-35.

    My dad was an F-4 mechanic when they were introducing the 15s, and he still swore by the 4s. He knew of, on his base alone, no less than half a dozen F-4 pilots who could take down an F-15 with about a 75% success rate.

    Granted, these were Vietnam era pilots, so they knew what the actual capabilities of the aircraft were, which is a lot more than the book claims, so, I dunno.

    Grey Ghost wrote: »
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  • Irond WillIrond Will Dragonmaster Cambridge. MASuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited April 2009
    BubbaT wrote: »
    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.

    Blue-sky military research, which is pretty much the only kind that ever produces useful civilian spinoffs, has been underfunded for quite a while now. The keywords for most large contractors these days is "reuse" as in "we are going to reuse the same radar design that we developed in 1960" and "commercial off the shelf" as in "we can buy 200 cellphones for the price of one military radio".

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  • Irond WillIrond Will Dragonmaster Cambridge. MASuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited April 2009
    Voranth wrote: »
    I thought the U.N. has banned the owning and weaponizing of outer space?

    Yeah, I'm pretty sure suborbital heavy bombers (and Thor, which I'm also pretty goddamn certain NATO has) would fall under the "it's not illegal if they don't catch you" theory of legal compliance.

    A tungsten telephone pole would show up on any spacetrack radar. People - and not just us - keep track of this stuff.

    Wqdwp8l.png
  • Irond WillIrond Will Dragonmaster Cambridge. MASuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited April 2009
    Saammiel wrote: »
    I always find it mind boggling how the Air Force seems to hate the most fuckawesome plane in existence. It is like they want to be laughed at.

    I've also seen the Eliminate the Chair Force movement before, from service members I view as credible, so its probably not a bad idea. They suck up huge amounts of resources focusing on a role that is not all that important in modern warfare and for which they are already vastly over-equiped for. And they still manage to shoot friendlies and lose aircraft even despite all this money.

    For what it's worth, the Air Force has the lowest douchebag density of all the forces. Also, their role as "long range bomber guys" might be somewhat antiquated, but they still maintain strategic missiles and space, which are things that other services just aren't equipped for - and don't kid yourself - political considerations of the large nations in the world are still guided by the MAD rubric. Finally, the Air Force at least manages some token level of engineering and technical proficiency on the part of their personnel.

    I like the idea of unifying the forces - the Canadians have done it to good effect - but if I had to pick one, I'd much rather see the Marines get eliminated than the Air Force.

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  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Shit we spotted the missing toolbag of an astronaut.

  • enc0reenc0re Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    FyreWulff wrote: »
    And we'd still be able to do that.

    I'm not saying get rid of the Air Force.

    I'm saying get rid of the distinction between the branches, completely.

    Any organization of the military's size needs to be split into branches to be manageable. Just like your local megacorp has an accounting division separate from the marketing division. Some sort of split is necessary.

    Now, I think an argument can be made that the nature of the split should change. Instead of branching into:
    * It floats -> Navy
    * It flies -> AF
    * It runs around -> Army
    * First it floats, then it swims, then it runs around -> Marines

    perhaps a modern split should be more mission oriented:
    * Nuclear and space -> Strategic Force
    * Global transportation and carriers -> Logistics Force
    * Fighting actual countries and armies -> Conventional Force
    * Peacekeeping and counterinsurgency -> Asymmetric Force

    But then again, does that do any more for you than our current split? The lines have to be drawn somewhere.

  • ToxTox I kill threads Pharezon's human garbage heapRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    enc0re wrote: »
    FyreWulff wrote: »
    And we'd still be able to do that.

    I'm not saying get rid of the Air Force.

    I'm saying get rid of the distinction between the branches, completely.

    Any organization of the military's size needs to be split into branches to be manageable. Just like your local megacorp has an accounting division separate from the marketing division. Some sort of split is necessary.

