Do you need to ask stupid questions? Don't forget how many people it employs. How did Bin Laden get killed? By nukes or armed forces? who rescues hostages? Nukes or armed forces? who provides support to allied nations? Nukes or armed forces? Who can be used to help in natural disasters? Nukes or armed forces? Also who combats the 2nd enemy terrorists?
nuclear weapons don't have anything to do with other arms.
no country is going to use them, so without armies, navies, and airforces, you cannot respond proportionally to small scale attacks. No nation
You have a gross misunderstanding on how armed conflict works, and a gross misunderstanding of the cold war, and its history.
Most of the military in reality is theorhetical power, to be used in combination with diplomacy and parlance. What diplomatic feats can we achieve because of the perception of our military. Not just against as a threat, but also as an incentive to be allies.
You also have to think long term. Russia and China probably won't threaten a land invasion against us. If we didn't have an Army at all, they might consider it, or it might come up repeatedly in unrelated negotions and diplomacy.
I agree, our military budget is too big. We are stuck on outdated ideas like an oversized navy, and we pay far far far too much for research and development that goes nowhere to politically connected firms.
Ironicly this decreases our actual capability to sustain a war, because the military consumes more resources for less direct benefit. It used to be the other way around. US military effeciency combined with economic might won us WWII, because the nazis had big, expensive, unreplacable machinery.
When Americans lost equipment, they just got more. The biggest thing we can do to boost our military is boost civilian industrial production of industries that in times of war can effectively make war materials, and make more efficient goods.
This doesn't fit in with the needs of congressmen than sponsor the "pro-military" politicians.
The original "Starship Troopers" novel actually talks about the matter.
When a recruit asks his drill sergeant why hand-to-hand instruction is still needed in a day of "push-button" warfare, the drill sergeant notes that dropping a nuke on any and every dissident group is like taking an axe to an unruly child: you've demonstrated that you have all the power in the situation, but at the same time, you've just destroyed anything and everything that might potentially have been saved.
Instead, nukes are a last resort for when all other methods of successfully ending a conflict have failed.
Additionally, the drill sergeant openly questioned the recruit's fitness to serve in the military if he was indeed that ready to just drop the bomb on everyone.
1) The researchers who develop those weapons of war are middle class jobs. Short of directly hiring them to do the jobs for the same pay as government employees, you need them to retain jobs paying 75 to 100k a year so to tax them to pay for the minimum wage jobs and the welfare state that keeps our economy on life support.
2) The technology which is developed in developing the weapons of war is used in civilian applications.
Yes, because you still need to occupy the land you just nuked.
Keep in mind you will not be able to completely stop an enemy nation with nukes. For example, most countries will have hardened positions that no nuke will reach. You will need troops to round up the survivors. That, and most wars in history (and likely the future) are due to resource grabs. Using nukes is the last resort -- if you can use normal troops, you would.
Yes nuclear superpowers need conventional forces. They don't need them the size of the US forces unless they wish to be world policemen. The US budget is too large, not other nations too small, because they are destermined to spread their military presence all round the world rather than acting for their own security.
Nukes are a deterrent. They're not meant to be used. When they are, it's only for instituting armageddon. There's no point putting all your eggs in one nuclear basket.
I'm not condoning the US's military spending, though. I think it's fuckin' obscene and merely a blight on the US people. But, having these forces is useful. I can say so from being Australian; our military provides a lot of humanitarian relief. Yeah, they do more than kill. All that equipment and all those humans, when mobilised, can really be a godsend to areas ravaged by disaster.
Much of it has to do with dollar supremacy though. There is a reason the dollar is seen as the gold standard. It is a point that is delivered at the barrel of a gun and paid for by your taxes. OK Libya, you don't want to accept worthless paper dollars for oil any more? Bang, bang Qaddafi you're dead. That will teach you to introduce a gold backed dinar. Your oil has been "liberated." Syria you trading oil in Euros? Bang, bang, CIA sponsored revolution for you. Iran you are next. Anyone else want to be liberated?
Spreading democracy is a euphemism for threats to tow the line or get invaded. That is why America spends $800 billion on "defense." It is laughable.
No, idiots are people who blindly march off to war without questioning if the war is a just and valid one. Many generals who spent their entire lives in the military have also made similar claims that war is a racket such as Smedley butler. [link] Eisenhower also warned us of the military industrial complex that has made war a means for profit. [link] JFK also gave similar warnings as well but I suppose these men were all idiots too. You must be one of those Bush lovers who thinks there was WMD is Iraq and has not put two and two together that it was an oil war.
What I said about Libya is 100% correct. [link] Qaddafi was murdered and his country conquered in an unjust war over the gold Dinar and oil. War to this day continues to be nothing more than a racket. It is only fools like yourself who continue to live in denial.
There are nuclear powers, Russia, China, England, France, Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea but their ability to project power varies.
Also, many people who question the United States military budget make the constant mistake of looking at weapons systems only. "Jets this, boats that..." They do not look at the logistical operations or understand their importance. Overlooking training, maintenance, upkeep, food in soldier's tummies, fuel and ammo, plus whatever else, it all adds up. Being a versatile global power is expensive.
Could the budget be reduced? Yes. Could it be cut in half? No. Not unless you want to give up a lot of the US' global reach and reduce readiness for all situations.
Do next gen technologies need to be pushed into service hard and fast? Probably not. But they do need to be a part of the continual advancement of military capability.
Remember, the military is not looking at today or next year, the military plans for decades in advance. So while today we're dealing with low level local conflicts and highly mobile terror cells that doesn't mean the military is going to shut down everything else and only deal with two current issues. If you're reactive you're too slow and out of luck, if you're proactive you have flexibility and time as assets.
