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It's not like anyone is nipping at our heels, about to take a bite of our Military Might ...

2010 Defense Spending by Country
by rickety -- June 4, 2011

Military Expenditures

The eighteen nations with the largest military budgets in 2010 are shown in the chart above. The United States, with a budget of $698 billion, spends more on defense than the next seventeen nations combined. The United States military spending is almost six times that of the next biggest spender, China ($119 billion) and more than eleven times that of Russia ($59 billion).

Yet dare to reallocate some of those World-record-breaking funds, and you take your political future into your hands ...

What will the American people think, if one day America is no longer "the biggest kid on the block"? ... Oh My!

Who would listen to us then ... ?

For those who prefer a little pie, with your data ...

World Military Spending
by Anup Shah, -- May 02, 2011

The USA is responsible for 43 per cent of the world total, distantly followed by the China (7.3% of world share), UK (3.7%), France (3.6%), and Russia (3.6%).

Well long as it's money well spent.  As long as Americans can maintain our American way of life, who are we -- mere Americans -- to question the wisdom of such overwhelming investments?

It is such unchallenged sleeping-dog expenditures, that makes us the Exceptional Country that we are in the first place -- one that no one else would dare to cross.  The world stands in awe of such unrivaled Military Might -- as well they should ...

US military budget comparison
by jagadees -- August 5, 2011

Yet dare to dial back on some of these record-breaking Military expenditures, dare to invest some of those Billions elsewhere, and watch out because you may be putting your own political future on the line ... Americans just might take it as a sign of weakness, or worse ... they might not re-elect you!

President Obama and the defense budget: a factoid that falls short
by Glenn Kessler, WashingtonPost -- Jan 12, 2012


The Facts

Without a doubt, the United States has the most powerful military in the world, in part because it is the world’s only global power with global responsibilities. The Web site ranks countries based on 45 factors, and the United States tops many of the charts. Here’s one small statistic: The United States had 11 aircraft carriers, as of the end of last year; no other country had more than two. The United Kingdom even is mothballing its single aircraft carrier.  

But the president appears to be arguing that the United States has a strong military because its budget is larger than those of the next 10 largest countries combined.  The mostly widely cited public source for this claim is the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, whose military expenditure database suggests that the U.S. military budget is bigger than those of the next 19 countries combined.

The Pinocchio Test

The president’s statement was carefully crafted. He cited this fact as an observation but did not directly claim that it was a reason why the defense budget could be cut. However, he certainly left the impression that the statistic was a measure of U.S. military power, offering it as a demonstration of why the budget would keep the “nation secure.” Moreover, giving a presidential imprimatur to such a suspect statistic is probably not good practice; we were swayed by SIPRI’s words of caution in drawing conclusions about military capability from spending figures.

We nearly gave this our “true but false” rating but ultimately settled for one Pinocchio, which can mean “no outright falsehoods” but a selective telling of the truth.

Well long as the 'telling of the truth', was selectively tailored so as not to send the world's greatest Military Superpower into an out-right panic, well then the Commander of that Military Superpower, can get by with by with a paltry One Pinocchio demerit rating, from the fact checkers that be.

With so many jobs on the line, goodness knows this is No time to collect on a "peace dividend" or anything -- what is the President thinking, cutting back on our oh-so meager Military Budget ... the Republicans will be sure to whine.

Doesn't he know that ordinary Americans will never stand for that? Neither will the War Hawks in the Think-tanks, who are always on the warpath for that next unseen but unavoidable military threat, somewhere out there, in the shadows.  

How do you think America became the "biggest kid on the block", in the first place anyways -- Steroids?

Hah!  Nah, it was downright American Tax-payer investments.  Step right up folks, we got another installment payment to pony up for, just around the corner.

As per usual.

Originally posted to Digging up those Facts ... for over 8 years. on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 06:15 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (17+ / 0-)

    What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
    -- Maslow ...... my list.

    by jamess on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 06:51:41 PM PST

  •  that comma....*twitch* (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rich in PA, cachola, palantir, jamess

    please make it go away.

    ; P

    My goal is to make the world safe for anarchy. - 4Freedom

    by Cedwyn on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 06:45:35 AM PST

  •  I'd put our whole military budget into drones (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    msmacgyver, palantir, jamess

    We've got this unique dissuasive and punishing power to kill people from a distance at no risk to our own forces.  Why wouldn't we use that to the hilt, "use" in the sense of our other military force, i.e. have it at the ready?  

    But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

    by Rich in PA on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 07:04:31 AM PST

  •  What makes it even more incredible (5+ / 0-)

    is that many of the top military spending countries are considered allies of the U.S.  France and the UK are among the top 5, so if you combine them with the U.S. total that's over 50% of the world expenditure right there.  And that doesn't include the rest of NATO.

