Wednesday, December 20, 2006

More military spending?

Take a look at this chart (click to expand).

Now read this paragraph (from wikipedia):

The current (2005) United States military budget is larger than the military budgets of the next fourteen biggest spenders combined, and nearly seven times larger than China's, which places second. The United States and its close allies are responsible for approximately two-thirds of all military spending on Earth (of which, in turn, the US is responsible for the majority), and spend 57 times more than the six rogue nations combined (Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria). Military spending accounts for more than half of the United States' federal discretionary spending, which is all of the U.S. government's money not spoken for by pre-existing obligations.

In fact the US military budget is just a few billion short of that of the rest of the world combined.

Now keep this in mind and consider this news, the president wants to expand the military even further (from the CS Monitor):
Ground forces may not be as glamorous as high-tech weaponry, but they are expensive nonetheless. Each increment of 10,000 soldiers added to the Army costs just a tick over $1 billion, according to a service estimate.

Thus, adding 30,000 troops a year for two years, as proposed by a recent American Enterprise Institute study co-written by military expert Robert Kagan, would add more than $6 billion to the military budget at a time when the cost of the Iraq conflict is exceeding $6 billion per month.

In addition, more troops mean more long-term spending on equipment, training, and future benefits, says Gordon Adams, senior White House official for national security budgeting under President Bill Clinton.

Now, no military expert I, I am not willing to say whether additional troop strength is wise militarily or not, though given BushCorp™'s penchant for doing exactly the wrong thing at the exact wrong time, I have my doubts.


This is an excellent opportunity for congress to excersize pay as you go rules.

If more troops are critical to national defense then they should be approved, but only if the costs are offset my cuts in other military spending, or with additional taxes from the wealthy and the corporate masters whose interests our soldiers are protecting.

Any other move will be a tax (in the form of borrowing) on our children, or a tax (in the form of reduced social services) on the poor.

Neither is acceptable.

Image source: Wikipedia

No comments: