Just for a little crazy on topic discussion... from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_budget_of_the_United_States
- DOD spending $721.3 billion Base budget + "Overseas Contingency Operations"
- FBI counter-terrorism $2.7 billion At least one-third FBI budget.
- International Affairs $10.1–$54.2 billion At minimum, foreign arms sales. At most, entire State budget
- Energy Department, defense-related $20.9 billion
- Veterans Affairs $66.2 billion
- Homeland Security $54.7 billion
- NASA, satellites $3.4–$8.5 billion Between 20% and 50% of NASA's total budget
- Veterans pensions $58.4 billion
- Other defense-related mandatory spending $7.5 billion
- Interest on debt incurred in past wars $114.8–$454.2 billion
Total Spending $1.060–$1.449 trillion
Now to put it lightly your actual base budget of the military is around 663 billion USD, at 4.3% of GDP according to SIPRI. Which is between 50-60% of the total military spending depending on how you cut it. Ending the war operations (including use of mercenaries when US troops have pulled out) will save you around 100 billion a year. The Weapons Acquisition is part of the base budget, which is around 200 billion dollars (which I think you can probably cut in half). If you let soldiers purchase choose between customised equipment and standardised equipment I actually doubt the basic troop costs would increase because
- Allow arms purchases from any country and stop favouring US companies. An arms industry in America is not a healthy or useful one
- The actual cost of most weapons is 10x lower than what America pays for most of them
For instance, if you purchase from Pakistan (our bestest ally), m-16s cost like $250 (made by child labour too!). I can see America might want to limit the bigger hardware purchases (such as fighterjets) to only allied countries but I think it is pointless to continue the arms race against the nobody-enemy. The United States was the most powerful country because in the past it focused on developing a great economy and producing brilliant people, and when they didn't have them, they grabbed them from the rest of the world (like Einstein or other scientists).
The solution to having a better military is exactly the one that China is taking right now. Zero increase in GDP-spending ratio and instead focus on expanding the economy. USA can scream all day until it is blue in the face that China is "increasing military spending", when all they've actually done is improve their economy and the military got stronger as a side effect.
With these four actions, you can instantly save yourself 250 billion tax dollars.
- Cut foreign arms aid (up to 50 billion)
- Cut R&D in half (just start dropping useless projects like you were Steve Jobs) (up to 100 billion)
- End US-only arms purchasing policy (basically a big ass subsidy to American arms corporations) (I'm not sure)
- Pull out of any offensive wars (up to 100 billion) (Also if you deploy via UN, USA would only pay around 20-30% of the cost, it'd be mostly funded by Japan)
edited 20th Feb '11 9:20:11 AM by breadloaf