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Topic: U.S. military might… (Read 3652 times)

  • OakdaleFTL
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U.S. military might…
I'm sure Howie and his ilk prefer the U.S. to be weak, except when they're threatened;  then they want us to be strong!

Here's something I read recently:
Quote
What else has to happen -- how close does war, with all its horrors, have to come -- before Congress closes the hatch on sequestration, before it eliminates the caps, whatever political compromises are necessary to eliminate them, and begins, in earnest, to rebuild the tools of power? (source)
The fellow who brought this to my attention is a submariner and a nuclear weapons tech...

Doesn't everyone think the U.S. spends too much on "defense"...?
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • Frenzie
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  • Administrator
Re: U.S. military might…
Reply #1
Doesn't everyone think the U.S. spends too much on "defense"...?
Not exactly. We think that those who would complain about spending on things like healthcare, infrastructure, welfare and NASA are irrational if they completely ignore the elephant in the room. If I were the US I'd certainly maintain my aircraft carriers and I do think we spend slightly too little on defense.[1]

NASA R&D, which produces very tangible results and is under a lot of scrutiny, is somehow seen as a frivolous expense whereas there's typically rather significantly more waste in military R&D. The latter is often aimed at developing what I'll dismissively call silly gadgets. There's some $ 18-20 billion iirc that goes to classified research, equal to NASA's entire operating budget, which means there's virtually no oversight, which in turn is guaranteed to result in significant waste.

If it weren't for Obama you'd have had missile defense technology? Hardly. There's some $10 billion a year that goes toward missile defense technology R&D. Is multiplying that going to magically make the constant stream of wasteful broken booster missiles and their demonstrations going to work? No, it'd result in even more waste because they're basically getting free money in the hundreds of millions to play around with fun little rocket toys.[2] You know, exactly the thing you're so afraid of in welfare, except there it's been shown to tangibly reduce crime, whereas this unsupervised waste of defense R&D is tangibly approaching a couple of hundred billion with no result whatsoever. Obama's failure, if anything, is that he allowed it to continue without scrutiny.
Albeit not remotely in the way the likes of Obama or Trump put it. I mostly just think selling off all of our hundreds of superior Leopard tanks to Saudi Arabia to save a little money is profoundly stupid for our offensive as well as our defensive capabilities. Plus who knows what Saudi Arabia will do with them. On the plus side I suppose they'd better buy our tanks than Russian ones, let alone develop the capability of making their own.
Actually that does sound nice.
  • Last Edit: 2018-01-16, 12:30:33 by Frenzie

  • krake
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Re: U.S. military might…
Reply #2
@OakdaleFTL

The United States Probably Has More Foreign Military Bases Than Any Other People, Nation, or Empire in History



Can you remember the date of last time foreign attack on mainland US?

In contrast, the picture below is more recent but unfortunately still outdated and as such incomplete.



Thus the USA has good reasons to increase its military spending  continuously if it is determined to keep it that way and I'm sure it is.

If you'd ask me I'd recommend for the USA to increase its military spending annually by 20%. That's not a joke, I mean it!
There are a lot of expenses the USA could scrap by investing meaningful in the military-industrial complex.
Only two (but I'm sure there are many) examples of wasted resources:
* Healthcare
Who the f*ck has use for it? Rich people can afford their own private hospitals and doctors. There is no absolute need for the unwashed masses to be healthy or to live forever. Besides, you'll save a lot of retirement payments. :)
* Education - Rich people can afford their own private schools and teachers. The unwashed masses are predestinated for jobs you can do without much education. After all somebody has to do those jobs as well. You can't afford to let in aliens forever therefore. So far, Trump's wall was an excellent idea. :)
* ...
Feel free to complete the list. :)

  • Barulheira
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Damn Mexicans!
Reply #3
Beware the Mexicans!

  • Frenzie
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Re: U.S. military might…
Reply #4
Can you remember the date of last time foreign attack on mainland US?
The most memorable one in my life is probably 9/11. :P

In contrast, the picture below is more recent but unfortunately still outdated and as such incomplete.
The CIA's NASA ballpark budget doesn't count toward military spending in the graph preceding it, nor does the NSA. (For that matter, does the National Guard?)

Of course each military branch has its own intelligence agency as well, in order to make things more complicated:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_of_Naval_Intelligence
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Army_Intelligence_and_Security_Command
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Air_Force_Office_of_Special_Investigations
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_Corps_Intelligence

  • ersi
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Re: U.S. military might…
Reply #5
Meanwhile, United States managed to induce itself into panic over a North Korean missile that was not there.



Luckily the panic was brief. I say that when someone with a scaredy heart is ready for military action more than anybody else in the world, then we have a sick world. Just a personal opinion.

Anyway, let some YT expert talk.



