Originally Posted by cutthemdown
Don't look now but N Korea just launched a missile that could hit the US. Oh and in a few days they will detonate another nuke.
China being belligerent trying to snatch resources from other coutries in asia.
Russia building military and becoming more and more a thorn in our side. Their plan is to become more powerful then the US.
I agree we can cut. My point is we only spend like 4% of gdp, around what 700 billion a yr?
You always talk about China hiding defense spending, then continue the myth that we only spend $700bn on defense.
Don't forget the VA, NASA (about half their budget is military R&D), Department of Energy (nukes), Homeland Security (most of what it does is defense oriented: coast guard, border patrol, USSS, etc.), The Treasury dept (pays military pensions).
All told we spend over a trillion a year on defense every year, probably more.
I'm not sure what we could cut. Our aircraft carriers are old and making some new ones is a smart move. The old ones use an outdated powerplant. Its just one of those things we have to have. Carriers are how we project power to other regions on a moments notice.
Also we already spent too much on the f-35. We have to push ahead and finish that project. The money spent keeping the older planes in service is getting tough. I know a marine jet mechanic and according to him many of our f-16s f-15s are way passed how many hours they were designed to fly.
Really the money is in the troop levels. So.......we could cut there after Afghan draws down. Maybe reduce by what? 50 thousand troops? Not really sure how many we could cut out and still have enough if some conflict arose.
The vast bulk of the savings we could have comes from waste. You know, that waste all the conservatives rail about, except when it comes to military spending?
Everything from treating generals and admirals like royalty to having unneeded (that the PENTAGON didn't even WANT) weapons systems to just general waste that occurs in every large organization. You seem to want to remain entirely clueless about how much pork goes into military spending as a consequence of our economy being propped up by it.
Some defense projects the pentagon didn't even want:
- The Global Hawk Block 30 drone program;
- The C-27J Spartan cargo aircraft;
- Upgrades to the M1 Abrams tank;
- Air National Guard funding;
- A proposed East Coast missile defense system.
- Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle
- Surface Launch Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile System (a.ka. the SLAMRAAM)
That's something around $100 billion in various programs that the military didn't even want.
Then just general waste:
"Like any government agency, the Pentagon has a serious problem with waste. An audit last year by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that management failures at the Department of Defense led to $70 billion of waste over just a two-year period. Another GAO report from 2010 found that the Defense Logistics Agency, which acquires military equipment, was ordering 50 percent more equipment than it needed, and $7 billion worth of supplies were sitting in a warehouse."
Oh, and lets not forget the trillions (more than one) spent in the last decade on completely unnecessary wars. Even if we pulled every single troop and piece of equipment out of useless wars today we'd still be spending $100bn or more on those wars a year
for decades (VA, pensions, etc.)
You could probably lop $200 billion (or perhaps more) off the defense budget without any effect whatsoever on defense capability. Ask the admirals and generals what they really _need_, and just do that. Hell, we could probably afford a couple more carrier groups you are so proud of and still have cuts. Of course, that would mean politicians doing whats right for the country and not whats good for themselves, so it won't happen if we leave it in their hands.