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Why is the US military budget so large?

DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
edited April 2009 in Debate and/or Discourse
The entire combined world's yearly military budget for 2008 is 1.47 trillion dollars, according to the CIA World Factbook.

The FY2009 United States military budget is $651 billion.

For reference, China is coming in second place at $70 billion for FY2009.

What the fuck?

Look, I realize I might be preaching to the choir here. But is there any reason whatsoever that our military budget is 1) almost half of the entire world's military expenditures, and 2) nearly ten times that of our nearest "rival"? (as if there's any chance of us entering war with China anyway).

And what do we get for our money, anyway? We can barely even hold Iraq. Iraq, whose pre-OIF military budget was the sort of sum that a rich person in this country uses to pay for a nice dinner. Our biggest foreign threats right now are (supposedly) North Korea and Iran, whose combined military budgets for this year are around 11 billion. Combined.

The people doling out money to our military (and deciding what projects get funded and by how much) are still fighting the goddamn Cold War in their heads. Even adjusted for inflation, we're spending more now than we did when Reagan was trying to sink the USSR by outspending them back in the eighties. And we're still spending the money on a bunch of bullshit like we're planning on fighting a prolonged tank battle through East Germany. How many billions of dollars have we spent on the F-22 Raptor, the "next-generation air superiority fighter"? ($63 billion, if you're wondering.) At least Obama's planning to kill off that fucker, but why did it take eighteen years for someone to wake up and say "hey, now that the Soviets aren't around, who the hell are we going to contest air superiority with?"

And hey, it doesn't stop at the Air Force. We have eleven aircraft carriers in service. I'm talking about the full-size Nimitz-class ones, here; I'm not even counting counting the little Wasp-class ships that can only carry helicopters and Harriers. We have eleven in service, and we're in the process of building one more. There are ten aircraft carriers in service that do not belong to the US. In the entire world. And if we're going to be perfectly honest here, only two of those ten (the French Charles de Gaulle and the Russian Admiral Kuznetsov) are anywhere near the size of our carriers, the remaining eight are limited to VTOL craft, like the additional eleven Wasp- and Tarawa-class ships the US has that I didn't even count toward our total.

What the hell are we doing? The US military here is tilting at windmills, gearing up for a fight with an enemy that doesn't even exist. The USSR is gone, and China is one of our biggest trading partners. Besides, any war between superpowers will begin and end with an exchange of nuclear missiles anyway. Is it really necessary to spend this much fucking money on the military?

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Posts

  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited March 2009
    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.

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  • DemiurgeDemiurge Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    US millitary spending is out of whack, no major enemy has any interest in conflict, China is happy making tons of money while Russia has no army to speak off though there's propably a few cold war heads left there too.

    The US navy, though, patrols the worlds sea's and act as a global police force on international waters, I think we could do with shared expenses on that one though (a lot of countries are already sending patrols down by Somalia) but overall I'd like to see the whole world move away from millitary spending because it is highly unlikely the west is going to see a war for a longass time.

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  • clsCorwinclsCorwin Registered User
    edited March 2009
    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.

  • EinEin New Jersey, USARegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I don't know much about military finances, but based on what you've just told me, I'm willing to agree. The problem is that any time you attempt to reduce military funding, people start banging the jingoist drum and proclaiming from the mountaintops that you are exposing the country to certain and inevitable doom.

    I'm more than happy with sponsoring R&D of technologies, especially if those technologies eventually find a way into the commercial market, but the current environment reeks of irresponsibility.

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  • DaedalusDaedalus 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.

    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.

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  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Ein wrote: »
    I'm more than happy with sponsoring R&D of technologies, especially if those technologies eventually find a way into the commercial market, but the current environment reeks of irresponsibility.

    I doubt anybody would argue with your point. The problem people have with military budgets, contractors & allocations is that they have become a synonym for inefficiency.

