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  #11  
Old 07-15-2009, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Botany Bay View Post
The British Empire had a doctrine (forgot the name of it): At all times ought the Royal Navy have twice the strength as the two strongest foreign navies on earth alltogether.

The United States military budget today is the highest in the world. Its as high as the budgets of the next 9 weaker nations all together (that is according to numbers I read today in a german magazine called FOCUS).

Now, some people say Europe must take more responsibilities and increase its military spending. Would that mean, that the US will cut their military spending then, or will they then also increase their spending to stay as strong as the next 9 weaker nations all together?

Do you remember how they said the West armed the USSR to death?

However, I have no clue wether all this military spending is necessary, nor wise. But I cant help the feeling it is a massive waste of recources. But heck, when did proud nationalists ever prefer the wisest action over winning a peeing contest?
Think of all the good that could be done with even a fraction of that money if it was diverted to social programs to to help the hungry in each country.
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  #12  
Old 07-15-2009, 10:03 AM
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I think it's sensible to take a look at what requirements you need and then plan around that.

Does the US need as many fighters as they have? Do they need as many naval vessels and carrier groups?

I don't know the immediate answer but it's wise to ask the question once in a while. Especially when US finances are in a rather large mess (along with other countries as well) and it's prudent to see where wasteful spending can be cut.
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  #13  
Old 07-15-2009, 10:05 AM
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I don't have a clear opinion upon militarical budgets, I only know that a situation where nations cooperate, trying to limit arms races or reducing superfluous militarical size is good.
The crucial word is superfluous, no one wants to reduce militarical power on a level that would endanger national security. The best example for superfluous is the 'arm to death' myth about the end of the Soviet Union which Botany Bay mentioned. It was the economy, stupid.
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  #14  
Old 07-15-2009, 10:08 AM
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They are going in favor of the F-35, which is a much more efficient multi-role fighter. When at their best, F-22s are for air superiority and not much more and there is nothing better. So there will be more than enough to fulfill that mission.
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  #15  
Old 07-15-2009, 10:12 AM
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By the way, I have always wondered why so few people asked what went wrong on 9/11, why existing protocols to intercept airplanes which cease radio contact or stray from flight routes were not executed. If the prime task of the military is not to lead wars abroad but to defend the nation, that's the most natural question.

That's obviously not an input (military budeget) but an output (did the military do its job) question. This very pattern is useful in general, e.g. when you analyse the health care system.
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  #16  
Old 07-15-2009, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zardoz View Post
Think of all the good that could be done with even a fraction of that money if it was diverted to social programs to to help the hungry in each country.
Yeah, and the irony of it is, that those who decided to develop the military-industrial complex where very aware of that. In the 1960ies Walt Whitman Rostow, a political advisor of the Kenedy and Johnson administration once wrote a "Non-communist Manifesto" (as in the term anti-communist) and tried to explain the "Stages of Economic Growth". In this work he explains that every society will reach a decisive point in history, where it produces such a massive surplus, that it must decide what to do with it. Rostow proclaimed societies have three options:

1. Invest in military to dominate other nations.
2. Invest in science, education, development and discovery.
3. Invest in welfare.

The decision made was the same as every other nation would have taken too and seems to be based on the most basic human condition: Doublestandard!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Rlqj...rom=PL&index=6

Last edited by Botany Bay : 07-15-2009 at 10:18 AM.
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  #17  
Old 07-15-2009, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Botany Bay View Post

1. Invest in Military to dominate other nations.
2. Invest in science, education, development and discovery.
3. Invest in welfare.
Well, I think maintaining "dominance" is not something we should let go of. The question now being asked is "what is the best way to maintain such dominance?" The big stick thing comes to mind. If the other guys sees you holding your big stick, then he probably won't want to fight. Then you have the non-conventional "enemies" such as terrorist groups and that logic is thrown out the window. Now you need equipment and personnel to get into the ditches and to do the dirty work. An F-22 can't do that. So why not save some money on an F-22 and give the guy in the ditch the best uniforms available, the best weapon and ammo, the best night vision, etc...? Right now only a fraction of the troops have such things. I spent half my time in Iraq with very outdated equipment. Then when I got a new vest it had only one ballistic plate! It took another month for me to get another plate.

I don't see why all three can't be invested in simultaneously. The trick is balance, and we all know that is a relative term!!
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  #18  
Old 07-15-2009, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Botany Bay View Post
Yeah, and the irony of it is, that those who decided to develop the military-industrial complex where very aware of that. In the 1960ies Walt Whitman Rostow, a political advisor of the Kenedy and Johnson administration once wrote a "Non-communist Manifesto" (as in the term anti-communist) and tried to explain the "Stages of Economic Growth". In this work he explains that every society will reach a decisive point in history, where it produces such a massive surplus, that it must decide what to do with it. Rostow proclaimed societies have three options:

1. Invest in military to dominate other nations.
2. Invest in science, education, development and discovery.
3. Invest in welfare.

The decision made was the same as every other nation would have taken too and seems to be based on the most basic human condition: Doublestandard!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Rlqj...rom=PL&index=6
Sorry, but there is no point in history a massive surplus occurs over night, so pretending that the choice is forced is wrong. Not to mention that the surplus can simply be consumed or privately saved.
But that apart, the question is simply that of which pulic investions to focus on. And it is sad to see that many choose 1. or 3., dominating the world or calming the masses and only few concentrate on 2. In fact, you could exaggerate a bit and claim that 1. is the US and 3. Middle Europe.
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  #19  
Old 07-15-2009, 10:26 AM
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In my opinon, no offense to my freinds from other countries, but America should go isolationist for awhile and rebuild our nation, and economy. We really need to do this to be a better partner in world politics.
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  #20  
Old 07-15-2009, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by horatio View Post
If the prime task of the military is not to lead wars abroad but to defend the nation, that's the most natural question.
See, I think the U.S. has always felt like the military's role was to fight abroad. 9/11 really brought into focus the lack of "homeland security" the military should have provided.
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Last edited by MrQ1701 : 07-15-2009 at 10:30 AM.
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