America should spend less on the military

One of the difficulties of modern military preparedness is that there are many possible conflict areas spread around the globe. Thus, the U.S. needs to be able to project power in one area while still being able to maintain a credible threat in others.

For example, let’s say that we decided we only needed one carrier group. And sure, that would probably be enough to handle any forseeable conflict in the near future. So we decommission our carriers and leave the Nimitz steaming around out there.

So what happens? Let’s say tensions are high between, say, India and Pakistan. Then a conflict erupts in some other part of the world, and we send out carrier group there. This may well precipitate a war between India and Pakistan, because they now know that the U.S. can’t do anything about it.

As the number of these potential regions grows and conflict zones erupt all over the place, you really need quite a large force to be able to deal with them, plus meet your UN commitments, plus maintain a reserve force as a deterrant.

Also, the military is underpaid, and weapons systems are aging and need to be replaced. Flight hour cutbacks means pilots aren’t as sharp as they should be.

Saying, “We should cut the military budget” is easy. Actually sitting down with your red pen and figuring out what to cut is the hard part.

Note that neither candidate wants to cut the military budget.

Guinastasia said:

Priorities? Like what? Equipment improvment is a priority in the armed forces. True, technology doesn’t win wars on its own, but it can definitely give a leg up.

The US Army is ahead in the game, but innovation is necessary to stay ahead. “Pie-in-the-sky” projects like those you refer to have produced such things as the M1A1 tank and the AH-64 “Apache” attack helicopter. I’m sure there were people then who whined about “toys” that the Army thought were neat, but the equipment seems to have paid off.

Oh yes. I mean, we REALLY got a lot of use out of all those nuclear warheads…

Didn’t we? If I put bars on my window and therefore no one ever tries to break in, were they useless?

Weapons of deterrence deter things when they work. Seeing as how we never had a major conflict with the Soviet Union in 50 years, I’d say it was money well spent.

Unless of course, you believe that we would have all gotten along famously without the nuclear threat.