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Thread: ‘Pentagon’s Worst Nightmare’

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    Re: ‘Pentagon’s Worst Nightmare’

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    Our armed forces have been cut in half over the past two decades. If we decrease it by another third, what will be left?

    All these cuts will cost lives.
    Military budget of the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    While the link above is not authoritative, it is a good collection of verifiable data. It shows that defense spending hasn't gone down, just the number of people in uniform. We spend a ton on "contractors" who perform duties that used to be handled by men/women in uniform. Privatization has caused us to get less for more. There's also the propensity to pay for advanced weapons when there is no real threat. Defense spending is completely out of control. Even Gates couldn't tame it.

    The US accounts for 42.8% of all of the defense spending in the entire world. On what basis do we rationalize that?

    List of countries by military expenditures - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    If we just cut that to 33% of the world total, we wouldn't have no stinking deficit.

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    Re: ‘Pentagon’s Worst Nightmare’

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    That's so undeniably incorrect and patently false I don't know where to begin.

    In 1990 Defense spending was roughly just under 6% of GDP. "Two Decades" after it was just over 6% GDP. Even at its absolute lowest, around 98/99, it was still solidly more than 3% GDP so was not "half".
    our defense budget hit a postwar high of 14.2% of GDP in 1953 during the Korean War. At the height of Vietnam in 1968, it was 9.5%, and it was 6.8% in 1986 at the height of the Reagan buildup. In 2000, military funding reached the lowest point on 3.0%. Today, 10 years into the Global War on Terror, we are spending 4.7% of GDP on defense.

    How about in straight dollars adjusted for inflation? In 1990 we would've been just shy of 500 Billion. In 2010 we would've been just over 800 Billion. That's not cutting in half, that's raising it by more than half and is actually double what it was at its lowest, which would've been a shade under 400 Billion in 98/99.

    How about just flat out dollars, not even adjusted? You go from just over $300 billion to just over $600 billion.

    You got numbers saying otherwise, please present them. But from what I've seen you're math isn't just wrong...its devastatingly wrong depending how you look at it. Best case scenario is that over the past 2 decades we maintained roughly the same amount of average defense spending as a percent of GDP.

    As I said, I'd be happy to see numbers to the contrary, but right now it looks like you're just factually horribly incorrect. Also, interesting note. Cutting it by 1/3rd would bring it down to roughly 4% GDP. Still not close to "half" of its high of the past two decades of just over 6, and still higher than 1996 - 2002.

    link
    you are mistaking "money" for "combat power". remember that DOD provides healthcare to millions of people; and it has eaten those increased costs as they have skyrocketed. also, during that time period, congress mandated continuous pay raises for military personnel in order to bring their paychecks closer to their civilian equivalents. that was a welcome change, but that money did have to come out of the DOD budget. in addition, the wars came with their own dramatically increased costs that did not represent any kind of actual military buildup.

    to put it in the terms that he was discussing (actual ability to project force): in 1990, the Army had 18 Divisions. Now it has 10. The Navy had 600 ships. Now they have 280, making our current fleet the smallest it has been since WWI; and most of those are older, many have cracks running up and down the lengths of their hulls. The number of tactical Air Wings that the Air Force can muster has fallen from 37 to 20 (and that with fewer planes per wing), and (again) many of the planes are older. The new top air craft coming to replace them (the F-22) has been cut. The useful life of the equipment from the Reagan Buildup is ending, and we have apparently decided not to purchase replacements.

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    Re: ‘Pentagon’s Worst Nightmare’

    Quote Originally Posted by Proud South Korean View Post
    Agreed. The war of this age is the unconventional/irregular/asymmetrical warfare. Most of what you stated are useless in that kind of combat.
    All the US needs aside from the weaponry for unconventional warfare are nukes. A few will keep countries like Russia and China in check.
    that only works if we are willing to use them. and one of the nations we would have to "keep in check" would be NKorea. How do you feel about thermonuclear devises going off a few miles from Seoul?

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    Re: ‘Pentagon’s Worst Nightmare’

    Quote Originally Posted by Serenity View Post
    deal with that when/if it happens. for now you could always take a break from spreading "freedom and democracy" when it suits.

    think of all the money you will save in the meantime.
    By ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, we would cut $150 billion dollars a year in spending. By also cutting military spending by 50% we would save another $350 billion a year. That's a half trillion dollars annually in deficit reduction. And we would still be spending more on military than any other country on the planet.
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    Re: ‘Pentagon’s Worst Nightmare’

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    that only works if we are willing to use them. and one of the nations we would have to "keep in check" would be NKorea. How do you feel about thermonuclear devises going off a few miles from Seoul?
    I wouldn't have to feel because that device, as like most NK products, will most likely be a dud
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    Re: ‘Pentagon’s Worst Nightmare’

    Quote Originally Posted by Proud South Korean View Post
    I wouldn't have to feel because that device, as like most NK products, will most likely be a dud
    I think he meant us nuking NKorea. Our nukes usually work pretty well.
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    Re: ‘Pentagon’s Worst Nightmare’

    Quote Originally Posted by atrasicarius View Post
    I think he meant us nuking NKorea. Our nukes usually work pretty well.
    And we have the great distinction of being the only country ever to have used them on a civilian population.
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    Re: ‘Pentagon’s Worst Nightmare’

    Quote Originally Posted by Catawba View Post
    By ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, we would cut $150 billion dollars a year in spending. By also cutting military spending by 50% we would save another $350 billion a year. That's a half trillion dollars annually in deficit reduction.



    the DOD Budget for 2011 was $531 Bn On top of that, we spent $150 Bn on the wars. 1/2 of $531 is $265.5, not 350.
    Last edited by cpwill; 08-04-11 at 06:52 AM.

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    Re: ‘Pentagon’s Worst Nightmare’

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post



    the DOD Budget for 2011 was $531 Bn On top of that, we spent $150 Bn on the wars. 1/2 of $531 is $265.5, not 350.
    No, he's got the right figures.
    Military budget of the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    To be fair, that's 2012, not 2011, but then again, the budget is supposed to be smaller for 2012. It also includes things like pensions and veteran's affair's, which aren't cutable. But that means that the entire $707.5 billion DoD budget is potentially on the chopping block. You could also probably knock off $15 billion or so from the Department of Energy budget in the form of nuclear weapons disarmament.
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    Re: ‘Pentagon’s Worst Nightmare’

    Quote Originally Posted by atrasicarius View Post
    Things we could cut from the military with no ill effect:

    Several aircraft carriers - We have as many as everyone else combined. I'm pretty sure we could get by with 5 or 6. It's not our job to police the world. That would also let us get rid of a corresponding number of other ships which make up carrier battle groups.

    The majority of our tank forces - Tanks are useless against irregulars because all they have to do is hide, and air strikes are much more effective against other tanks.

    Strategic bombers - Only useful for two things: Carpet bombing and dropping nukes. Neither of those things are things we really want to be doing.

    Most of our nuclear arsenal - A single Ohio class submarine carries enough nuclear missiles to glass a good sized country. We have 14.

    Overseas bases - Keep a few in unstable areas like Korea and the Middle East. Get rid of all the others.

    A good percentage of our infantry - Increase the size of our special forces to compensate, since they're better at fighting irregulars.

    As many of the pencil pushers at the Pentagon as possible.
    Specious argument since if this logic was applied to the US armed forces in general we either REALLY want to kill others and put our troops in harms way or if we do not then we should just do away with the military all together. After all do we really WANT to be doing war?
    The question is more important than the answer!

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