Defense

Just How Quickly Will GOP Try to Ramp Up Defense Spending? Super-Quickly.

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Note: Jesse Walker blogged this story earlier today. Read his take here.

The Daily Beast's Eli Lake reports that in the wake of the GOP takeover of the Senate, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and other hawks are set to fly high on all things military:

McCain said his first order of business as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee will be to end the budget rule known as sequestration, which requires the U.S. military to cut its budget across the board. "I want to start an examination of our policies in the world and then find out whether we have the capability to meet these expectations," McCain said. McCain also said he would use his chairmanship to root out overspending at the Pentagon, but he emphasized his desire to reverse sequestration.

And there's this, which is heartening to the extent it suggests the Constitution, which reserves war-making powers to Congress, still matters:

On Wednesday Obama said he would ask Congress to vote on the new war against ISIS during the lame-duck session of Congress that starts in December.

"I think it's time for an AUMF [authorization of the use of military force], I do," McCain said. "The one passed after 9/11 specifically talks about the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks and ISIS has exceeded that definition."

More here.

Lake quotes neocon mag editor Bill Kristol: 

As Ron Paul, the isolationist father of Sen. Rand Paul, tweeted Tuesday evening: "Republican control of the Senate = expanded neocon wars in Syria and Iraq. Boots on the ground are coming!" William Kristol, the editor of The Weekly Standard, was in rare agreement with the elder Paul. "I think Ron Paul told the truth," Kristol told The Daily Beast. "And the truth is that his son had a bad election season and the Republicans who were elected are various species of hawks and not Rand Paul-like doves."

Kristol may be right that the new GOP senators are hawks, but that's not the same thing as saying they were elected because they are hawks or because Americans are ready to extend old wars or start a host of new ones. The surge in support for attacking Syria and staying in Afghanistan after the beheading of two American journalists by ISIS was historically weak to begin with. Putting new boots on the ground—constantly broached by hawks—has never been popular. Given past experience, it's highly likely the GOP will misplay its hand as the congressional majority, pushing its agenda even if it's at odds with the broader population's.

The fact is that defense spending is way up from where it was at the start of the 21st century and it's been percolating just fine overall since Obama took office. According to Rasmussen, about 57 percent of voters right before the election want to see cuts to every major federal program, including defense. (Alas, very few think spending will go down any time soon and only 19 percent trust the government to do what's right in most cases.)

If the GOP figures this is their moment to pay out more money to defense contractors and to start a new series of interventions, well, it was nice knowing them.

NEXT: Common Core Supporters Got Slaughtered in Midterms

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  1. Clearly they don’t want the Turtle to get too comfortable in the big chair.

    1. I don’t understand why everyone refers to him as the Turtle – he looks more like a frog.

      1. A frog with a mouthful of flies.

  2. Too bad we can’t ramp up the alt text.

    1. Yeah, that McCain picture really needs something. Is he trying to take a shit, or what?

      1. he needs to lay off the Embalming chems.

        1. You mean real ones or PCP? PCP might explain his expression.

          1. PCP would explain his child like obsession with bombing people.

      2. He looks as though he just realized he filled his diaper.

  3. WAR BONERZ ACTIVATE!!!

    1. FORM OF…A MAVRICK!

    1. If McCain is Maverick, and Lindsey Graham is clearly Iceman, then who in the Senate is Goose? And who is poor, neglected Kelly McGillis?

      1. Hillary?

      2. Kelly Mcgillis is Obama
        Goose is Ted Cruz
        The undescript country with the migs is Rand Paul.

        1. The Volley ball scene was Libya.

      3. I’m pretty sure Lindsey Graham is Kelly McGillis.

  4. They never miss a chance to miss a chance.I think McCain is a zombie,look at the eyes.

    1. I thought maybe he just pooped his pants.

      1. “Come on Depends, hold! Hold!!”

        1. Fortunately McCain has an inside source of military-grade adult diapers from the Pentagon.

          Since all of this nation’s greatest warriors are feeble old men with bowel control problems who never leave Washington, the military needed a way to keep them in top fighting condition. So they developed a breathable yet watertight kevlar mesh that can stand up to any aging chickenhawk’s watery stools.

          Each pair costs the military $1,100 and the development program ran more than $80 billion.

          1. “aging chickenhawk”

            Aging, certaily. “chickenhawk”? Er….

