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Will Congress cut US Military Budget in 2011?

This is a discussion on Will Congress cut US Military Budget in 2011? within the Geo-strategic Issues forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Originally Posted by eryck Are you kidding me? or you try to make a joke out of it?? China has ...


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Old January 23rd, 2011   #31
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Are you kidding me? or you try to make a joke out of it?? China has much bigger ambitions that you and I have thought, gotta trust me on this. i agree some of you guys that the U.S Gov should cut some useless agencies which practically doing the same thing and cut everything but defense. As a maritime country, the U.S should keep expand its military might in order to gain its interest. Without military might, nobody gives a fuck about the U.S. People seem to forget about the basic things that existed in the first civilization that winner takes all. It's not a time to let history repeats itself, the U.S gotta do whatever it take to prevent a growing China. I know we are deeply in debt, but we've been in debt since this nation was built.As simply as : No military might, no nothing. who gives a fuck that we owe a lot of money? As long as we have the biggest military power in the world, nobody dare to touch us. Don't tell me that i'm a bully, but we americans are bullies.
I'm not kidding at all and I also don't expect all the military buffs out here to agree with my views toward military spending.

Despite this so called Chinese military threat, the largest threat that China poses to America is through the financial/economical realm. You see what's happening in Europe right now with the sovereign debt crisis? State governments like California, Illinois, New York and New Jersey are next on their list. If you don't have money, you can't fight war. Unless you propose that US just puts a gun to Saudi Arabia's head and demand free oil. I don't think that's something you want to do in long term.

And as I said before, the Chinese economy is on pace to match the American economy in total GDP in the not too distant future. Consider what US defense budget have to deal with (war cost, weapon procurement, maintaining a vast nuclear arsenal, maintaining oversea bases, maintaining weapon + top notch training, salary/benefits for servicemen, lifetime pension for everyone who got injured in Iraq/Afghanistan) and compare that with what the Chinese defense budget have to deal with (weapon procurement, maintaining weapon + training, salary for servicemen). And now, when you consider that the salary+benefits for 1 million PLA officers is much lower than that of 1 million American servicemen. How many times more does US have to spend on its defense than China to maintain an absolute advantage that right wing hawks advocate? Do you want to pick up that kind of burden?

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So what are you saying China and India should replace the US as the world superpower? If so that would just blow my frigging mind! I see another Cold War but this time with China not with Russia.

Its that kind of mindset that kills great nations.

Both are building stealth fighters and China has its new "carrier killer" missile. Not a threat to the continental US not yet anyway but a threat to US navel power.

Luck fully the US Navy is not going to sit by and do nothing like what some people would want to do but it will counter the Chinese threat, how it will its still classified.
How about this then. Let's say that by 2025, China reaches parity with US when it comes to GDP, but is in much better position in terms of debt burden. At the same time, India goes from 1/10 of US's GDP to 1/4. If US wants to maintain absolute military superiority over these 2 emerging powers, how much extra it would need to spend on defense over these 2 countries? Let's just both China/India spend around 2.5% of its GDP on military. While looking at this, consider that personnel cost will be much lower in India/China, because American soldiers are much better compensated (+think about these monstrous pension bills that the Pentagon would have to deal with post Iraq+Afghanistan).

I'm just trying to look at things realistically while also looking at the mounting health care cost, social security cost + unfunded liabilities from all the retiring gov't workers.
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Old January 24th, 2011   #32
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If thats the case than the US will be locked in another arms race like what happened from 1947-1991 with the Soviet Union. Two military superpowers seeing who can build better weapons.

Hell maybe some competition from China will actually be good for the US, as in the past it could accelerate weapons/technology development, hell maybe a new arms race would start another space race and get us to go to Mars this time who knows.
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Old January 24th, 2011   #33
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I'm not kidding at all and I also don't expect all the military buffs out here to agree with my views toward military spending.

Despite this so called Chinese military threat, the largest threat that China poses to America is through the financial/economical realm. You see what's happening in Europe right now with the sovereign debt crisis? State governments like California, Illinois, New York and New Jersey are next on their list. If you don't have money, you can't fight war. Unless you propose that US just puts a gun to Saudi Arabia's head and demand free oil. I don't think that's something you want to do in long term.

