Category: Video, War/Defense

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

13 Responses to “How America’s military spending stacks up”

  1. supercorm says:

    1.5 million people and 5% of the GDP … cut the military in half, and its a recession !

    • ilsm says:

      Pentagon employed 1.4m active duty, ~800K reserve and guard (who rotated to Iraqistan for the past 10 + years), 800K federal civilians, procurement contracts ~$200B and services contracts at ~$200B in FY 2010.

      What could we be if $20T since 1952 had been spent better?

    • bigsteve says:

      You are correct. Which is why if we do cut military spending we must up spending on other programs.

  2. willid3 says:

    and considering that a large chunk of US military spending is ‘black budgeted’ we really dont know just how much we spend. then again not so sure that many if any other countries are really reporting what they spend too.

  3. ilsm says:

    Military dominance only matters if the enemy is so dumb (as US) as to build 100000 ton aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, responses to F-35 spec’s, and 6000 vehicle mechanized brigades and use them against the US.

    The scariest US’ adversaries don’t buy weapons they are not sure how they work. They study strategy, logistics and economics. Some may have been reading Sun Tzu since they were corporals.

    Machines don’t fight wars. People do, and they use their minds.
    — Col John R. Boyd, USAF (deceased)

    • supercorm says:

      Wow, nice post. I totally agree.

      In fact, if 10 nuclear bombs don’t “deter” you, neither will 10,000.

  4. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    And much of that amount is being plundered, if not outright pillaged. Check the allocations in this chart:

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/11/22/209356/pentagons-bosses-thwart-accurate.html

    Here is the Pentagon’s response:

    http://www.mygovcost.org/2013/11/24/the-defense-departments-audit-disappearing-act/

    Then, there’s the lager picture (awesome inforgraphic here, BR):

    http://www.masters-in-accounting.org/missing-money/

    The private sector NEVER does anything better and/or faster and/or cheaper.

    Smedley Butler was right: It’s a total freekin’ racket. Sad thing is, the M/I Complex is only one of the usual suspects — all of whom conduct their criminality openly and without fear of consequences.

  5. Ponchovilla says:

    “Fat Leonard” was doing his part to help “hookers” and “luxury hotel managers” with the money he “invested” from his DOD contracts with the US Navy.
    Man at center of Navy bribery scandal won contracts despite criminal past
    http://www.stripes.com/news/man-at-center-of-navy-bribery-scandal-won-contracts-despite-criminal-past-1.252638
    We just love our “entrepreneurs”

  6. bigsteve says:

    Was it not Eisenhower who warned us about the Military Industrial complex? Truman during WWII uncovered much waste and fraud in military spending and save us a bunch of money. But as supercorn pointed out there are very significant affects for the economy with all of that spending. So we have to be careful of how we cut this spending both to make sure we still can deter any threat and keep our economy going in a healthy way.

  7. victor says:

    “Surrounding himself with a group of emergency responders whose jobs he said are on the line, Obama said the looming “sequester” of $85 billion would weaken national defense”……… http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/02/19/obama-sequester-boehner-emergency-peparadness/1930059/

  8. > So we have to be careful of how we cut this spending both to make sure we still can deter any threat and keep our

    There is no shortage of DOD brass, lawmakers of both parties, and contractors who will cry you a river over how cuts will imperil our defense and place our economy in great jeopardy, despite the fact the actual motivation has much more to do with protecting fiefdoms, votes and profits.

    In view of our extraordinarily costly debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan and weapons programs that regularly run years over schedule and cost two or three times more for a fraction of what was promised, I have little confidence in what we’re told we need for a vital defense.

    So . . . be careful about how we cut this spending? I think we need to be far more careful about our priorities in this country.

  9. [...] Ritholtz demonstrates how our military spending compares with the rest of the developed world. Continue [...]