  • darklite_xdarklite_x I can't find Turner and HoochRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I think the biggest problem w/ military spending is how it's used. For one, as someone else mentioned, contractors are overpaid by insane margins. Something a civilian corporation could get for $100k costs the military $1mil because the government is willing to pay that money.

    Also, a lot of money is wasted from military organizations because if they don't spend the money they're allotted for the year then they won't be allotted as much the next year. Whereas an organization might not need the money this year, there's a possibility that they'll need it next year, so in the end they spend money on useless shit that they don't need in order to keep their budget.

    I'm not willing to say that the gov't spends too much on military spending because I don't have enough of an overall picture to do so. However, I will say that the money they do have is spent wastefully and the entire system needs an overhaul.

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  • wazillawazilla Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Isn't it a left over from neo-conservative ideology

  • ThomamelasThomamelas Bro!Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Because we have the ability to project force. A requirement if we're going to engage in a war with someone other then Canada and Mexico. The ability to project force means that we can move men and materials anywhere in the world. This requires a lot of logistical support. That means you need places to store materials. You need to have said materials on hand. And you need a lot of places to do this. This requires people to be at those places.

    You compared our military to China's. Right now China is a regional military power. People they share a border with, they are a threat to. People a short sail away they can be a threat to. But places like Africa or Europe are well outside their ability to project force. The US military can attack anywhere.

  • nosnibornosnibor Registered User
    edited March 2009
    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.

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  • EmanonEmanon __BANNED USERS
    edited March 2009
    It is huge and the R&D is retarded, so much so that I find it criminal. Why do we need new aircraft carriers and subs when soldiers are getting killed by cheap bullets & bombs on the streets of Baghdad? The money spent on a new submarine could have been used for awesome armor for the troops and we wouldn't have the high death toll in Iraq.

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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Look, I realize I might be preaching to the choir here. But is there any reason whatsoever that our military budget is 1) almost half of the entire world's military expenditures, and 2) nearly ten times that of our nearest "rival"? (as if there's any chance of us entering war with China anyway).

    Part of why there's no chance of us entering a war with China (or pretty much anybody else) is because we spend an order of magnitude more than they do on our military. Countries with roughly equivalent military spending/capability tend to wind up swapping rounds all too often, historically speaking.
    And what do we get for our money, anyway? We can barely even hold Iraq. Iraq, whose pre-OIF military budget was the sort of sum that a rich person in this country uses to pay for a nice dinner. Our biggest foreign threats right now are (supposedly) North Korea and Iran, whose combined military budgets for this year are around 11 billion. Combined.

    No amount of money would make holding Iraq easy, or even possible, unless that money was basically being handed out as party favors to make the Iraqis love us. Well, maybe not no amount, but fighting an insurgency while still trying to make the rest of the populace like you is a lot more complex than just "have more dudes and better shit to shoot at them."

    The most expensive fighters, best rifles, smartest bombs, and largest legions of soldiers still can't make people not hate you. Unless you're willing to wipe them out, then I guess they won't hate you because they'll be dead.

    So yeah, our inability to hold Iraq has nothing to do with how much we do or do not spend. Our ability to obliterate the entire Iraqi military with little resistance and minimal casualties, however, was a testament to our military budget. That, and the fact that we could probably have done the same to about three more countries at once simultaneously with the same results.
    The US navy, though, patrols the worlds sea's and act as a global police force on international waters, I think we could do with shared expenses on that one though (a lot of countries are already sending patrols down by Somalia) but overall I'd like to see the whole world move away from millitary spending because it is highly unlikely the west is going to see a war for a longass time.

    Yet oddly a move away from military spending is likely to have the opposite effect.


    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."

  • DeShadowCDeShadowC Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    One question. How much of the defense budget actually equates into military spending? Let me elaborate. What about things that are covered under the military budget that have little to do with the actual military itself, such as creation of new technologies? Wasn't the internet, originally the Arpanet part of a DoD expenditure?

