How has military expenditure skyrocketed?

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Isoroku295

Ad Honorem
Jan 2009
8,499
In the Past
Not exactly. There are other more serious issues, but the subject of this thread is the increasing cost of military spending and what I know is pertinent to that. Technology and the industrial component such as Halliburton, has greatly increased what we spend on war or if we go to war at all because of what aggienation explained. Cheney's move from Halliburton to Vice President is so MIlitary Industrial Complex.

I was blown away when I watched War Dogs and learned how much it cost to send one person into combat. This story of what money has to do with modern warfare, and the point of view being profiting from war, was an eye-opener. I knew the technology was important, but not how important nor how costly it is. A troop fighting in the second world war was really cheap compared to what we are spending today.

Here is a trailer for the movie based on what really happened. I think everyone will enjoy the movie.
Official Trailer from War Dogs (2016)
Did you just cite a comedy film? Could you perhaps cite something more relevant, like quantifiable numbers to show a relative (not absolute) increase in the cost of war? Because by every measurement I've seen, even in war we spend a much lower percentage of our GDP than any other point in history. Even in war, our defense budget as a percent of government spending is actually pretty generic for what other nations use to spend in peacetime.
 

Mrbsct

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
2,646
USA
My problem with the military industrial complex theory is this:
-Arms industry is only a small portion of US economy.
-Arms industry donations are only a small portion of campaign contributions for politicians

So the Military Industrial Complex and the US obsession with it is strategic in nature not economic or bribery. The US as a superpower needs the best weapons on the planet even if it means expensive programs that have a lot of poor management. Why is the US so obsessed with weapons? Well, it is a means of leverage. If Saudi Arabia buys American weapons, it better not ever fight a war against the United States or attack major American allies otherwise their fighter jets will stop working or easily shot down by US pilots who know how the radar works, how to jam it, and how the plane maneuvers or potentially even hack it on the ground and deny spare parts.. Same If UK buys American weapons it better, it better not ever side with Russia in a war, or try recolonizing. The US keeps the source codes for its weapons, and maintenance is often worked with US contractors. So why buy American weapons if it means the US practically ruling over you? Well, if the American weapons are the most advanced. you would take the chance of not wanting to fight the US in the future for the more advanced weapon to be used against Russia or terrorists, a greater threat they consider than US.

This is why France, the least decolonized nation, doesn't buy US weapons. They don't want the US telling them where they stand as a world power.
 

athena

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
5,032
Eugene, Oregon
that is demonstrably wrong ,
Stalin rule was by no possible metric a democracy but he kicked arse in an awesome way

lots of democracies got chewed up by the bad guys
maybe they were more "efficient" but on the score sheet , they were loosers
I cannot even imagine what would have happened to Britain
if they didn't have the most excellent 40 miles wide tank ditch to cover their buttocks in 1940
You have made a very good point. The problem with tyrants is not that they are mean, bad people, but what they know is limited to their own knowledge and their very good intentions, especially those regarding feeling a nation, can be tragically wrong. This caused thousands to starve to death in the USSR and China. The leaders didn't mean to cause all these people to starve death. They had a wrong notion about their own capabilities and so did their followers. I am not so sure how far the US is from this tragical wrong expectation of leaders. Science is a vital part of our safety and liberty, and I am not sure everyone understands that? I am not sure my great children will have good lives as we deny global warming?
 

athena

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
5,032
Eugene, Oregon
There is no problem with strong military in and of itself. The issue is who controls the military and its financial allotment. Ideologues (democrats, businessmen, and other terrorists), military itself which is governed by goals -- strategic, tactical and operational to deal with enemies, or a set document.
Did you just cite a comedy film? Could you perhaps cite something more relevant, like quantifiable numbers to show a relative (not absolute) increase in the cost of war? Because by every measurement I've seen, even in war we spend a much lower percentage of our GDP than any other point in history. Even in war, our defense budget as a percent of government spending is actually pretty generic for what other nations use to spend in peacetime.
Some people take themselves too seriously. After watching the movie for my pleasure, I looked for information and found some "experts" say it cost $17,000 to outfit one person. Others say this figure is exaggerated, but for this thread, we can understand what this technology has to do with the rising cost of military spending and that was the point of my post. Joying a movie doesn't mean taking everything seriously. Lighten up.