Can you remember the date of last time foreign attack on mainland US?
The most memorable one in my life is probably 9/11. :P
We might strongly disagree on what a "foreign attack" means. Considering the US response to the 9/11 attacks I'd say one must conclude there was no foreign attack. For example, the alleged foreign perpetrators were mostly Saudis, but the US did not declare war on Saudi Arabia. Instead, unrelated countries were torn into whole-scale war.

  • rjhowie
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Re: U.S. military might…
Reply #6
Okay subtle as a brick OakdaleFTL, I will respond!

Yes the USA spends far too much on the military pleasing the legally big corporate military corner. That it does that whlst over 40 million Americans  are on food stamps is no great principle.  Suggesting a welfare state would be going bananas in the country due to the corporate controllers. that America spends half the planet's military is head shaking and ridiculous.  Maybe of it looked after the people of America more internally than wanting to rule the world and be control freaks is shocking. There is a group thinking that rabbits on about previous controls elsewhere in the world while practicing it herself and makes America look head-shaking. If it stopped trying to prove it would be a different type of controller from all other regimes and instead had a modest military and looked after the internal affairs of tens of millions of the citizenry who are not doing well would be a greater principle. Instead the matter of constantly being in wars (helps those corporate controllers in the military business).

Interfering in countries everywhere, de-stabilising and concocting an excuse to invade rather than be more homely principled is sad.  There are as well large numbers of perfectly decent people in the US of A but it is not a wide democracy nor does it politically live up the bits of paper and would-be principles. Just think this. If the place spent less on military excuses and more on it's own decent people who have been brained what an outstanding thing that would be.  :up:
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • Frenzie
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Re: U.S. military might…
Reply #7
We might strongly disagree on what a "foreign attack" means.
Probably not, but I do disagree with the mainland restriction. (What I don't know otoh: does it actually make a difference?) In effect think it's disingenuous to count everything as US aggression but to severely restrict what is allowed to count as the opposite, so I'm playing the devil's advocate.

For example, the alleged foreign perpetrators were mostly Saudis, but the US did not declare war on Saudi Arabia. Instead, unrelated countries were torn into whole-scale war.
"We wouldn't want this to happen to you, would we?" :P

  • ersi
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Re: U.S. military might…
Reply #8
"We wouldn't want this to happen to you, would we?" :P
Is this quoting some devil or what? Your position is too undefined/unclear for a response.

Even krake does not count *everything* as US aggression. For example, a gang of US citizens on the loose shooting in the jungle a la Rambo is not US aggression. The shooting has to be, as a minimum, authorised by the US administration, and better still, the units should be marked "US Army". By these standards you get plenty of aggression already, beyond the scale of all other countries in the modern era combined.

Similarly, a bunch of unmarked towelheads planting bombs do not count as a foreign attack - and this is also seen by the US response to such bomb attacks. I will talk defining standards in further detail when/if you do.

  • Frenzie
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  • Administrator
Re: U.S. military might…
Reply #9
Is this quoting some devil or what? Your position is too undefined/unclear for a response.
It might be clearer if you add a "capice" at the end. ;)

Or to put it in a more boring way: US foreign policy as a protection racket.

By these standards you get plenty of aggression already, beyond the scale of all other countries in the modern era combined.
Provided that you define the UN as a US tool for aggression, I presume. But perhaps more to the point, the US is logically beyond the scale of most countries on pretty much any metric. Is there a per capita metric for this kind of thing like for crime and births?

  • ersi
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Re: U.S. military might…
Reply #10
Provided that you define the UN as a US tool for aggression, I presume.
Why would I do that? Why should I conflate diplomacy with aggression?

But perhaps more to the point, the US is logically beyond the scale of most countries on pretty much any metric. Is there a per capita metric for this kind of thing like for crime and births?
You and jax are good at finding statistics. I'm sure you can dig up this one too.

  • Frenzie
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Re: U.S. military might…
Reply #11
Why would I do that? Why should I conflate diplomacy with aggression?
Considering the British Empire was regularly at war on three continents simultaneously for a century during the modern era (pretty much regardless whether you define that as from roughly the Napoleonic Wars or from the American Civil War[1]) I have some doubts with regard to the statement about unprecedented scale, except in the sense that many things tend to increase scale over time. The platitude might therefore well be true, but if it's similar to saying that New York City has more murders than York it may not ultimately be meaningful. Including UN peacekeeping missions like the graph does could make a difference.

Obviously post-WW2 the American Empire has been fairly unique even with all of the Soviet aggressions taken into account. What's particularly odd is that in spire of the geographical separation or perhaps paradoxically because of it, there's a rather peculiar American tradition of insecurity. America feels surrounded on all sides by European and Asian enemies, which is ultimately the justification for all military bases far abroad.