      2. I think he is in the process of pooping his pants.

  5. Sure, ’cause we have the money, right “Maverick”?

    Knucklehead.

  6. Huh, yesterday everyone was telling me how warbonerism isn’t an issue because no one actually cares about foreign policy given the economy.

    1. Stay off Red State.

      1. He’s talking about here at HyR.

    2. It may not be an issue for the voters, but since when do politicians care about that.

  7. “McCain also said he would use his chairmanship to root out overspending at the Pentagon, but he emphasized his desire to reverse sequestration.”

    Not that McCain isn’t a huge douche, but how exactly did he emphasize reversing sequestration as opposed rooting out overspending? Did he say that part real loud or what?

    1. He said it several times. He threw the “root out overspending” in once.

      1. So, he outvoted himself?

    2. i think he means that sequestration is non-targeted cuts. If he could get rid of that and go after waste while maintaining spending on good projects that would be better.

      1. The sad part is not realizing the waste is coming from our perpetual wars against adversaries that pose no real threat to the US.

        I’ve got a great idea, Mr Maverick, sir. Hows aboutz we stop grinding our military capability into the ground against non-threats? Call me crazy.

        1. Everyojne is a threat. Once we kill off the rest of the world, we’ll finally be able bring the fight home to the real enemies.

        2. The sad part is not realizing the waste is coming from our perpetual wars against adversaries that pose no real threat to the US.

          Not relevant to ISIS.

          1. Cytotoxic, when are you going to sign up to fight them? The Peshmerga may be able to use someone with your enthusiasm.

            1. Millenial, when are you and your kind going to stop resorting to personal attacks as an excuse for your bankruptcy? When will you stop being disphits?

              1. That isn’t a personal attack. You clearly have a lot of passion. After all, you are willing to grant the USG and/or the Canadian government extraordinary powers to go after ISIS at the expense of civilians in the area.

                Why would you not want to be involved in eradicating such a serious threat?

                1. Doesn’t matter.It’s the government’s duty to protect my individual rights, which is best served by degrading ISIS. End of story, that’s all that matters. Your tiresome focus on me is a red herring to distract from the poor quality of your ‘arguments’.

                  1. Actually it’s not ‘the government’s duty’ (i.e. the United States’ military) to protect your individual rights, Canadian. End of story, that’s all that matters.

                  2. People who make base assertions followed up by some variant of “end of story” are the ones with a poor quality argument to hide.

                    If you don’t like it, then you can geeeet ouuuut.

                  3. What if the citizens of Canada and the US don’t agree that we should wage a total war against ISIS?

                    The poor quality of my arguments? I don’t ignore ratified treaties (that protect individual rights of others), downplay the ratchet effect of World War I and World War II in expanding federal power, and refuse to boil down the deaths of hundreds of thousands to millions of civilians as some sort of number or abstraction.

                    1. Correction: I refuse to boil down…

                      I had used “don’t” earlier in the sentence, so that would have conveyed the opposite of what I intended originally.

                    2. Dude, as Dr Strangelove-crazy as Cyto’s foreign policy is, chickenhawk is a terrible argument — based as it is on the deplorable idea that, unless one is actually personally engaged in an issue, they are not allowed to opine on that issue or to think that the world should be a certain way.

                      For example, I’m quite certain that you and any other libertarian worth their salt wants bureaucrats to restrain their own regulatory power and to roll back any regulations made by their predecessors. I’m also quite sure that you haven’t joined a given bureaucracy to accomplish this task. Does this invalidate your opinion? Of course not; the validity of your argument has nothing to do with your personal investment in same; it stands and falls on its own.

                    3. I think we should make an exception in these kinds of cases (e.g., those involving large-scale death and destruction).

                      If Cyto actually believes it is okay/necessary/right for the USG to illegally and intentionally target innocent civilians as part of a broader war effort then I think he should step up to the plate. The threat must be pretty serious if you have to go to those lengths. If you don’t have some sort of medical excuse then it just comes across like he doesn’t want th blood on his hands.

                      Also, he’s Canadian right? Shouldn’t he be advocating for an aggressive Candian foreign policy?

                    4. I was referring to Canada’s government, but my argument applies to the USG too. They have to protect their citizen’s rights by any means necessary.

                  4. It’s the government’s duty to protect my individual rights, which is best served by degrading ISIS.

                    I fail to see how ISIS is in any way a threat to my individual rights. Well, that’s not totally true. I can see how the government could further infringe on my individual rights in the name of safety while fighting ISIS, but I don’t see how ISIS could harm me in any way.