It is very important we laugh at ourselves once in a while. But if you want numbers here are some numbers.

https://www.usdebtclock.org/

We have not budgeted for all the wars, and the budgets are ignored anyway. In the past, we sold war bonds to pay for wars. Now we do it all on credit and that is a problem your children and their children will have to deal with. Personally, like Thomas Jefferson, I think that is wrong.
 
Last edited:

athena

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
5,032
Eugene, Oregon
My problem with the military industrial complex theory is this:
-Arms industry is only a small portion of US economy.
-Arms industry donations are only a small portion of campaign contributions for politicians

So the Military Industrial Complex and the US obsession with it is strategic in nature not economic or bribery. The US as a superpower needs the best weapons on the planet even if it means expensive programs that have a lot of poor management. Why is the US so obsessed with weapons? Well, it is a means of leverage. If Saudi Arabia buys American weapons, it better not ever fight a war against the United States or attack major American allies otherwise their fighter jets will stop working or easily shot down by US pilots who know how the radar works, how to jam it, and how the plane maneuvers or potentially even hack it on the ground and deny spare parts.. Same If UK buys American weapons it better, it better not ever side with Russia in a war, or try recolonizing. The US keeps the source codes for its weapons, and maintenance is often worked with US contractors. So why buy American weapons if it means the US practically ruling over you? Well, if the American weapons are the most advanced. you would take the chance of not wanting to fight the US in the future for the more advanced weapon to be used against Russia or terrorists, a greater threat they consider than US.

This is why France, the least decolonized nation, doesn't buy US weapons. They don't want the US telling them where they stand as a world power.
Wow, you really made a good point and I feel better reading what you said and want to add my take on this.
It would be nice to shut down the industrial part of the Military Industrial Complex for a year and test the notion that this would have little impact on our economy.


In the study, IHS estimates that in 2015 the U.S. aerospace and defense industry fueled the following contributions to the U.S. economy:

  • Supported 1.7 million jobs within businesses producing end-user goods and services and within the industry’s supply chain, with about 531,000 jobs in the industry’s commercial aerospace segment (e.g. civil and general aviation aircraft, helicopters and space systems) and 511,000 jobs in the defense and national security segment of the industry (e.g. military aircraft, ground and sea systems, armaments and space systems).
  • Represented approximately two percent of the nation’s employment base and 13 percent of the nation’s manufacturing employment base.
  • Generated $300 billion in economic value, representing 1.8 percent of total nominal Gross Domestic Product in the U.S., and 10 percent of manufacturing output.
  • Produced labor income approximately 44 percent above the national average – $93,000 average labor income per job – reflecting the highly skilled nature of the workforce.
  • Provided tax receipts to federal, state and local governments from companies and their employees of $63 billion, or about 1.7 percent of total tax revenues.
That analysis does not take into consideration all the businesses that are supported by the Military Industrial Complex. Entire communities would go belly up without the defense industry that is their economic base. Just as Detriot was dependent on the car industry. Not only would communities go belly up without the defense industry, but entire states would go bankrupt. It is interesting to think of red and blue states with knowledge of which ones depend the most on military industry. I prefer the term military industry because we are selling military supplies around the world and our presidents encourage this. During the Reagon years, we had such a surplus of weapons we could sell them to Saudi Abrabia.
SENATE UPHOLDS ARMS FOR SAUDIS, BACKING REAGAN
And we supported Iraq in a war against Iran, granting them arms. This gave Sadam power and what we did to him is a good lesson of what the US does to its friends. I am sure Sadam did not expect that.
United States support for Iraq during the Iran–Iraq War - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/.../United_States_support_for_Iraq_during_the_Iran–Iraq_W...

American support for Ba'athist Iraq during the Iran–Iraq War, in which it fought against ... U.S.government support for Iraq was not a secret and was frequently .... have long espoused a belief that the U.S. gave Saddam Hussein a "green light" to .... Reports of Iraq's use of chemical weapons against Iran reached the CIA as ...
We have an industry that is essential to our economy and that is highly concerned with our control of the mid-east. The oil industry, and really, would we need all this military involvement in the mid-east and with Israel if we had all the oil we need as we once did when we were the world's supply of oil. I think it is naive to think our military industry is separate from our oil industry.

More important to me, but not to this thread, is the social, and political ramifications of the Military Industrial Complex and this, of course, would require a different thread and at least 3 well-informed people. I just mention it here because there is such a limited understanding of the Military Industrial Complex and it ignores the meaning of protecting our democracy in the classroom and the ramifications of not doing that.
 
