Who is the boggy man who threatens us? What is the nature of the threat? What is required to defend ourselves from that threat?
If we could defend ourselves from all known threats to our sovereignty, and do it at 2% of GDP, should we as a nation spend more than that?
Have the CEO's of the defense contractors, the military industrial complex, built a political system to enrich themselves at the expense of the taxpayers, even when there is no creditable threat to our sovereignty as a nation? I think they have.
Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none.
No major world power spends 2% of its GDP on defense. Not even China.If we could defend ourselves from all known threats to our sovereignty, and do it at 2% of GDP, should we as a nation spend more than that?
I love the smell of face-palm in the morning!
"You ain't no Muslim bruv!"
You don't figure out how much to spend by asking "what % of my GDP do I need to spend to defend myself?". You should as, who are my main enemies, what is the risk they will attack, if they attack how will they do it, what do I have to do to prudently protect myself from those attacks?
Who will come at us with their navy to land troops on our shore? Who will send their bombers to bomb our cities? Does anyone have a big enough laser in space to disrupt our cities (I don't think so)? Can anyone hack our internet and halt significant commerce in the US with a relative small expenditure? Can we tell who did it? Can we retaliate so they won't want to do it?
I don't think anyone can float their navy over here, or send their bombers over here, or attack us with lasers from space (technology is not there, cost is prohibitive, what would they gain and at what cost?).
Terrorist attacks are here, and hacking attacks are here. What type of defense do we need?
And why do we have such a gigantic military? I'd say a primary reason for it would be that we have such a gigantic economy. Our economy is about 2.5 times the size of China's, despite them having more than 4 times our population. The fact is that most noteworthy countries, China included, spend 4-6% of their GDP on defense. We do too, but we have so much more GDP than everyone else that 5% of it gives us a large enough military to overshadow the rest of the world and keep us safe from them.