  • RentRent I'm always right Fuckin' deal with itRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    It's a combination of it being one of the worst bureaucracies in the modern world with the worst oversights, the ludicrousness of how military contracts are awarded, and having one of the largest standing militaries in the world

    Mostly the second point though
    Edit: Also, breaking down by seperate branches, some branches (Air Force) take far far more of the spending budget than is either reasonable or their fair share, and some (Army) have insanely wrongly-adjusted money allotted, and that shit is retarded. The fact that the Army still uses motherfucking M16A2s over the vastly superior M16A4 or M4 carbine is a fucking laughingstock when fucking Headquarters is able to carpet their buildings every year.

  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    A lot of it is because the Pentagon is very savvy politically and the higher ups know that when they retire they can get huge paydays from defense contractors for lobbying. So it's in their interest to be seen already pushing for things those contractors want. Basically, we ignored what Ike said.

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  • geckahngeckahn Registered User
    edited March 2009
    Ideally, I would like a very well funded navy focused on controlling the oceans, an airforce focused on long range bombing, and a much smaller army/marines of very highly trained and well equipped soldiers. This should cost significantly less then what we do now, and send the message that we are not interested in invading and occupying countries, but that we won't let other countries be assholes and try to upset global peace and trade.

  • wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Eh, it's a lot of things. Trying to cut the military budget, even if it's just on the many boondoggles, gets you tarred with "hates our troops". We invest a stupid amount in weapons research, not all of which ever becomes viable. Untruthful budgeting (not including all military expenditures in the overall budget) hides the fact that we spend so much. Contractors getting sweet deals thanks to lobbying. Our equipment is more sophisticated and requires more money to purchase and maintain.

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  • RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    You also have to factor in the fact that we are much less unwilling to have Americans die in a conflict. A lot of the cost of the military doing business goes either directly or indirectly to keeping people in our military alive.

    Take air superiority as an example. We have spent billions and billions of dollars pushing the time horizon further and further away in air conflict. We've gotten so good, that the moment our enemy starts fueling up planes, the pilots of those planes are already dead. We won't actually kill them for another 2-3 hours or so, but we know exactly when they will take off, as soon as they do we have them tracked on radar, and we can fire a missile from a fighter jet that is 80 miles away that the enemy doesn't even know is there. We don't necessarily NEED this capability, but it keeps American pilots alive, and also keeps troops on the ground alive.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Rent wrote: »
    It's a combination of it being one of the worst bureaucracies in the modern world with the worst oversights, the ludicrousness of how military contracts are awarded, and having one of the largest standing militaries in the world

    Mostly the second point though

    Yeah, the second point is why I don't think we can really cut more than maybe a quarter (or less) without losing our ability to project power globally. But still, you could drastically reduce military spending simply by reigning in contractors and eliminating unnecessary weapons systems.

  • DeShadowCDeShadowC Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    geckahn wrote: »
    Ideally, I would like a very well funded navy focused on controlling the oceans, an airforce focused on long range bombing, and a much smaller army/marines of very highly trained and well equipped soldiers. This should cost significantly less then what we do now, and send the message that we are not interested in invading and occupying countries, but that we won't let other countries be assholes and try to upset global peace and trade.

    The Navy actually is a large airforce on it's own.

  • Dis'Dis' Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    The US military costs are huge because of the network of bases and power projection capabilities around the world, if the same military was kept at home you might have costs more in line with China. You can't really compare the costs because the US is doing/trying to do something no one else is trying - global force projection.

    Now debating if America should keep those power projection abilities is all very well, but comparing it with other countries is comparing McDonald's budget with that of a local diner - the latter doesn't have to maintain an international presence.

  • WifflebatWifflebat Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I can't speak for the rest of it, at least on any intelligent level, but the carriers are how we project our authority over the world, which most would deem necessary to ensure a stable geo-political landscape.

  • geckahngeckahn Registered User
    edited March 2009
    DeShadowC wrote: »
    geckahn wrote: »
    Ideally, I would like a very well funded navy focused on controlling the oceans, an airforce focused on long range bombing, and a much smaller army/marines of very highly trained and well equipped soldiers. This should cost significantly less then what we do now, and send the message that we are not interested in invading and occupying countries, but that we won't let other countries be assholes and try to upset global peace and trade.

