Our country spends more on our military than the rest of the world combined. And what I wonder: is it necessary to spend so much to be a superpower? America is building bigger and more expensive stuff all the time and I think that approach makes us more vulnerable, not more secure.
While the trend is smaller, smarter, cheaper, America builds bigger, more expensive and less efficient clunkers. It is just like the aircraft carriers it builds – huge inertia and slow-to-change direction.
Wasteful spending and the end of the dinosaurs in military.
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is the most expensive, and possibly the most error-ridden, project in the history of the United States military. But DOD has sunk so much money into the F-35 — which is expected to cost $1.5 trillion over the 55-year life of the program — that the Pentagon deemed it "too big to fail" in 2010. http://www.cnbc.com/id/101883138
The makers of one of the most expensive weapons programs in history went on the defensive today, saying a recent report on the F-35 fighter jet’s failures in old-school dog-fighting against a decades-old, much cheaper, legacy fighter “does not tell the whole story.” https://gma.yahoo.com/military-don-t-worry-f-35-most-expensive-213045869--abc-news-topstories.html
But it is...a hugely expensive clunker
It is possible to build three cheaper and more effective fighters instead of one F-35. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yp--2X2zaKs
The Scorpion is designed to be affordable, costing the US $3,000 per flight hour, with a unit cost expected to be below US $20 million. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Textron_AirLand_Scorpion
The Navy’s high-tech first Ford-class aircraft carrier, slated for delivery in March of next year, is widely known for cost overruns that brought the eventual cost of the platform to $12.8 billion. http://www.military.com/daily-news/2015/03/20/navy-launches-new-aircraft-carrier-study-to-find-cost-savings.html
Anti-aircraft carrier missiles also cost a fraction of the cost of a carrier.
Carriers are more survivable than land bases by a large margin but they are still vulnerable, especially in the dawning age of widely proliferating quiet submarine technology; the anti-ship ballistic missiles such as China's evolving DF-21D. Also, since the majority of America's carrier force is in port at any given time, they are more vulnerable to an attack, especially at super-bases such as Norfolk, Virginia where around half the force is located. http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/why-the-us-navy-should-build-smaller-aircraft-carriers-1600899834
About 6,000 M1A1 Abrams were produced from 1986–92 and featured the M256 120 mm (4.7 in) smooth-bore cannon developed by Rheinmetall, AG of Germany for the Leopard 2, improved armor and a CBRN protection system. Production of M1 and M1A1 tanks totaled some 9,000 tanks at a cost of approximately $4.3 million per unit. https://www.google.com/search?newwindow=1&q=cost+of+new+abrams+tank&oq=cost+of+new+abrams+tank&gs_l=serp.3..0i22i30.341432.351554.0.353918.104.22.168.0.0.0.124.797.7j2.9.0....0...1c.1.64.serp..6.3.285.ebiXyn6M-hA
But do you really need a tank to kill another tank?
An anti-tank missile costs a small fraction of the cost of a tank...about one hundredth. Also the concept of a “smart mine” that runs under the tank's tracks...a kamikaze drone programmed to intercept a moving tank.
The idea is to produce cheaper, smaller and faster systems that are armed with state-of-the-art weapons.
A minimum amount of bells and whistles.
What is wrong with anti-tank drones (smart mines) that run under the tracks? They are cheap and will stop a tank.
The bigger the machine, the easier to hit it. And no matter what defenses one uses, it is still vulnerable.
Now try to kill the bee swarm with the tank. Or with the fighter jet. Good luck with that.
One sunken aircraft carrier is thousands of lives, billions of dollars and about 10% of the whole US fleet.
What is the alternative? Who needs an aircraft carrier if any location on this planet can be reached with the MAC 20 plane within an hour?
I am not pretending that I know the answers. But I do know that F-35 or 78 ton Abrams is not the answer. There is a “big” mentality in this country. Bigger, heavier, thicker armor and so on.
