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 Cut the military budget by 50 percent
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hholdings
New Member

USA
23 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2009 :  19:27:44  Show Profile  Visit hholdings's Homepage Send hholdings a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Since military spending contribute very little to stimulating the economy, a cut in most of the weapon systems that we don't need could result in approximately 50% less spending on the military budget. We could do that and still give the troops a healthy raise.

Valiant Dancer
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USA
4826 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2009 :  21:38:41   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by hholdings

Since military spending contribute very little to stimulating the economy, a cut in most of the weapon systems that we don't need could result in approximately 50% less spending on the military budget. We could do that and still give the troops a healthy raise.


Define "don't need" please.

Also keep in mind that there are three main functions of a standing military.

Those are in no particular order

1) Kill people
2) Break stuff
3) Occupy hostile lands

Other functions placed upon it are incidental to their main three missions. To accomplish the three main missions, they need equipment that is both evolving with the times and in good repair.

There are some weapon systems which have been around a great time, but those have been improved to the point where there is little to be gained. Examples would be the Browning Automatic Rifle (1898 squad machine gun), the Uzi sub-machine gun (a durable and resilient light hand held machine gun), and the Kalishnakov AK-47 (a durable and resilient individual machine gun).

As tactics evolve, new weapons platforms and specifications are needed. And until the entire force is trained and converted to the new tactics, supplies for the old tactics are still necessary.

Within any conflict, there are additional operational costs. Expended ammunition, fuel, foodstuffs, protective gear, normal wear and tear, combat losses and combat damage, etc.

In addition, a significant portion of military expendatures are in research for the next new weapon system and tactics.

I think your idea of 50% is unrealistic.

Military spending comes under the "provide for the common defese" portion of the Constitution. You also ignore the procurement portion of military spending which does stimulate the economy. Not the banks, but definately in the produce, manufacturing, aircraft, and related service industries.

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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9677 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2009 :  22:43:38   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Half the budget compared to what? Before or after the Bush-era?

The Last 8 years, "provide for the common defence" and "occupy hostile lands" has been a joke.
How does no-bid contracts stimulate anything but Haliburton CEO's wallets?
I'm very skeptical to the arguments for an American military of its current size.

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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 03/03/2009 :  02:33:02   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Cut our defense budget in half?

Here's the kind of second-rate Air Force we'd have:




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Simon
SFN Regular

USA
1992 Posts

Posted - 03/03/2009 :  08:58:13   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Simon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
They seem to be doing pretty well for themselves, though...


The US are spending an extraordinary amount of money in their defence, really, more than the rest of the world combined. I wonder if this is such a good idea and if the country can really afford it...

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
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Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 03/03/2009 :  09:27:02   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Where your income tax money goes.

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It's even worse than it appears
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Simon
SFN Regular

USA
1992 Posts

Posted - 03/03/2009 :  10:06:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Simon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
To put it into perspective, it represents about a fourth, of what the US spend in health care.

But it must also be said that the US health care system is ruthlessly inefficient, when comparing the amount actually spent to the level of care received.


Still, cutting down on the military budget would probably go a long way into helping the US reduce their deficit...

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
Carl Sagan - 1996
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 03/03/2009 :  11:21:41   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There is little doubt that the defense budget here needs to be examined in detail. No-bid contracts are a sad joke and amount to nothing less than robbery imo. There is also likely a huge problem with waste and graft in our defense budget.

What we need to do is ensure that we use the most up to date and efficient military systems while eliminating excessive spending on the outdated and the experimental. This isn't something that can happen fast, for reasons that Valiant has pointed out, but its still something we need to do.

In my personal opinion we need to rapidly modernize all of our stuff. Keep the best, eliminate the chaff, and focus on new systems that are actually aimed at minimizing casualties on all sides of any battle. More work on the robotic systems to remove humans from some very hazardous jobs, integrating soldiers and weapons into a battlefield wifi, high atmosphere surveilance platforms (big balloons that can mantain a position over an area at 100-150k feet and are equipped with sattelite level cameras and large communication capabilities), anti-artillery weapons, anti-missile weapons (that actually function), etc.


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Grayven
New Member

19 Posts

Posted - 03/03/2009 :  11:22:40   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Grayven a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So we need the world's biggest, most well armed military to defend us from Canada, Mexico, and Cuba? Seriously, who else could mount an invasion, when we are so far from the rest of the world? A military one tenth the size of what we have now would be more than adequate for "providing for the common defense". The only reason we have such a large military is to push people around thousands of miles away (protect our interests abroad) and piss people off (nation build) who wouldn't give a rat's ass about us if we weren't there.

We don't need the huge military we have, and would be better off without it.
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Hittman
Skeptic Friend

134 Posts

Posted - 03/03/2009 :  15:51:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Hittman's Homepage Send Hittman a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Since military spending contribute very little to stimulating the economy, a cut in most of the weapon systems that we don't need could result in approximately 50% less spending on the military budget. We could do that and still give the troops a healthy raise.


I thought all government spending stimulated the economy?

Buy a tank, you provide income for engineers who design the tanks, people who build the tanks, everyone who makes parts for the tank, etc etc etc.

Also keep in mind that there are three main functions of a standing military.

Those are in no particular order

1) Kill people
2) Break stuff
3) Occupy hostile lands


If we could discard #3 we'd be able to realize significant savings.

We have military bases in nearly every country in the world. How many are necessary? We could probably close half of them without any real effect on our military readiness.