    Look at the other countries in those lists, too.  Germany?  Italy?  Japan? Canada?  Australia?  What are the realistic odds of us being involved in a war where any of those countries are active enemies of the U.S.?  At best, they'd be neutral and in all probability at least some would be direct or indirect allies.  It would take a diplomatic clusterfuck of truly epic proportions to see us at war with any one of those countries, let alone more than one.  

    •  Excellent points, Witgren (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      that Coalition of the well-armed,

      could stop any threat

      -- except for poverty,

      -- except for hunger,

      -- except for illiteracy,

      Except for unending Fear and Hate.

      What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
      -- Maslow ...... my list.

      by jamess on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 09:13:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  And if we were put even a fraction of this funding (9+ / 0-)

    toward capital infrastructure projects like bridge inspection and repair, road improvement, harbor improvements, etc... unemployment would probably plummet.  Studies have shown that military spending is not a particularly good economic and employment spur compared to other types of government spending.

  •  I'll quote noted peacenik Eisenhower again (13+ / 0-)

    From this 1953 speech:

    Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a
    theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world
    in arms is not spending money alone.
    It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.
    The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.
    It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population.
    It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some 50 miles of concrete highway.
    We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat.
    We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.
    This, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking.
    This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is
    humanity hanging from a cross of iron.
    Wish some of the pols and the punditocracy would read this speech today.

    Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

    by RFK Lives on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 07:24:33 AM PST

  •  Generals fight the last war... (5+ / 0-)

    ...but they remember Pearl Harbor. That dominates much of their thinking, even now. My father-in-law served 26 years in the US Navy, but the most intense years were the 4 he served aboard the USS Enterprise (CV-6), and much of our Cold War thinking came out of that time. Only now are the brass thinking in terms of drones and special ops, and goring someone else's "sacred cow" in the halls of the Pentagon.

    And, of course, they'll want to have drone superiority...

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 07:36:25 AM PST

    •  interesting, thanks JeffW (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, JeffW

      I didn't realize that Pearl Harbor was such a long-lasting motivator.

      I wonder when the bombs fell in Baghdad, during "shock and awe",

      who played the role of "First Strikers" then?

      And how long those strikes will be gallantly remembered.

      What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
      -- Maslow ...... my list.

      by jamess on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 09:03:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's Not the Generals It's the CEO's. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Generals without CEO's to hire them post-military would be much less oriented toward defending against imaginary and evaporated threats.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 09:19:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Partly, I think, it's a matter of military (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    palantir, jamess, Egalitare, Eric Nelson

    expenditures going largely for "goods" which, in economic terms, have always had a higher status than service, perhaps because they are easier for accountants to count and quantify.  It may just be a matter of form having triumphed over function.  That is, we make military hardware (and not much else anymore) because we can not only see it and touch it and move it around, the figures make the account books look nice.  
    We can also blame the accountants for double-entry book keeping so everything gets counted twice, as if that would improve things.

    The bias against service is of long standing and let's not forget that the effort to get free service out of some populations has been a central concern from the start.  Indeed, during the last big wars, although their equipment and sustenance cost money and was riddled with contractor fraud during World War II (leading to the adoption of the Federal Tort Claims Act in 1947), the troops were free labor until the end of the draft in 1973, two years after the 26th Amendment gave all adults the right to vote.

    Then too, contrary to the claims of the "free enterprise" contingent, there never has been a time when our commercial, industrial, agricultural and financial sectors haven't been dependent on subsidies from the public teat.  It was only when newly enfranchised and empowered citizens began demanding human rights and more careful stewardship of the natural environment that the public purse suddenly became unimportant -- at least as far as our petty potentates were concerned.
    When have traders not been backed up by military might? Our militarized police in the port cities of Oakland and New York are part of a long tradition of making sure the labor force behaves.

    People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

    by hannah on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 07:41:50 AM PST

  •  "...unwarranted influence of... (6+ / 0-)

    the Military Industrial Complex..."

    Excellent Diary, thanks.

    When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

    by msmacgyver on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 07:47:37 AM PST

  •  Wars Can Only Be Created Never Destroyed. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, Russgirl

    Standing global empire military. One of an enormous list of features of the modern world our system was never designed to cope with.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 09:23:27 AM PST

  •  A sustainable military budget... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...would assume coordination of effort WITH AND ONLY WITH ally nations in any future conflict.

    We should never  be the only ones bringing the "hardware" to the "job site." Ideally not even most of the "hardware."

    When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 09:37:51 AM PST

    •  perhaps we should (0+ / 0-)

      just outlet our War Machine, and be done with it?

      Conquest for sale, to the highest bidder.

      thx Egalitare you make some good points.

      What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
      -- Maslow ...... my list.

      by jamess on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:00:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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