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sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,380
Sydney
a weapon industry is absolutely the best if the country can export it's product
unlike machine tools or technology it doesn't make the importer smarter
it's sterile investment
it allow one's armed forces to be subsidized by foreign purses
it tie the recipient country into political dependency
"tell me where you get your weapon from and I will tell you your politics

I strongly recommend studying the world manufacturing and trade of weapons system as the backbone of geopolitics
 
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Isoroku295

Ad Honorem
Jan 2009
8,499
In the Past
Some people take themselves too seriously. After watching the movie for my pleasure, I looked for information and found some "experts" say it cost $17,000 to outfit one person. Others say this figure is exaggerated, but for this thread, we can understand what this technology has to do with the rising cost of military spending and that was the point of my post. Joying a movie doesn't mean taking everything seriously. Lighten up.

It is very important we laugh at ourselves once in a while. But if you want numbers here are some numbers.

https://www.usdebtclock.org/

We have not budgeted for all the wars, and the budgets are ignored anyway. In the past, we sold war bonds to pay for wars. Now we do it all on credit and that is a problem your children and their children will have to deal with. Personally, like Thomas Jefferson, I think that is wrong.
This all completely ignored that part where military spending is at an all time low relative to both GDP and government spending. Ergo, the premise "how has military expenditure skyrocketted" is inaccurate by all meaningful metrics. None of your other statements account for that.
 

Mrbsct

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
2,646
USA
Wow, you really made a good point and I feel better reading what you said and want to add my take on this.
It would be nice to shut down the industrial part of the Military Industrial Complex for a year and test the notion that this would have little impact on our economy.
That analysis does not take into consideration all the businesses that are supported by the Military Industrial Complex. Entire communities would go belly up without the defense industry that is their economic base. Just as Detriot was dependent on the car industry. Not only would communities go belly up without the defense industry, but entire states would go bankrupt. It is interesting to think of red and blue states with knowledge of which ones depend the most on military industry. I prefer the term military industry because we are selling military supplies around the world and our presidents encourage this. During the Reagon years, we had such a surplus of weapons we could sell them to Saudi Abrabia.
.
1.7 million jobs??? Wow that is a a lot...in a nation of 300 million? Manufacturing jobs? The ones being automated? This is ridiculous. We don't fight wars to support towns and jobs. We don't kill people for that. You are talking about low percentages of GDP.

The US support of Saudi Arabia has little to do with supporting communities. It has to do with oil, strategic balance in the Middle East, and the leverage weaponry gives. First lets start off with oil. The United States by the time of the Cold War was not able to match the Soviet Union in oil production. The Middle East had the largest oil reserves in the world and the US needed that oil to fuel their economy and weapons. The US worried that in a war, their tanks and planes would not work, so they would fight over the Middle East in case of Soviet attack there(ie. the Carter doctrine). The US formed an alliance with the democratic Israel and the monarchy Saudi Arabia. Why Saudi Arabia? Because it was a rather weak, unstable, non-nationalist state that had no means of creating a Middle East hegemony like Nasser could. The US supported Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War because they didn't want Iran to become a Middle East hegemon and threaten Saudi Arabia, and they fought Gulf War so Saddam won't annex Saudi Arabia after he annexed Kuwait. The Iraq War and the Afghan War was fought to stop a Terrorist Caliphate from spreading armed with WMDs.

The need from oil from the Middle East stopped around 2014 where the US started making most of its own oil. US production beat Saudi production due to shale. The US no longer needed the Middle East for resource reasons.

So what do the weapons do? Well the provide leverage for the US could lets say stop two nations that use US weapons from fighting effectively or a nation using its weapons that attacked another US ally. Backing Saudi Arabia counters Iran, a nationalist state tied with Russia and China.
 

athena

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
5,032
Eugene, Oregon
This all completely ignored that part where military spending is at an all time low relative to both GDP and government spending. Ergo, the premise "how has military expenditure skyrocketted" is inaccurate by all meaningful metrics. None of your other statements account for that.
That is true if your time line begins after the second world war. Historically the US has not been a strong military power. We ranked 17th, below small countries just before the second world war. And our defense spending since the war is curious considering we have been in peace and our recent wars are with countries that are a threat to us.

Military budget of the United States - Wikipedia
 
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