    Now, I think an argument can be made that the nature of the split should change. Instead of branching into:
    * It floats -> Navy
    * It flies -> AF
    * It runs around -> Army
    * First it floats, then it swims, then it runs around -> Marines

    perhaps a modern split should be more mission oriented:
    * Nuclear and space -> Strategic Force
    * Global transportation and carriers -> Logistics Force
    * Fighting actual countries and armies -> Conventional Force
    * Peacekeeping and counterinsurgency -> Asymmetric Force

    But then again, does that do any more for you than our current split? The lines have to be drawn somewhere.

    Obviously there have to be divisions and subgroups, that's just the point. What's being suggested is that, instead of fully separate and autonomous militaries, why not just one military? As it currently stands, there is next to zero integration between branches outside of top level and special needs. For instance, the Army trains MI for the Air force as well, and certain very specialized institutes (like the Defense Language Institute) are all-branches. The question is why can't we uniform the branches, why does one branch only need 8 weeks while another requires 13? There should be a way to standardize that.

    And the uniforms. Fuckin 'ey with the uniforms, man. A standardized uniform and rank system would make things sooo much easier.

    Grey Ghost wrote: »
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  • enc0reenc0re Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Tox wrote: »
    Obviously there have to be divisions and subgroups, that's just the point. What's being suggested is that, instead of fully separate and autonomous militaries, why not just one military? As it currently stands, there is next to zero integration between branches outside of top level and special needs. For instance, the Army trains MI for the Air force as well, and certain very specialized institutes (like the Defense Language Institute) are all-branches. The question is why can't we uniform the branches, why does one branch only need 8 weeks while another requires 13? There should be a way to standardize that.

    And the uniforms. Fuckin 'ey with the uniforms, man. A standardized uniform and rank system would make things sooo much easier.

    OK, I can't argue with that.

  • ToxTox I kill threads Pharezon's human garbage heapRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Maybe I just played too much Battletech, though. It could just be that.

    Grey Ghost wrote: »
    James Dean was the actor, Jimmy Dean was in the sausage business.

    James Deen is both an actor AND in the sausage business.
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  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Personally I'd like for the Artillery section of the Australian army to have Corporals like everyone else, rather then Bombardiers. Though I'm pretty sure they keep the separation just to fuck with people at boot camp.

  • ToxTox I kill threads Pharezon's human garbage heapRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Personally I'd like for the Artillery section of the Australian army to have Corporals like everyone else, rather then Bombardiers. Though I'm pretty sure they keep the separation just to fuck with people at boot camp.

    That's kind of cool, actually, but it'd be a lot cooler if it wasn't a formal difference. If they were still corporals, just -called- bombardiers.

    Grey Ghost wrote: »
    James Dean was the actor, Jimmy Dean was in the sausage business.

    James Deen is both an actor AND in the sausage business.
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  • zakkielzakkiel Registered User
    edited April 2009
    enc0re wrote: »
    FyreWulff wrote: »
    And we'd still be able to do that.

    I'm not saying get rid of the Air Force.

    I'm saying get rid of the distinction between the branches, completely.

    Any organization of the military's size needs to be split into branches to be manageable. Just like your local megacorp has an accounting division separate from the marketing division. Some sort of split is necessary.

    Now, I think an argument can be made that the nature of the split should change. Instead of branching into:
    * It floats -> Navy
    * It flies -> AF
    * It runs around -> Army
    * First it floats, then it swims, then it runs around -> Marines

    perhaps a modern split should be more mission oriented:
    * Nuclear and space -> Strategic Force
    * Global transportation and carriers -> Logistics Force
    * Fighting actual countries and armies -> Conventional Force
    * Peacekeeping and counterinsurgency -> Asymmetric Force

    But then again, does that do any more for you than our current split? The lines have to be drawn somewhere.

    Those functions do not separate at all neatly, if you can separate them at all. On the other hand, the Army and Navy divide up very nicely. The basic skills and knowledge you need for the Navy are very different from the Army for both enlisted and officers.