And as I said before, the Chinese economy is on pace to match the American economy in total GDP in the not too distant future. Consider what US defense budget have to deal with (war cost, weapon procurement, maintaining a vast nuclear arsenal, maintaining oversea bases, maintaining weapon + top notch training, salary/benefits for servicemen, lifetime pension for everyone who got injured in Iraq/Afghanistan) and compare that with what the Chinese defense budget have to deal with (weapon procurement, maintaining weapon + training, salary for servicemen). And now, when you consider that the salary+benefits for 1 million PLA officers is much lower than that of 1 million American servicemen. How many times more does US have to spend on its defense than China to maintain an absolute advantage that right wing hawks advocate? Do you want to pick up that kind of burden?


How about this then. Let's say that by 2025, China reaches parity with US when it comes to GDP, but is in much better position in terms of debt burden. At the same time, India goes from 1/10 of US's GDP to 1/4. If US wants to maintain absolute military superiority over these 2 emerging powers, how much extra it would need to spend on defense over these 2 countries? Let's just both China/India spend around 2.5% of its GDP on military. While looking at this, consider that personnel cost will be much lower in India/China, because American soldiers are much better compensated (+think about these monstrous pension bills that the Pentagon would have to deal with post Iraq+Afghanistan).

I'm just trying to look at things realistically while also looking at the mounting health care cost, social security cost + unfunded liabilities from all the retiring gov't workers.
The idea that the US needs or wants absolute military supremacy over anybody is way off the target unless it is an over an enemy that cannot be reconciled to our existence in any other way. The military priory of the US is twofold. One is the same as that of any other country, and that is to have a military of such strength that no one can force us to do or act in any way that we don't want to.

The second goal is harder to put into words. And that is what kind of world do we wish to live in? Is it acceptable to live in a world where terror, privation, poverty, hopelessness, and despair are rampant even though you are doing OK while othere are suffering? And if that situation is OK to live in that kind of wourld(to your way of thinking), can your preferred way of life ever be safe and secure in such a world like that?

The first part of the question is we could have a much smaller military structure than we currently do and satisfy the first condition and for the second part, is that we could never afford the cost nor have the absolute power to do the second without having good strong partners to share the burden.

The issue in the future that is unknown at this time is what kind of partners will these new emerging powers be? Or will they be partners at all. China and other emerging powers, (powers that are only emerging in the first place because of a world order that the US has striven to achieve which allows for other nations to rise uo to and acheave success),will they nether respect that world order? They do not at this point seem interested in doing much to preserve it. But of course that might change in time if they see that in the long run when they face the question it is the king of world they want to live in?
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Old January 24th, 2011   #34
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I think Gates $78 billion in cuts is fine and I'm sure there is more that can be cut and better spent on other weapons through efficiency savings but reducing the size of the American military below 1.4 million active which is already the smallest since before WWII would put America's national security at risk.

With over 300 million people the US has to maintain a huge military in order to defend its interests. Its not a matter of choice like "oh we tired of being the world police lets let someone else take over." or "America's military is too big and its unfair to other nations so lets play fair" mentally is way more dangerous than Russia's entire nuclear arsenal IMHO. That kind of mentality will kill more Americans than just the number that died on 9/11/01....
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Old January 25th, 2011   #35
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I think Gates $78 billion in cuts is fine and I'm sure there is more that can be cut and better spent on other weapons through efficiency savings but reducing the size of the American military below 1.4 million active which is already the smallest since before WWII would put America's national security at risk.

With over 300 million people the US has to maintain a huge military in order to defend its interests. Its not a matter of choice like "oh we tired of being the world police lets let someone else take over." or "America's military is too big and its unfair to other nations so lets play fair" mentally is way more dangerous than Russia's entire nuclear arsenal IMHO. That kind of mentality will kill more Americans than just the number that died on 9/11/01....
Efficiency and the military never go together. Why? Because you cannot predict the future and the military must be ready to just about do anything and to handle all that can possibly be predicted to happen. From an economic point of view, ever bullet and every missile that is not used to kill someone or blow somthing up is by definition a waste of money! The accountants’ do not know how to count the value of deterrence and do not even try to.

If you can come up with some way of predicting the future then you can have just enough of the right kind of military power that you need without having any waste. Good luck with that. Until then it is always a matter of how much RISK you are willing to tolerate in the future that you think is most likely to come to pass.

But on a larger scale it is about something else entirely. If we were to take the traditionalist foreign policy of the USA, which is the one of Isolationism, the one we practiced very successfully before before WW I then we could have a much smaller but very different military establishment than we have today. It would have more nuclear weapons and a much bigger Navy and a much smaller Army without the huge logistical supply train necessary to forward conduct and project global power that we have today. It would be smaller, it would be cheaper and it would less flexible but it would be far far deadlier.