But you'd be wrong to discount 9/11. To us it might look like another terrorist attack, more effective and terrible than most, but to Americans the mainland hadn't been attacked since 1812. I was only being somewhat facetious there. I may not agree with it, but this is or was a commonly held view.

The National Security Act of 1947 is what brought us the USA we know today: a country with a scary amount of military power in the hands of the President (in spite of having just experienced the results of exactly that), with a quadrupled military budget and no need to officially declare war. America's been in a perpetual state of military readiness ever since. Thanks, Truman.
Perhaps the first modern war.

  • Belfrager
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Re: U.S. military might…
Reply #12
Thus the USA has good reasons to increase its military spending  continuously if it is determined to keep it that way and I'm sure it is.
The Nazis spent more than anyone else and got the best technology in the world - they lost by reason of human factors.
With Americans it happens the same.

How incredible American people even don't look to history.
A matter of attitude.

  • jax
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Re: U.S. military might…
Reply #13

Doesn't everyone think the U.S. spends too much on "defense"...?

There are constraints on how much the US can spend, but not as such how well they can spend it. Not all of it has had a stellar return on investment. The US spent more during the Cold War when faced with an existential threat in the Soviet Union, but arguably they also spent more cleverly.

  • krake
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Re: U.S. military might…
Reply #14
If the USA wants to impose on the whole world its own (selfish) interests by threats, "regime changes" and military force then it has no other choice but to increase its military spendings forever.
There's only a little problem with that.
No matter how many trillions it will spend in the future, there is no guarantee that all other nations will be willing to subordinate forever.
The US leadership should be aware of the straw that can break the camel's back.

A nuclear war would be catastrophic for friends and foes - most probably for the US as well.
There will be no winner of such a war, only (happy?) survivors of a nuclear holocaust.


  • Barulheira
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Cake by the ocean
Reply #15
That's a piece of cake!

  • Belfrager
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Re: U.S. military might…
Reply #16
The Lady's hat is more impressive than the nuclear cake.
A matter of attitude.

  • rjhowie
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Re: U.S. military might…
Reply #17
The American empire is basically and purely a corporate freakery thing and is not based on some great high principled basis. War after war, disabling places that will not give into it's control or influence. There is so much in American internal society which betrays the real situation. The America first nonsense will appeal to millions over there who are so emotional and wow eeh in their nationalism. The hard truth that their are vast numbers of the citizenry who not only suffer but are homeless, starve and so on makes a giant farce. It is high time for the country to see millions spent on the people who are suffering internally rather than want to practice military hypocrisy globally.
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • ersi
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Re: U.S. military might…
Reply #18
After proposing and getting the biggest military budget ever, Trump is preparing to celebrate the victory.

Trump's military parade could cost up to $30 million

  • rjhowie
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Re: U.S. military might…
Reply #19
And as I have said it would be a waste. Trump wants that after being impressed by the massive French parade he witnessed along with their President. But as I also pointed out I am afraid American soldiers, etc do not have the smartness of the French, us or most other places. No crispness or real smartness just walking in step stuff and not worth watching to be direct. Just don't have it.  :down:
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: U.S. military might…
Reply #20
So, RJ, goose-stepping is what you Eurphiles prefer...? :)
  • Last Edit: 2018-02-21, 06:50:17 by OakdaleFTL
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • Belfrager
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Re: U.S. military might…
Reply #21
So, RJ, goose-stepping is what you Eurphiles prefer...?
RJ is not an Europhile, he's equal to you. Europhiles look to both of you the same way.
A matter of attitude.

  • rjhowie
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Re: U.S. military might…
Reply #22
Dear oh dear OakdaleFTL you are making yourself look silly never mind anything else! The vast majority of armies in our life have far smarter drills than America has and you do not need to do the goose step to prove it.
Several months ago I seen a reference in a programme on tv on the funeral of a US former President. My brother who was a Colour-Sergeant in our Paras groan and commented to me that those involved looked as if they had something stuck up their backsides the way they moved. The other thing obvious was the comment I made about standing to attention with the front of the feet close together when the standard elsewhere is spread feet. It is the way girls stand when showing respect to something. The other amusing thing was when marking time unlike again other places they simply kicked the legs up back the ay which is what kids do here when playing soldiers!

Those places can do the goose step if they want whilst others like us here show your lot up at drill and ceremonial times.  You have no crispness and you just do not have it poor man. Indeed it is just as well humans have only two legs as your lack of smart drill would be even worse!  :yes:  :hat:
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • ensbb3
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Re: U.S. military might…
Reply #23
Indeed it is just as well humans have only two legs as your lack of smart drill would be even worse!

I honestly didn't think your obsession with this could get any dumber. Kudos.

  • Belfrager
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Re: U.S. military might…
Reply #24
North Korean leaders says that they will not speak with Americans for the next 200 years.
Finally someone deals with long time strategy.
A matter of attitude.