    I don't see the point of the one branch argument at all. We already have one branch: the DoD.

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  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    zakkiel wrote: »
    enc0re wrote: »
    FyreWulff wrote: »
    And we'd still be able to do that.

    I'm not saying get rid of the Air Force.

    I'm saying get rid of the distinction between the branches, completely.

    Any organization of the military's size needs to be split into branches to be manageable. Just like your local megacorp has an accounting division separate from the marketing division. Some sort of split is necessary.

    Now, I think an argument can be made that the nature of the split should change. Instead of branching into:
    * It floats -> Navy
    * It flies -> AF
    * It runs around -> Army
    * First it floats, then it swims, then it runs around -> Marines

    perhaps a modern split should be more mission oriented:
    * Nuclear and space -> Strategic Force
    * Global transportation and carriers -> Logistics Force
    * Fighting actual countries and armies -> Conventional Force
    * Peacekeeping and counterinsurgency -> Asymmetric Force

    But then again, does that do any more for you than our current split? The lines have to be drawn somewhere.

    Those functions do not separate at all neatly, if you can separate them at all. On the other hand, the Army and Navy divide up very nicely. The basic skills and knowledge you need for the Navy are very different from the Army for both enlisted and officers.

    I don't see the point of the one branch argument at all. We already have one branch: the DoD.

    It works great for the Canadian Forces, much less bullshit miscommunication and there isn't the sort of branch rivalries there apparently are in the U.S. Also, cost savings. I mean, at a base level, if you have uniform curricula for basic training, say, between what is now the U.S. Army and the Marine Corps, or hell, uniform uniforms amongst all branches, that would save a metric fuckton. And really, aside from the combat specifics, what makes the forces so distinct? I mean, really, logistics and intelligence is pretty standard whether you are resupplying a boat versus a plane versus an armour column, or looking for a boat versus a plane versus an armour column.

    For areas where there is distinct differences, just do what the CF does, and make each different MOS fall into an element. You want to be a commander of a sub? Great, you are in the marine element. You want to fly a plane? Air element for you. Want to be a ground pounder? Congratulations, off to the ground forces.

    There's nothing to it.

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  • ToxTox I kill threads Pharezon's human garbage heapRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    zakkiel wrote: »
    I don't see the point of the one branch argument at all. We already have one branch: the DoD.

    To save money by streamlining things.

    To me, the most obvious savings is in the contractor needs for the plethora of uniforms that would be cut. This isn't just a face value thing, either. The US Army spent a -lot- of money researching a new combat uniform. The Marines did the same thing, separately. Twice as much money was spent than was needed, simply because each branch decided to do it at different times. Also, medals. You'd be able to streamline and re-organize the medals/ribbons used.

    Let's see, what else. You'd save money on recruitment, too. You wouldn't need separate staffs for each branch, nor would you need separate brochures. You could have one office, with one main brochure, one job-related brochure (covering corps and job branches), and one "special" brochure covering things like Airborne and all the stuff that takes extra, specialized, training.

    Again, I also, genuinely, believe you'd be able to save money by being able to eliminate the number of upper-echelon troops required, and by reducing the overall size of the force.

    Not to mention there's probably some savings to be had in terms of training. By standardizing the training all across the board, you should be able to reduce training costs.

    Grey Ghost wrote: »
    James Dean was the actor, Jimmy Dean was in the sausage business.

    James Deen is both an actor AND in the sausage business.
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  • GungHoGungHo Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Irond Will wrote: »
    I like the idea of unifying the forces - the Canadians have done it to good effect - but if I had to pick one, I'd much rather see the Marines get eliminated than the Air Force.
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  • ToxTox I kill threads Pharezon's human garbage heapRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    saggio wrote: »
    It works great for the Canadian Forces, much less bullshit miscommunication and there isn't the sort of branch rivalries there apparently are in the U.S. Also, cost savings. I mean, at a base level, if you have uniform curricula for basic training, say, between what is now the U.S. Army and the Marine Corps, or hell, uniform uniforms amongst all branches, that would save a metric fuckton. And really, aside from the combat specifics, what makes the forces so distinct? I mean, really, logistics and intelligence is pretty standard whether you are resupplying a boat versus a plane versus an armour column, or looking for a boat versus a plane versus an armour column.