But that begs the question could we successfully avoid WW III? Personally I believe that another World War, one that will be much worse than the last one even if WMB weapons are somehow avoided, is inevitable no matter what the US does or doesn’t do for many very real and definable reasons that go way beyond the topic of this thread and even beyond the interests of this forum. Because of that I will not try to delineate them here for your inspection. But my personal feelings are completely irrelevant in the end, because the American people have collectively decided differently. They have decided that one, we will be involved in the world and in its, problems, injustices, miseries, struggles for human dignity and for its over all progress, if those struggles directly affect or concern us or not. And two, we can somehow succeed in building some kind of like-minded coalition with other peoples that will allow the world to progress foward without making the same stupid mistakes that it has always made before yet once again.

This goal defies all lines of logic or reason but it is best explained by the American proverb “Where there is life there is hope.”
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Old January 25th, 2011   #36
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I'm not kidding at all and I also don't expect all the military buffs out here to agree with my views toward military spending.

Despite this so called Chinese military threat, the largest threat that China poses to America is through the financial/economical realm. You see what's happening in Europe right now with the sovereign debt crisis? State governments like California, Illinois, New York and New Jersey are next on their list. If you don't have money, you can't fight war. Unless you propose that US just puts a gun to Saudi Arabia's head and demand free oil. I don't think that's something you want to do in long term.

And as I said before, the Chinese economy is on pace to match the American economy in total GDP in the not too distant future. Consider what US defense budget have to deal with (war cost, weapon procurement, maintaining a vast nuclear arsenal, maintaining oversea bases, maintaining weapon + top notch training, salary/benefits for servicemen, lifetime pension for everyone who got injured in Iraq/Afghanistan) and compare that with what the Chinese defense budget have to deal with (weapon procurement, maintaining weapon + training, salary for servicemen). And now, when you consider that the salary+benefits for 1 million PLA officers is much lower than that of 1 million American servicemen. How many times more does US have to spend on its defense than China to maintain an absolute advantage that right wing hawks advocate? Do you want to pick up that kind of burden?


How about this then. Let's say that by 2025, China reaches parity with US when it comes to GDP, but is in much better position in terms of debt burden. At the same time, India goes from 1/10 of US's GDP to 1/4. If US wants to maintain absolute military superiority over these 2 emerging powers, how much extra it would need to spend on defense over these 2 countries? Let's just both China/India spend around 2.5% of its GDP on military. While looking at this, consider that personnel cost will be much lower in India/China, because American soldiers are much better compensated (+think about these monstrous pension bills that the Pentagon would have to deal with post Iraq+Afghanistan).

I'm just trying to look at things realistically while also looking at the mounting health care cost, social security cost + unfunded liabilities from all the retiring gov't workers.
I agree here 100%. I think the US in the road to decline. Just like the law of physics. What comes up must come down. It could be China is to be the next superpower or maybe none, just regional powers maintaining and reducing their status like UK, France, Germany, Japan and soon the US, China, India, South Korea, Brazil and Venezuela. It remains to be seen. Its interesting to see here history here in the making. what will become of US and China. Im watching and im sure all you too.
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Old January 25th, 2011   #37
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I agree here 100%. I think the US in the road to decline. Just like the law of physics. What comes up must come down. It could be China is to be the next superpower or maybe none, just regional powers maintaining and reducing their status like UK, France, Germany, Japan and soon the US, China, India, South Korea, Brazil and Venezuela. It remains to be seen. Its interesting to see here history here in the making. what will become of US and China. Im watching and im sure all you too.
I dont think the US is in decline no one in congress wants to reduce American combat power. The US wont just sit by and let China take over and I see a new Cold War starting up. The US can still cut defense spending and still mantain its military.
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Old January 26th, 2011   #38
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I agree here 100%. I think the US in the road to decline. Just like the law of physics. What comes up must come down. It could be China is to be the next superpower or maybe none, just regional powers maintaining and reducing their status like UK, France, Germany, Japan and soon the US, China, India, South Korea, Brazil and Venezuela. It remains to be seen. Its interesting to see here history here in the making. what will become of US and China. Im watching and im sure all you too.
Please define decline. Do you mean real decline (as in our ability to create wealth, invent, produce goods and adapt to change fast enough so as to meet new circumstances), or do you mean that other people are beginning to catch up?

