Is Our Military Budget Too Big?

Discussion in 'U.S. Strategic Affairs' started by Falcon, Dec 19, 2015.

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  1. Falcon

    Falcon Major Staff Member Social Media Team

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  2. Technofox

    Technofox That Norwegian girl Staff Member Ret. Military Developer

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    Not with the amount of commitments the US has. Perhaps that's the real issue, too much stuff to deal with? And I don't believe the official budget contains covert actions, university or civilian R&D or joint projects... does it? If not then the actual budget is even larger than publicly stated.

    I don't think it's too big, maintaining a large military and keeping it ahead technologically is very expensive, I do think the US is taking on too many responsibilities though. It could also stand to be more precise in its procurement, some projects have been wasteful or pushed by Congress - to the chagrin of the military which didn't want them, which also contributes to the budgets size and the eventual debate about why it's so large.

    ...

    Here's an article on that last point. Congress buys stuff the Pentagon doesn't want, which requires personnel, training, maintenance and support costs. In the end it only makes the budget larger.

    http://www.military.com/daily-news/...-to-stop-buying-equipment-it-doesnt-need.html

    Stopping this can lower the US defense budget by cutting out wasteful spending, which has been a common theme with the US military for some time now.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2015
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  3. Falcon

    Falcon Major Staff Member Social Media Team

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    I think one of the mistakes we make is picking up all of the slack from our allies. Eastern Europe is a perfect example. Many of those countries are spending less than 2% of their GDP, if we could convince them to spend more than we wouldn't have to spend as much in that area.
     
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  4. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Lieutenant Colonel

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    The problem is that we like to keep a certain balance of power in various regions. I don't think we would allow Germany to rebuild its forces as a counter to Russia, similarly we wouldn't want the Turks to get that big either.

    Our military is a vital part of our foreign policy, other countries benefit from the ability to use it to stay safe from others, humanitarian relief and in order to keep sea lanes stable. Our military makes us important to other countries.

    The military also fuels our defense industry which exports around $ 60-70 billion a year. Military research also opens the doors to many other technologies. Examples include penicillin, GPS, Radar, and nylon.
     
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  5. Technofox

    Technofox That Norwegian girl Staff Member Ret. Military Developer

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    I think Eastern Europe should be the priority since most of these nations are still developing economically, that and their current equipment isn't exactly world beating. It's the likes of Germany and the UK that the US shouldn't be covering for. These are developed nations with strong economies, and especially in Germany's case, aren't spending enough on defense.

    These charts, from June 2015 show the state of NATO spending:

    [​IMG]

    Eastern Europe - mainly nations threatened by Russia like Latvia and Estonia - is actually picking up its spending. Western Europe is declining though.

    [​IMG]

    But what about the SCS? Should the US continue to cover for Japan and the Philippines? What about Australia and Malaysia? Fortunately China is helping to motive the SCS nations into increasing their defense spending.
     
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  6. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Lieutenant Colonel

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    I remember a few years ago when Taiwan wanted more F-16's but we didn't sell them any because it would anger China, this was a perfect opportunity to strengthen an ally. Many American's also don't like the idea of a normalized Japan, if Japan had a normal military structure and policy then they wouldn't need us as backup, but if we gave them to much power than who is to say that it wouldn't backfire on our interests in the area?
     
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