Still, cutting down on the military budget would probably go a long way into helping the US reduce their deficit...


Yep. And cutting down on all other government agencies would go a long way as well.



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Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 03/03/2009 :  18:04:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message  Reply with Quote

I thought all government spending stimulated the economy?

I don't think anyone says that all government spending stimulates everyone's economy, but government spending stimulates someone's economy, and the Defense Department stimulates most the economy of the wealthy.

We have military bases in nearly every country in the world. How many are necessary? We could probably close half of them without any real effect on our military readiness.

This is about empire, not defense.

Yep. And cutting down on all other government agencies would go a long way as well.


Few are anywhere near as large as "defense."


I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
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Robert Hunter



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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26009 Posts

Posted - 03/03/2009 :  19:38:50   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
How many other countries have military bases on foreign lands?

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Valiant Dancer
Forum Goalie

USA
4826 Posts

Posted - 03/03/2009 :  19:52:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dr. Mabuse

Half the budget compared to what? Before or after the Bush-era?

The Last 8 years, "provide for the common defence" and "occupy hostile lands" has been a joke.
How does no-bid contracts stimulate anything but Haliburton CEO's wallets?
I'm very skeptical to the arguments for an American military of its current size.


No, Doc. Not a joke. A tradgedy. Jokes are funny.

However, foreign bases allow US forces to project onto a hostile target quite well. Their presence also strengthens ties with the host nations (or just serve to further piss them off such as Guantanimo) as well as feeds into their local economies.

Less likely to want to attack a country you do business with. And, while admittedly misused over the last 8 years, their simple existance is not as pronounced as 20 years ago. We have closed bases in the US and worldwide. The 1997 restructuring closed the training bases for Naval personell on every ocean. All Navy recruits now pass only through Great Lakes Naval Base here in Chicago. Other bases have closed and remained vacant. The Joliet Arsenal continues to go through soil remediation and some portions have been released back to civilian control. The site of the 1943 accident is still an ongoing project. It's a lot of soil to remediate and clear of various unexploded munitions.

Some foreign bases have likewise been closed (oftentimes to the protest of the town which benefitted from the presence).

Pulling back to just the confines of the US borders is not smart diplomacy nor is it logical.

Military readiness is a measure of how ready a unit is to fight. What you are not considering is immediacy of action. As Gen. Bedford Forrest quite simply said is to "get there firstest with the mostest."

The concern isn't so much with invasion as it is with military strikes at our population centers and providing refueling and reprovisioning options for our units patroling abroad.

As Dude correctly points out, examining the budget will take a lot of time. Certainly reducing no-bid contracts and other forms of graft including fighting court cases to fend off the lawsuits from the losing bidders instead of just paying them off will have a significant cost savings attached to it. The savings are there, however, the 50% savings number is not realistic.

Defense contractors have the same problems that providers of durable medical equipment has. Overregulation of production and documentation requirements which add cost of doing business. DME manufacturers have to have each product line documented up the ying yang and keep it current with the new documentation standards that Congress and the FDA change on a whim. To have a piece of lab equipment certified requires tens of thousands of man-hours to document and thousands more each year to keep the documentation current. The 1997 standard had 25 banker's boxes full of that documentation for a clinical testing labroatory system that Colaborative Medical Systems came up with. Prior to 1996, laboratory information systems were not considered medical equipment. In 1997, that changed. Colaborative Medical is now out of business due to the expense to keep that documentation in order and current.

Government contractors have similar specification sheets (a misnomer as they usually span several volumes) and specific tolerances that they must meet plus have some destructive testing in each batch to ensure compliance.


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Maverick
Skeptic Friend

Sweden
385 Posts

Posted - 03/04/2009 :  00:08:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Maverick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The USA alone stands for probably more than half the global military spending, yet for some reason that's not the first area people think of when they want cuts in government spending. Half a trillion dollars to Pentagon every year, and more if you're occupying a country or two, that's fine.

However, $17 billion for NASA is a waste of money. Planetariums, fruit fly research, volcano monitoring, basic research in physics; waste of money. Health care for all citizens; waste of money, especially if you're pro-life. Increased funding for public education would be a great investment for the future, therefore, waste of money.

"Life is but a momentary glimpse of the wonder of this astonishing universe, and it is sad to see so many dreaming it away on spiritual fantasy." -- Carl Sagan
Edited by - Maverick on 03/04/2009 00:10:54
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moakley
SFN Regular

USA
1886 Posts

Posted - 03/04/2009 :  07:34:48   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send moakley a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

How many other countries have military bases on foreign lands?
And from this list our presence in many countries would only qualify as an office. The data is about 1.5 years old, but do we really need 12 military personnel in Sweden. Does Sweden even know about this? I lost count but we have 60+ such offices with 10 military personnel or less in 60+ countries. Seems like a waste to me and closing these offices may not be a huge savings, but it would be a start.

Life is good

Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned. -Anonymous
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Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 03/04/2009 :  07:41:12   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message  Reply with Quote

However, $17 billion for NASA is a waste of money. Planetariums, fruit fly research, volcano monitoring, basic research in physics; waste of money. Health care for all citizens; waste of money, especially if you're pro-life. Increased funding for public education would be a great investment for the future, therefore, waste of money.


I think a good chunk of NASA's budget is probably military. I have no way of knowing if it should be cut, but I don't think we can talk about the military budget without talking about NASA.

I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter



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