    The biggest difference in military training is that, for instance, Air Force basic training doesn't have the extensive Basic Rifle Marksmanship training that the Army has (3 weeks, when I went through it, vs. a few days or so in the AF)

    Oh, yeah, and the branch rivalry is extremely sibling in nature. We make fun of each other because we're sister services, so we have the right to do so.

    Grey Ghost wrote: »
    James Dean was the actor, Jimmy Dean was in the sausage business.

    James Deen is both an actor AND in the sausage business.
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  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I really wouldn't mind some reshuffling and stream lining of the forces for a lot of things. Different uniforms doesn't strike as terrible for certain branches (Though seriously Navy, get the fuck over some of this shit) as the bulk of their people are going to be doing different things. A guy on a boat is better off with camo that helps cover up grease and paint stains while infantry are obviously better off with camo that hides them.

    And there's always going to be rivalry bullshit. Getting rid of the names of the different forces doesn't mean the idiots in infantry aren't going to bicker with the idiots artillery who aren't going to bicker with the idiots in air crew.

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  • ToxTox I kill threads Pharezon's human garbage heapRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Quid wrote: »
    I really wouldn't mind some reshuffling and stream lining of the forces for a lot of things. Different uniforms doesn't strike as terrible for certain branches (Though seriously Navy, get the fuck over some of this shit) as the bulk of their people are going to be doing different things. A guy on a boat is better off with camo that helps cover up grease and paint stains while infantry are obviously better off with camo that hides them.

    And there's always going to be rivalry bullshit. Getting rid of the names of the different forces doesn't mean the idiots in infantry aren't going to bicker with the idiots artillery who aren't going to bicker with the idiots in air crew.

    They already do, in the Army. And the uniform thing is mostly to give a big finger to the Navy. Plus, I'd like to see garrison'd service-members wearing something nicer than camouflage when they're in public. Something like a utility uniform.

    Grey Ghost wrote: »
    James Dean was the actor, Jimmy Dean was in the sausage business.

    James Deen is both an actor AND in the sausage business.
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    Dilige, et quod vis fac
  • zakkielzakkiel Registered User
    edited April 2009
    saggio wrote: »
    zakkiel wrote: »
    enc0re wrote: »
    FyreWulff wrote: »
    And we'd still be able to do that.

    I'm not saying get rid of the Air Force.

    I'm saying get rid of the distinction between the branches, completely.

    Any organization of the military's size needs to be split into branches to be manageable. Just like your local megacorp has an accounting division separate from the marketing division. Some sort of split is necessary.

    Now, I think an argument can be made that the nature of the split should change. Instead of branching into:
    * It floats -> Navy
    * It flies -> AF
    * It runs around -> Army
    * First it floats, then it swims, then it runs around -> Marines

    perhaps a modern split should be more mission oriented:
    * Nuclear and space -> Strategic Force
    * Global transportation and carriers -> Logistics Force
    * Fighting actual countries and armies -> Conventional Force
    * Peacekeeping and counterinsurgency -> Asymmetric Force

    But then again, does that do any more for you than our current split? The lines have to be drawn somewhere.

    Those functions do not separate at all neatly, if you can separate them at all. On the other hand, the Army and Navy divide up very nicely. The basic skills and knowledge you need for the Navy are very different from the Army for both enlisted and officers.

    I don't see the point of the one branch argument at all. We already have one branch: the DoD.