    The Navy actually is a large airforce on it's own.

    I'm aware, they can handle pure fighters.

  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Rent wrote: »
    It's a combination of it being one of the worst bureaucracies in the modern world with the worst oversights, the ludicrousness of how military contracts are awarded, and having one of the largest standing militaries in the world

    Mostly the second point though

    Yeah, the second point is why I don't think we can really cut more than maybe a quarter (or less) without losing our ability to project power globally. But still, you could drastically reduce military spending simply by reigning in contractors and eliminating unnecessary weapons systems.

    On the plus side, it keeps sounding like Obama and Gates are going to make that attempt.

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  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Emanon wrote: »
    It is huge and the R&D is retarded, so much so that I find it criminal. Why do we need new aircraft carriers and subs when soldiers are getting killed by cheap bullets & bombs on the streets of Baghdad? The money spent on a new submarine could have been used for awesome armor for the troops and we wouldn't have the high death toll in Iraq.

    You know, that's another thing that pisses me off. It wouldn't bother me (well, it would still bother me, but not as much) if we would spend the money on the shit we actually need to fight the wars we're going to fight. It wasn't until fucking 2007 that the Army started to look into replacing the Humvee with something that can actually survive an ambush in a Baghdad street. I mean, what the fuck did they think was going to happen?

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  • TheMarshalTheMarshal Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    War is changing and our military thinking hasn't. We're moving away from the possibility that an entire nation will sends its armies against us, and moving towards guerrilla warfare and single-serving enemy soldiers. What good does a multi-million dollar submarine and a multi-million dollar helicopter do us if our soldiers are getting killed by people hiding on the side of a road?

  • urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    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.

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  • Fizban140Fizban140 Registered User, __BANNED USERS
    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 that defeats the purpose of military technology, it is always an arms race to have the best weapons and tools possible. It is a deterrent, everyone knows we will never use our nukes unless other nukes are used so we have to be above any potential enemies.

    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.
    TheMarshal wrote: »
    War is changing and our military thinking hasn't. We're moving away from the possibility that an entire nation will sends its armies against us, and moving towards guerrilla warfare and single-serving enemy soldiers. What good does a multi-million dollar submarine and a multi-million dollar helicopter do us if our soldiers are getting killed by people hiding on the side of a road?
    Do you personally know, or are you, a military leader in the US? If not then you have no idea what you are talking about. The way of thinking has been drastically changing and if you just look at some of the military propaganda or where some of the new technology is going you will see that.



    I do think that some of the military spending can be cut, but it would not be feasible to cut it as much as some people think is possible.

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  • RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    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.

  • kildykildy Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    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.

  • geckahngeckahn Registered User
    edited March 2009
    I'm also a defense contractor, involved in procurement, and my company charges a lot for me. Like 6 figures, and I'm right out of college.

    Not that I actually see anywhere close to that much.

  • RentRent I'm always right Fuckin' deal with itRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Rent wrote: »
    It's a combination of it being one of the worst bureaucracies in the modern world with the worst oversights, the ludicrousness of how military contracts are awarded, and having one of the largest standing militaries in the world

    Mostly the second point though

    Yeah, the second point is why I don't think we can really cut more than maybe a quarter (or less) without losing our ability to project power globally. But still, you could drastically reduce military spending simply by reigning in contractors and eliminating unnecessary weapons systems.

    On the plus side, it keeps sounding like Obama and Gates are going to make that attempt.

    It'd be really fucking simple too
    Executive Order whateverthefuck number: Any member of the military cannot work for any defense contractor in a lobbying capacity for X number of years (I'd say 10, but whatever) after getting discharged

  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    kildy wrote: »
    Also, um, the Osprey.

    A punchline all by itself, like Daikatana. Hey, I hear they recently fixed that little problem where the thing would, for no apparent reason, flip over and kill a dozen Marines. And it only took them, what, twenty-five years?