The correct measure of these things is, not the total score or even the would percentage on or of any type of measure within any category that you think is important, (very subjective evaluations here so be careful) but dose the average output and abilities of the American population decline in comparison to other populations (output per person). Here is what is happening, some parts of the world are improving at a faster rate than we are but they are still flowing and not leading. It is much easier to follow than it is to lead and as they catch up (as they are doing at this point I grant you) their pace will slow down because from that point there is no road map or examples to follow or copy. Then we will really see what is what.

I have lived a long time and I have heard this tagline that “America is in decline” many times over the years and it would have been true, if we had not continued to change and adapt as the world around us moves on. But guess what we continue to evolve, who would have thought we could do that, wow! So if I am skeptical about your blanket statement that the US is in decline you know why.

As to the theme of the thread, will congress cut the military budget the answer is yes, Because the military is only one part of a countries strength and other parts are more important to address right now. Unless it and the American people feel they are in more danger than we think we are at this point? That will depend on outside forces we cannot predict.
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Old January 26th, 2011   #39
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As to the theme of the thread, will congress cut the military budget the answer is yes, Because the military is only one part of a countries strength and other parts are more important to address right now. Unless it and the American people feel they are in more danger than we think we are at this point? That will depend on outside forces we cannot predict.
Yes America at the very least will have to cut the growth in military spending(Robert Gates $78 billion in cuts plus another $100 billion in savings) and maybe at the very most have to cut the overall budget by $50 billion a year annually but this does not mean the downsizing of the US military nor does it mean a decline in US military power.
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Old January 26th, 2011   #40
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Yes America at the very least will have to cut the growth in military spending(Robert Gates $78 billion in cuts plus another $100 billion in savings) and maybe at the very most have to cut the overall budget by $50 billion a year annually but this does not mean the downsizing of the US military nor does it mean a decline in US military power.
Is anybody interested in just what long term decision this, possibly temporary reduction in military spending, could be most effectively done?
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Old January 27th, 2011   #41
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Is anybody interested in just what long term decision this, possibly temporary reduction in military spending, could be most effectively done?
The most effective way to reduce military spending right now is to pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan and that would save $250 billion right there.

As for the base budget I honestly can't say how much they can cut without reducing the size, readiness, or the maintenance of the US Military. Other than cutting procurement by canceling unneeded weapons systems but than you have to replace those with more suitable weapons programs.
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Old January 27th, 2011   #42
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The most effective way to reduce military spending right now is to pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan and that would save $250 billion right there.

As for the base budget I honestly can't say how much they can cut without reducing the size, readiness, or the maintenance of the US Military. Other than cutting procurement by canceling unneeded weapons systems but than you have to replace those with more suitable weapons programs.
The only problem with that is that we would have to fight them someplace else. They are not going to stop just because we leave. This is a war we cannot chose, not to fight, because they will just come at us from someplace else. You may not believe it but it doesn’t matter if you do or not, it is what they believe that is the point. We have many choices besides surrender but war or no war is not one of them.

Personally I think that the secretary of the defense is right, the entire military is top heavy and that is the first place to start cutting.
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Old January 28th, 2011   #43
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The only problem with that is that we would have to fight them someplace else. They are not going to stop just because we leave. This is a war we cannot chose, not to fight, because they will just come at us from someplace else. You may not believe it but it doesn’t matter if you do or not, it is what they believe that is the point. We have many choices besides surrender but war or no war is not one of them.

Personally I think that the secretary of the defense is right, the entire military is top heavy and that is the first place to start cutting.
The military is top heavy with overheads and bureaucracy which is what he wants to cut. Gates said any more cuts beyond the $78 billion could be catastrophic and many Republican senators said they want to educate the Tea Party why defense spending needs to be at around $700 billion including the two wars.

Tea Party causes GOP split on defense budget cuts

As for whether or not we should pull out, Iraq yes Afghanistan I don't know I only mentioned that as a way to save money. The US should focus more on China now given recent events.
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Old January 29th, 2011   #44
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The military is top heavy with overheads and bureaucracy which is what he wants to cut. Gates said any more cuts beyond the $78 billion could be catastrophic and many Republican senators said they want to educate the Tea Party why defense spending needs to be at around $700 billion including the two wars.

Tea Party causes GOP split on defense budget cuts

As for whether or not we should pull out, Iraq yes Afghanistan I don't know I only mentioned that as a way to save money. The US should focus more on China now given recent events.
I agree that looking at the future we need to reorient our military priorities to some degree, just in case our relations with China do go bad, but I do not think those relations are destined to turn sour. To over prepare or to over emphases that one possibility among many, is both dangerous and counterproductive. Such things unfortunately have a momentum all of their own that tent to fulfill themselves if you are not vary, vary, carful. It is about the level of trust that is lacking on both sides but that trust can improve, I hope.