    It works great for the Canadian Forces, much less bullshit miscommunication and there isn't the sort of branch rivalries there apparently are in the U.S. Also, cost savings. I mean, at a base level, if you have uniform curricula for basic training, say, between what is now the U.S. Army and the Marine Corps, or hell, uniform uniforms amongst all branches, that would save a metric fuckton. And really, aside from the combat specifics, what makes the forces so distinct? I mean, really, logistics and intelligence is pretty standard whether you are resupplying a boat versus a plane versus an armour column, or looking for a boat versus a plane versus an armour column.

    For areas where there is distinct differences, just do what the CF does, and make each different MOS fall into an element. You want to be a commander of a sub? Great, you are in the marine element. You want to fly a plane? Air element for you. Want to be a ground pounder? Congratulations, off to the ground forces.

    There's nothing to it.

    The MC makes no sense and should be abolished, but that isn't relevant to a one service argument. A uniform curriculum between the Navy and the Army would be an incredible waste of money and time. Why does someone in the Army need to learn about shipboard firefighting and damage prevention? Why does someone in the Navy care about dismounted battledrills? And in fact basic officer training in the two branches has almost nothing in common. My training was in small unit tactics, landnav, things of this kind. I doubt someone preparing to head a division on a ship has any use for those skills, no more than I need to spend several weeks on a surface ship or in a submarine learning how they operate.

    Why would one set of uniforms would be an incredible cost savings? Most of the cost of uniforms is in the manufacture, not the design, and we already produce so much of each type of uniform that there's no more economy of scale to be exploited.

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  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    enc0re wrote: »
    Tox wrote: »
    Obviously there have to be divisions and subgroups, that's just the point. What's being suggested is that, instead of fully separate and autonomous militaries, why not just one military? As it currently stands, there is next to zero integration between branches outside of top level and special needs. For instance, the Army trains MI for the Air force as well, and certain very specialized institutes (like the Defense Language Institute) are all-branches. The question is why can't we uniform the branches, why does one branch only need 8 weeks while another requires 13? There should be a way to standardize that.

    And the uniforms. Fuckin 'ey with the uniforms, man. A standardized uniform and rank system would make things sooo much easier.

    OK, I can't argue with that.

    It's not a bad idea by any means, but you're going against the the unstoppable force of nature--like gravity and strong nuclear forces--that all navies in the world must dress more or less the same.

    So, you'd have to model all all uniforms after navy uniforms. Not necessarily a bad idea though. The people wearing the uniforms would probably hate it.
    Tox wrote: »
    They already do, in the Army. And the uniform thing is mostly to give a big finger to the Navy. Plus, I'd like to see garrison'd service-members wearing something nicer than camouflage when they're in public. Something like a utility uniform.

    Well, olive-drab service tunics are pretty popular with many countries. Add a simplistic-looking visor cap, or a folding cap, to it instead of a "Look at me, I'm badass" beret, and you have something that's very cheap to manufacture and generally looks acceptable in public. Of course, it also looks very old fashion, but that's an aesthetic choice.

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  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Tox wrote: »
    They already do, in the Army. And the uniform thing is mostly to give a big finger to the Navy. Plus, I'd like to see garrison'd service-members wearing something nicer than camouflage when they're in public. Something like a utility uniform.
    Ugh, no. As someone finally getting to wear camo on a regular basis in a few months, trust me you don't. They're an extra pain in the ass when perfectly acceptable and far more comfortable cammies are hanging in your closet.

    PSN: allenquid
  • ToxTox I kill threads Pharezon's human garbage heapRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Quid wrote: »
    Tox wrote: »
    They already do, in the Army. And the uniform thing is mostly to give a big finger to the Navy. Plus, I'd like to see garrison'd service-members wearing something nicer than camouflage when they're in public. Something like a utility uniform.
    Ugh, no. As someone finally getting to wear camo on a regular basis in a few months, trust me you don't. They're an extra pain in the ass when perfectly acceptable and far more comfortable cammies are hanging in your closet.