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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    You also have to factor in the fact that we are much less unwilling to have Americans die in a conflict. A lot of the cost of the military doing business goes either directly or indirectly to keeping people in our military alive.

    Take air superiority as an example. We have spent billions and billions of dollars pushing the time horizon further and further away in air conflict. We've gotten so good, that the moment our enemy starts fueling up planes, the pilots of those planes are already dead. We won't actually kill them for another 2-3 hours or so, but we know exactly when they will take off, as soon as they do we have them tracked on radar, and we can fire a missile from a fighter jet that is 80 miles away that the enemy doesn't even know is there. We don't necessarily NEED this capability, but it keeps American pilots alive, and also keeps troops on the ground alive.

    Well, pilots are fucking expensive and have long lead times. And it's not like planes are cheap either.

    Also, our ability to club enemy fighters like baby seals is part of why nobody in their right minds dreams of fucking with us.

    Lastly, it seems this whole "unwillingness to accept Americans dying in conflict" only applies to the Air Force. I shudder to think how many guys died or were maimed because the company that made M1117s (factory up-armored HMMWVs) couldn't produce them faster, and the government was unwilling to force them to allow other contractors to produce them as well and pay to ramp up production. Same with body armor. And about a ton of other shit. We have no problem with soldiers dying for no good reason, we just don't think about it.

    But pilots? Yeah, we like to keep them alive.

    EDIT: M1114, not M1117. Though there is an M1117.

  • urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Rent wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Rent wrote: »
    It's a combination of it being one of the worst bureaucracies in the modern world with the worst oversights, the ludicrousness of how military contracts are awarded, and having one of the largest standing militaries in the world

    Mostly the second point though

    Yeah, the second point is why I don't think we can really cut more than maybe a quarter (or less) without losing our ability to project power globally. But still, you could drastically reduce military spending simply by reigning in contractors and eliminating unnecessary weapons systems.

    On the plus side, it keeps sounding like Obama and Gates are going to make that attempt.

    It'd be really fucking simple too
    Executive Order whateverthefuck number: Any member of the military cannot work for any defense contractor in a lobbying capacity for X number of years (I'd say 10, but whatever) after getting discharged

    Oh Jesus I hope they don't do that. I already get enough shit for voting for Obama... I don't want that to start up yet again.

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  • RentRent I'm always right Fuckin' deal with itRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    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

  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Rent wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Rent wrote: »
    It's a combination of it being one of the worst bureaucracies in the modern world with the worst oversights, the ludicrousness of how military contracts are awarded, and having one of the largest standing militaries in the world

    Mostly the second point though

    Yeah, the second point is why I don't think we can really cut more than maybe a quarter (or less) without losing our ability to project power globally. But still, you could drastically reduce military spending simply by reigning in contractors and eliminating unnecessary weapons systems.

    On the plus side, it keeps sounding like Obama and Gates are going to make that attempt.

    It'd be really fucking simple too
    Executive Order whateverthefuck number: Any member of the military cannot work for any defense contractor in a lobbying capacity for X number of years (I'd say 10, but whatever) after getting discharged

    I think they're trying to avoid the collective shit fit that would cause and actually address the other problems with procurement, but yes.

    Lose: to suffer defeat, to misplace (Ex: "I hope I don't lose the match." "Did you lose your phone again?")
    Loose: about to slip, to release (Ex: "That knot is loose." "Loose arrows.")
  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    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.

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  • Fizban140Fizban140 Registered User, __BANNED USERS
    edited March 2009
    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.
    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.
    The F 117 was incredibly successful for many reasons, having a bomber that can sneak in like that to open the way for the rest of the air attacks is incredible. But the F 117 had many flaws and was incredibly expensive to maintain. The F22 is a cheaper, more reliable and much more advanced replacement.

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  • urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    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.

    Games completed recently: Dead Island: Riptide, Batman: Arkham Origins, StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm, StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty, Dragon's Crown
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