The next problem with this argument is that fisherman and truck drivers are not "serving their country", and more than any one privately employed is. Military personnel are directly serving their country.
The last problem is that it does not account for the hardships and extra hours that military personal go through. Spend a few months with your bags packed because you could be deploy with 48 hours notice. Makes even taking a vacation hard. Over the last 4 years I spent in service, I spent less than 4 months each year actually at my home base. I spent almost 2 years of it at sea. Further, military personal work more hours than most comparable civilians, and do not get overtime for it. If you broke down military pay to an hourly rate, you would be aghast. 84 + hour weeks, plus duty days every 4 days is the norm. During flight ops at sea, I worked 16 to 18 hours a day, for 30 to 40 days at a stretch with no days off, doing a high stress job where one mistake could cost some one their life.
Separate question. I agree, Iraq was a mistake. I agree, the constant deployments is expensive. Iraq is thankfully winding down, Afghanistan is unfortunately to my mind necessary. If Pakistan is involved in terror attacks against the US, we may have to do something there. The problem is that we don't have absolute control. Certain situations do require a response in the best interest of our country.I have a better question. Why should the tax payers be expected to dish out more money for useless wars? The U.S. should never have gone to Iraq. I know what's done is done and we have to look forward, but if the military is having financial issues then the choices of the U.S. government are to blame. If the military has a budget crisis, even with half a trillion dollars per year or more, then maybe overseas campaigns should be reduced?
I am not a conservative, I will let them answer this question. I will note quickly that I am a liberal, and yet I see the need for military spending, and a strong military. We should not play politics with the military, though I do agree, as I posted earlier, that the military budget does need to be trimmed. It's just not going to be easy.On the subject of welfare, fiscal conservatives always talk about conservation. Why are the same principles never applied to the military? It too can be a financial black hole if its function is not being used wisely.