    See, I was in the Army before the ACU, and we had the BDUs that we were more or less required, by our NCOs, etc, to iron, starch, and press. The only reason they don't require that for the ACU is because it designed to be wrinkle-free, and therefore isn't to be ironed.

    BDU cammies were pretty much pointless as a garrison uniform, which is why I think they should move to a utility uniform that can be ironed, because I agree with the premise: They want the troops working in garrison to look professional, not just military.
    Synthesis wrote: »
    Well, olive-drab service tunics are pretty popular with many countries. Add a simplistic-looking visor cap, or a folding cap, to it instead of a "Look at me, I'm badass" beret, and you have something that's very cheap to manufacture and generally looks acceptable in public. Of course, it also looks very old fashion, but that's an aesthetic choice.

    Also, yes, with regards to field and duty uniforms, yes, fuck the Beret. However, when it comes to the dress uniform, I like the beret. For a formal uniform, especially for color guards and the like, it's a very, very nice headpiece.

    When I say utilities, I'm essentially talking about a dressed-down Class B. Dark blue pants, light weight but durable, white dress-shirt, dark red neck tie. Again, RW&B is, I think, a good theme. Add in a dark blue cap, like the field cap, just not camo.

    Grey Ghost wrote: »
    James Dean was the actor, Jimmy Dean was in the sausage business.

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  • TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Irond Will wrote: »
    Voranth wrote: »
    I thought the U.N. has banned the owning and weaponizing of outer space?

    Yeah, I'm pretty sure suborbital heavy bombers (and Thor, which I'm also pretty goddamn certain NATO has) would fall under the "it's not illegal if they don't catch you" theory of legal compliance.

    A tungsten telephone pole would show up on any spacetrack radar. People - and not just us - keep track of this stuff.

    Yeah, but there's enough extra crap hovering around in Earth's orbit, captured asteroids, etc. that it would be rather simple to find a couple large enough for use.

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  • SargeSmashSargeSmash Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Well, there's definitely waste in the military, but that's true of pretty much anything the government does.

    However, the military is one of the few things that the government is required to provide, as our nation and its people have to be protected. And yes, I understand that some of you would argue we don't need what we have given the current situation in the world. I wouldn't agree with that assessment, but even if it were true, you can't build up the military overnight, and world circumstances CAN change overnight. Therefore, the military must be maintained to a high level, or we really do risk annihilation at some point. Make no mistake, the only reason China doesn't attack us right now (other than the fact that they pretty much own us) is that given our military might, it would be cost-prohibitive.

    Ironically, as a percentage of GDP, it's much lower than it was during the early Cold War years. I think it peaked at about 60%, and we're only running around 20% now.

  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    China doesn't attack us because it would ruin their economy in a conventional war.

    And it wouldn't stay conventional very long. It wouldn't be "cost prohibitive" at that point, it would be "mutual annihilation". And again, we still spend ten times more than they do. No one is arguing we don't need a military- we're saying we don't need a military this size.

  • Alistair HuttonAlistair Hutton Dr EdinburghRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    China doesn't attack us because it would ruin their economy in a conventional war.

    Also, they don't have any aircraft carriers and their overall force projection capabilities are basically non-existent.

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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Synthesis wrote: »
    Well, olive-drab service tunics are pretty popular with many countries. Add a simplistic-looking visor cap, or a folding cap, to it instead of a "Look at me, I'm badass" beret, and you have something that's very cheap to manufacture and generally looks acceptable in public. Of course, it also looks very old fashion, but that's an aesthetic choice.

    Um......there is very little difference in cost between patrol caps or the old garrison caps and berets, and folding caps make you look like a tremendous douchebag. I hate the beret with ACUs or when doing "work," but for a dress/utility uniform it's a perfectly decent piece of headgear.

    The only real benefit I'd see to a unified armed force, rather than branches, is ease of mobility between branches for MOSs that are similar...for instance, there's no reason the Army should have to offer bonuses for cooks while the Navy has an excess (not that this is necessarily the case, but as a hypothetica). I can think of a ton of jobs where direct lateral transfers would be easy, or where an absolute minimum of retraining would be required.