'There are nuclear powers, Russia, China, England, France, Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea but their ability to project power varies.' England could count as superpower militarily. The US wouldn't have won the Falklands. Granted, until the next Generation of VTOLs and aircraft-carriers arrive, all Britain has is their Submarines, but those are powerful enough on their own. 'Could the budget be reduced? Yes. Could it be cut in half? No.' The Budget could be cut in half, or a similar impressing amount, without compromising too much, if, and only if the Military is reformed totally. As you said, the weapon systems aren't the expensive part. The upkeep is, and one could cut quite ruthlessly there. Just the Investment would be quite high. Also, 11 carrier groups? It hardly takes two to win a war, let alone eleven. And the upkeep of a carrier group is very expensive.
Also, the more prepared you are, the less likely you are to need those preparations. The relatively low global violence levels are to a significant extent the result of a fear of reprisals from the US.
I wouldn't want to spoil it. I bet you've come up with five jokes just from having read the possibility of such a joke existing. The overall utility of the world is increased by my not actually specifying what the joke is.
the nuclear weapons are really just an offensive defense.
anyone stupid enough to use a nuke in combat today will be nuked themselves even if they use the nuke on a country without nukes. it keeps the worlds nuclear powers on stand still so yes a standard Army Air and Navy are very much necessary.
Nuclear weapons are a deterrent, and aren't intended to actually be used outside of a last-resort situation. You have to remember that US nuclear doctrine revolves around them being the defender, not the aggressor, whereas most US military interests of the past half-century involve them being the aggressor. This requires a conventional - non-nuclear - military force in order to achieve it's objectives without obliterating half the world.
Because the US would rather repel an invasion manually than cause a global apocalypse via nukes.
I wonder how the US "defense" budget pulls in the money so easily, when all other aspects of American economy is coming under scrutiny.
Except the military has been taking pretty major cuts over the past few years, and is about to get hit with even more come the Sequestrian.
With military spending that is 12x all our allies combined,
That's our main problem: the fact that not only do we fund the defense of the US, but the defense of all NATO countries and then some. If we were to pull out of NATO and limit funding to US defense only, we'd save huge amounts of money. On the other hand, all of those countries would have to ramp up their own military spending so that they could actually field a competent military if need be, and then they'd have to start raising taxes and cutting social spending.
European countries won't allow themselves to go virtually defenseless; they will ramp up their militaries if (when?) the US stops acting as their personal bodyguard. That's good for the US, who'll save money and maybe even have some economic stimulation as countries start buying our military stuff, but bad if you're a European whose welfare check is going to go down considerably.
And don't we know it? The members of the EU have dismantled and/or sold off most of their armanents and ammunition since the last major war they were involved in. If anything, Libya has pushed the EU to re-evaluate their defense strategy, especially in regards to ammunition production. [link]
The problems we face are multifaceted. We don't do a lot of mining ourselves anymore, thus we have few natural resources to produce ammo. Weapons factories in Europe prefer to develop new weapons over producing ammunition. Ammo production is limited to the predicted sales figures of that ammunition. Hence, we sell off almost all ammo we do produce to third world countries. Because of the EU's anti-war policies, fewer and fewer youths are willing to pursue a career in Defence.
There have been cries in the EC to do something about this, since at this rate, Europe will be defenceless in less than two decades.
The irony is that, with the budgets our militaries have combined, it should be relatively easy for the EU to field an efficient military, but one of the major problems with that is that we'd have to leave training to a couple of nations while weapon and ammunition production would have to go to others.
The European nations wouldn't have to ramp up their budgets much at all. Their budgets are more in line with global averages and it's the US budget that is overblown. Euro budgets are more than enough to defend Europe. They are not enough to go romping round the world invading other countries.
If you took the military spending of all the EU nations combined it would be the 2nd largest in the world. Combine all the hardware and troops and you get similar figures. Combined European military is more than enough to repel all but the most dedicated invasion from a superpower. Considering the nearest one is Russia who are hopelessly outmatched in conventional forces, I'd say European spending is fine.
You're over-estimating things. In Libya, Britain and France started seeing munitions shortages within a month, showing that they're almost totally incapable of sustaining even small-scale military operations over an extended period of time. And these two countries make up 50% of the EU's military capacity.
Obviously, there's no immediate threat of an invasion. However, governments run their militaries by focusing on the future, and I doubt that any of those countries will like their chances in a potential military confrontation without the US backing them up.
The only type of missile they used, mind you. If they'd used others, they'd have seen shortages in those.
You seem to forget that EU nation budgets are in line with other nations. If we ever face shortages, it's likely they will too.
I realize that. I'm commenting on how a war would actually turn out, but how European generals and politicians are going to respond to the sudden loss of US military support. And those European generals and politicians are going to compensate by building up their own armies.
Lack of a certain type of missile (which was not the only type used) simply means that European powers should spend more on ammo, it does not require an increase in budgets. It's the rule of diminishing returns, as you spend more and more on the military it had less and less effect. A sudden loss of American support would not affect Europe much because Euro armies are rarely mobilised.
Another interesting thing to point out, if European nations spent as much on the military as the USA, the combined European military spending would put it no 1 in the world ahead of the USA. Much as American people may hate it, I think your government quite likes Europe keeping low military spending, no competition then.
I believe that's exactly what those other NATO countries should do. Not only out of fairness for the US citizens but if NATO is to have any meaning where an alliance of countries come together to make decisions, then how can that happen if only one country has the power to enforce them? They are really just an extension of American's own reach.
I agree completely. However, I doubt that Europe would appreciate having its collective economy gutted, so it's unlikely given the current administration's obsession with placating the rest of the world.