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?