Plus, isn’t it a fact that we are most often hurt the most and have suffered the greatest damage, when we are blindsided from an event we don’t see coming? How many examples do you need? Instead of focusing on a potential war with China and using that real (but at this time fairly slim possibility), to dominate our planning (which nobody in their right mind on either side of the Pacific Ocean wants to see happen) so I think a more general, open and flexible defense policy that emphases over all capacities and maintaining skill sets which emphasizes the generality of forces that are capable of operating in all kinds of environments and dealing with all levels of threats, is a far more important military policy to pursue. Even if we are not a total master or dominate in any one of them and no one can afford to be dormant in all the military arts. I may be wrong, but I believe that will in the long run serve us better in both the strict military since and in the political one as well.

If we were to try to build a wall around China to confine or diminish it in some way, or to forge a purely military alliance against China, without it first staging visible significant provocations aganest us or our allies to justify those actions, far greater and less ambiguous actions than we have seen so far, it could lead to a reaction on their part that would be a tragedy for us both. The Chinese do have a streak of real visible paranoia in them and we do not need to feed it unnecessarily but only to be prudent in our actions.

There are the facts, China is going to have a powerful and modern Army, Navy, and Air Force equal its population, size, and its wealth. If that development was by its very nature unacceptable to us then we have already waited too long. But it was and is acceptable to us and it always has been. That is just part of the equality of nations that we have long promoted since the end of WW II where our policy have been not to impede the advancement of any other nation (including ones that could become a potential rival to our own status) as long as they are not set upon a course of world domination.

Will there be competition between China and the US? You bet there will be. But that form of competition doesn’t have to be in the realm of (military competition or confrontation). Many forms of competition are beneficial to both sides because the competition itself forces both them and us to be better than we would be without the competition.
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Old January 30th, 2011   #45
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The idea that the US needs or wants absolute military supremacy over anybody is way off the target unless it is an over an enemy that cannot be reconciled to our existence in any other way. The military priory of the US is twofold. One is the same as that of any other country, and that is to have a military of such strength that no one can force us to do or act in any way that we don't want to.

The second goal is harder to put into words. And that is what kind of world do we wish to live in? Is it acceptable to live in a world where terror, privation, poverty, hopelessness, and despair are rampant even though you are doing OK while othere are suffering? And if that situation is OK to live in that kind of wourld(to your way of thinking), can your preferred way of life ever be safe and secure in such a world like that?

The first part of the question is we could have a much smaller military structure than we currently do and satisfy the first condition and for the second part, is that we could never afford the cost nor have the absolute power to do the second without having good strong partners to share the burden.

The issue in the future that is unknown at this time is what kind of partners will these new emerging powers be? Or will they be partners at all. China and other emerging powers, (powers that are only emerging in the first place because of a world order that the US has striven to achieve which allows for other nations to rise uo to and acheave success),will they nether respect that world order? They do not at this point seem interested in doing much to preserve it. But of course that might change in time if they see that in the long run when they face the question it is the king of world they want to live in?
I'm just simply replying to what has been thrown at me about US's need to have dominant power over China in its backyard. This is what I was responding to:
"It's not a time to let history repeats itself, the U.S gotta do whatever it take to prevent a growing China."

And I'm not just going to stop at China here, because India will also be a huge player in 20 years (much larger than it is now) even if it is still marred with corruption problems. And neither of these growing powers would want to take a back seat to US in their own backyard.

My take is that US needs to maintain as strong of a military and efficient of a military as possible without bankrupting itself. Remember, American government right now is running on a ponzi scheme of fed reserve creating money and buying treasuries/mbs. This obviously cannot continue forever and you have to trim your spending including defense related stuff. And there are many things it can do to reduce its overall military spending.

You first have to start with Iraq/Afghanistan and figure out how much more money you want to pour in there and possibly risk that region turning worse.

Then you have to think about all the military bases around the world and cut down the ones you don't need.

Then you have to think about restructuring the pay scales and finding out ways to keep personnel cost down.

Then you have to think about having greater competition in procurement projects to drive down cost. LCS is a great example of achieving lower cost due to competition.

It's not about what you want and not want, but rather how much money you have and what you can do with it. You can probably figure it out, from my comment but I do support a lot of Ron/Rand Paul/Tea Party positions on this.
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