  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    mcdermott wrote: »
    The only real benefit I'd see to a unified armed force, rather than branches, is ease of mobility between branches for MOSs that are similar...for instance, there's no reason the Army should have to offer bonuses for cooks while the Navy has an excess (not that this is necessarily the case, but as a hypothetica). I can think of a ton of jobs where direct lateral transfers would be easy, or where an absolute minimum of retraining would be required.
    I agree this would be a genuine benefit as it's also already being done with the Navy and Air Force's IAs.

    I'm also genuinely annoyed that I went through all the training and did all the work of and Army MA and got all of the bonus (Re: $0) of an office worker in the Navy.

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  • ToxTox I kill threads Pharezon's human garbage heapRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    The Army already trains members of other forces, and, indeed, other countries, in their entry-level and NCO academies. In my class, at Signal School, there was a man from a foreign military, can't recall the name of it, started with a B. He was the equivalent of a major.

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  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Bahrain?

    Its true that the US trains a lot of foreign millitary personel. Practicaly every Nato Pilot is trained stateside. Part of the reason is economics of scale, its easier to just expand the US training facility then it is to make half a dozen seperate ones.

    Add the fact that the US sells a lot of weapons to people(buy an F-16 and get training free) and the fact that training people stateside is an excelent way to get intel and influence people, and the US probably comes out a ahead.

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  • recurs|onrecurs|on Registered User
    edited April 2009
    Guys, what about stuff like this? I don't really have the military chops to know if the War Nerd is completely off base, but hey, he's quoting the US Naval Institute.

    So the U.S. spends ~$4.5 billion to build an aircraft carrier. I couldn't find even an approximate cost for the modified DF-21 mentioned in the article (it's a truck-mounted anti-ship ballistic missile), but let's say it is on the order of 10's of millions per unit. And the former has no defense against the latter, according to the USNI.

    That's a pretty sweet ratio.

    Worse, as the Nerd points out in the article, BMs are not a new technology. It has been known for decades that expensive surface vehicles were completely vulnerable to BM attack. Yet the U.S. keeps building them.

    Add in the other points in that article and others by the Nerd (see the ones on Navy vulnerability to large numbers of low-value, high-speed attackers), and one gets the sense that something is skewing the military's priorites toward high-cost, big-ass equipment long after smaller/lighter/faster/cheaper equipment has been shown to be more effective.

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  • Phil G.Phil G. __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2009
    Well for one thing, I think Mr. Nerd missed one thing about defenses against ballistic missiles. Aircraft Carriers are mobile.

    I haven't read the whole article yet, but that go on my nerves.

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  • GungHoGungHo Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Quid wrote: »
    Tox wrote: »
    They already do, in the Army. And the uniform thing is mostly to give a big finger to the Navy. Plus, I'd like to see garrison'd service-members wearing something nicer than camouflage when they're in public. Something like a utility uniform.
    Ugh, no. As someone finally getting to wear camo on a regular basis in a few months, trust me you don't. They're an extra pain in the ass when perfectly acceptable and far more comfortable cammies are hanging in your closet.
    You know one thing that I like about not being in? I don't wanna be changing uniforms just to go to McDonalds or pump gas, General Conway. You asshole.
    recurs|on wrote: »
    Add in the other points in that article and others by the Nerd (see the ones on Navy vulnerability to large numbers of low-value, high-speed attackers), and one gets the sense that something is skewing the military's priorites toward high-cost, big-ass equipment long after smaller/lighter/faster/cheaper equipment has been shown to be more effective.
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  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Phil G. wrote: »
    Well for one thing, I think Mr. Nerd missed one thing about defenses against ballistic missiles. Aircraft Carriers are mobile.

    I haven't read the whole article yet, but that go on my nerves.

    It says those missiles can hit their target in about 12 minutes. I doubt you could move a carrier out of the way in 12 minutes.