(Doesn't that remind you of the way of the dinosaurs?)
“The result has been a pattern of fielding exquisite platforms in diminishing numbers at great cost.”
“Dramatic improvements in the fields of robotics, artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing, biology and nano-materials are changing the cost/effectiveness calculation in favor of the “many and simple” against the “few and complex.” http://warontherocks.com/2014/07/the-future-of-warfare-small-many-smart-vs-few-exquisite/
A long time ago Stanislaw Lem wrote a novel called Invincible where microscopic robots are fighting the Earth's powerful spaceship. The problem for the spaceship is that it is just one against trillions and trillions self-replicating flying bug-sized drones. The ship was defeated.
Interesting that insects on our planet have a much better chance of survival than elephants for example.
So, in my opinion, our military budget can be cut if the money is spent wisely instead of producing dinosaurs.
Romney is blaming Obama for high unemployment among horses. We have "fewer horses and bayonets," Obama admitted. It is regrettable that our President is neglecting this crucial aspect of our nation's security. We horses will remember Obama's unfriendly horse policies. Please vote for horse lover Mitt Romney and his wonderful spouse Ann who supports the dance school for us horses. Education is important for our national security and we horses are the proof that Mitt is our guy.
It is time to get tough and show our military might around the world. We need to increase our military spending, as proposed by the Romney-Ryan ticket. After all, we only spend 6 or 7 times what China spends on defense. And China now has a refurbished Russian aircraft carrier, while the U.S. only has eleven (11) modern aircraft carriers. Sure, we spend as much as the whole rest of the world on the military and policing the world, but what if the whole world, including all of our allies, turn on us?
Obama is reducing our troops in Europe. We’re down to under 80,000. What are we going to do if the Soviet Union comes back after 20 years? We need troops on the ground around the world, right? We have to increase military spending at all costs. How else are we going to remain No. 1 in military spending and maintain all of our bases around the world?
We create most of the weapons and ammunition used by the rest of the world. Arms and destruction are a key business – Big Business in this country. Policing the world is far more important than jobs, the economy, education, science, research, our infrastructure, Supreme Court nominations, energy independence and green energy, global warming, environmental issues, healthcare, and women's rights.
No one really believes in promoting the general welfare of the U.S. even though it is stated in the preamble to the Constitution, right? It’s far more important to police the entire world than to address justice or domestic tranquility here at home. Certainly policing the world is far better than providing for the common defense of our nation. And anyone who doesn’t think we should police the world is probably a socialist or a communist. There must be a lot of communists out there, since almost every Republican running for office calls their opponent a communist.
It just doesn’t matter that we’re ranked 14th in reading, 25th in Math, and 17th in Science. And that the World Economic Forum ranked the U.S. 48th out of 133 developed and developing nations in quality of math and science instruction. It doesn’t matter that other countries are exceeding us in science and engineering degrees. We’re now ranked 27th out of 29 wealthy countries in the proportion of college students with degrees in science or engineering. Forget all that, what’s important is that we are No. 1 in military spending and policing the world. Look at how many times the Republicans have made fun of people with advanced degrees and academic accomplishments. The Republicans know what’s important and it’s not education, right?
And God forbid we ever cut back on useless defense spending like the refurbishing of 2,000 tanks that are not needed according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Paul Ryan wants to cut every other agency and program in the budget, but not a dime from useless military spending and waste. And of course the Congress is backing him. We can’t have any reduction or loss of jobs in our military-industrial sector. Remember, weapons and destruction are big business in this country.
So let’s support the Romney-Ryan policies of policing the world, military might and no negotiations. Let’s elect a real bully to the White House and give him an uncompromising obstructionist ideologue as his running mate. We’ll show China, Russia, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Venezuela, Ecuador, Cuba, and any other country that doesn’t agree with us.
We need to make and sell weapons that kill to keep our economy going. So we need kill to prosper?