  • recurs|onrecurs|on Registered User
    edited April 2009
    Phil G. wrote: »
    Well for one thing, I think Mr. Nerd missed one thing about defenses against ballistic missiles. Aircraft Carriers are mobile.

    I haven't read the whole article yet, but that go on my nerves.

    The missle can track the carrier and adjust course. Of course, the carrier can also track the missile....it just can't do anything about it.

    Remember this is the USNI using the words "no defense".
    The Chinese military has developed a ballistic missile, Dong Feng 21, specifically designed to kill US aircraft carriers: “Because the missile employs a complex guidance system, low radar signature and a maneuverability that makes its flight path unpredictable, the odds that it can evade tracking systems to reach its target are increased. It is estimated that the missile can travel at mach 10 and reach its maximum range of 2000km in less than 12 minutes.” That’s the US Naval Institute talking, remember. They’re understating the case when they say that, with speed, satellite guidance and maneuverability like that, “the odds that it can evade tracking systems to reach its target are increased.”

    You know why that’s an understatement? Because of a short little sentence I found farther on in the article—and before you read that sentence, I want all you trusting Pentagon groupies to promise me that you’ll think hard about what it implies. Here’s the sentence: “Ships currently have no defense against a ballistic missile attack.”

    Shinto wrote:
    Your last sentence though made me want to hold you down and punch you in the fucking face, which makes me think that perhaps you have accidentally stepped over the line into a destructive mode of expressing yourself.
  • GungHoGungHo Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Pi-r8 wrote: »
    Phil G. wrote: »
    Well for one thing, I think Mr. Nerd missed one thing about defenses against ballistic missiles. Aircraft Carriers are mobile.

    I haven't read the whole article yet, but that go on my nerves.

    It says those missiles can hit their target in about 12 minutes. I doubt you could move a carrier out of the way in 12 minutes.
    Get out and push.

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  • Alistair HuttonAlistair Hutton Dr EdinburghRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Phil G. wrote: »
    Well for one thing, I think Mr. Nerd missed one thing about defenses against ballistic missiles. Aircraft Carriers are mobile.

    I haven't read the whole article yet, but that go on my nerves.


    I had to put the article down when I reached his pathetically simplistic interpretation of the battle of Crecy.

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  • RaynagaRaynaga Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Didn't we cover the DF missile earlier in the thread?

  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Pi-r8 wrote: »
    Phil G. wrote: »
    Well for one thing, I think Mr. Nerd missed one thing about defenses against ballistic missiles. Aircraft Carriers are mobile.

    I haven't read the whole article yet, but that go on my nerves.

    It says those missiles can hit their target in about 12 minutes. I doubt you could move a carrier out of the way in 12 minutes.

    Carriers have a variety of point defense systems intended to shoot down incoming missiles. This doesn't make them immune, but it does mean that only more advanced missiles would be able to get inside a carriers defenses.

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  • RiemannLivesRiemannLives Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    Pi-r8 wrote: »
    Phil G. wrote: »
    Well for one thing, I think Mr. Nerd missed one thing about defenses against ballistic missiles. Aircraft Carriers are mobile.

    I haven't read the whole article yet, but that go on my nerves.

    It says those missiles can hit their target in about 12 minutes. I doubt you could move a carrier out of the way in 12 minutes.

    Carriers have a variety of point defense systems intended to shoot down incoming missiles. This doesn't make them immune, but it does mean that only more advanced missiles would be able to get inside a carriers defenses.

    Those point defense systems are pretty good against rockets, short range missiles and even cruise missiles. They would be nearly useless against an ICBM. Different trajectory (they hit you from space), they are traveling several times faster than the fastest cruise missile, harder to track with radar, less warning time etc...

    You might hit one out of blind luck but shooting down a ballistic missile is a much more difficult problem than an anti-ship cruise missile (which is what current ship borne systems are designed to deal with).

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