                    1. The poor quality of my arguments? I don’t ignore ratified treaties (that protect individual rights of others)

                      AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

                      I think we should make an exception in these kinds of cases (e.g., those involving large-scale death and destruction). where my pathetic counter-arguments are transparently based on emotional plays

                      AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

                      Victory: Cytotoxic

                    2. Cyto, you will probably always see it as emotionalism, but most libertarians I’ve met do value the lives of others more than you apparently do. They are not willing to engage in tactics that would kill hundreds of thousands of foreign civilians just because a group like ISIS may potentially kill a few thousand here or threaten our individual rights in some way.

                      What you’re really advocating is for us to completely discard the individual rights/lives of the many in certain regions because we feel a few of our lives may be threatened at some point in the future. That’s not any kind of victory.

                      Also, do you reject statutory law in general regardless of what it’s protecting? Again, I also responded to your claims regarding war’s impact on the size of government in another thread.

                    3. The poor quality of my arguments? I don’t ignore ratified treaties (that protect individual rights of others)

                      AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

                      I think we should make an exception in these kinds of cases (e.g., those involving large-scale death and destruction). where my pathetic counter-arguments are transparently based on emotional plays

                      AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

                      Victory: Cytotoxic

                      How is that an emotional argument? It’s clearly an ethical argument. Is misreading/misrepresenting your opponent’s argument grounds for a victory lap?

                    4. I fail to see how ISIS is in any way a threat to my individual rights.

                      Your blinkered religious faith is not my concern.

                    5. Your blinkered religious faith is not my concern.

                      ?

                      Seriously. Explain to me how people trying to build their own nation state on the opposite side of the globe are a threat to my individual rights.

                      Other than my government further restricting my individual rights in the name of safety.

                    6. Explain to me how people trying to build their own nation state on the opposite side of the globe are a threat to my individual rights.

                      Those people are building a caliphate. They have been explicitly clear in their globalist agenda. They won’t succeed, but they can hurt of people. Australia rounded up a bunch of them who wanted to behead people. You are just being ignorant again. Educate yourself.

                    7. Those people are building a caliphate.

                      I’m sure that with another dose of liberal interventionism, they won’t get even closer to that goal as happened with previous interventions.

                      They won’t succeed, but they can hurt of people.

                      Arguably fewer than the US government is able to negligently and/or maliciously kill.

                      Australia rounded up a bunch of them who wanted to behead people. You are just being ignorant again. Educate yourself.

                      Where were they rounded up? A place that justifies re-invading some Islamic shithole? Tolerance for Islamic immigrants is a problem that Australia will have address or not address, but another invasion does nothing but exacerbate the problem at best.

                    8. They’re trying to build a caliphate and, as you said, they will fail. They can potentially hurt some people here, but so far their activities have been limited to the Middle East and those Australian followers were (a) caught and (b) targeting one random individual I believe. It’s definitely concerning and abhorrent, but I fail to see how it justifies the kind of massive response you advocate.

                    9. You are just being ignorant again. Educate yourself.

                      Thing is, I know bullshit when I smell it. Sure, there are a lot of things that people with paranoid fantasies can dream up, but I really don’t see them as a threat. Nine eleven was luck. Pure luck. If some want to come over here and behead people, I don’t see how bombing them over there will make a difference.

                      The greatest threat to my individual liberty is not ISIS. It’s what my government will do to protect me from ISIS.

                    10. The greatest threat to my individual liberty is not ISIS. It’s what my government will do to protect me from ISIS

                      An actual libertarian would understand that point instantly. But we are talking about Cyto here.

                    11. Those people are building a caliphate.

                      Let em build away. What are they going to do, invade the Americas?

                      Yeah, that’s it. They are going to get in their ships, supported by their navies and stage an amphibious landing on the Jersey shore. They will be supported by their massive air forces, completing 10 air refuelings from their tremendous tanker fleets to get here. They will then land and rearm at our captured Air Force bases using the resupplies airlifted in with their virulent airlift capabilities. In short order, their tanks will be rolling into DC and the Stars and Stripes will be replaced atop the White House with the emblem of ISIS and we will end up the theocracy that we’ve always feared.

                      Um…derp.

                  5. Government has no duty to protect your individual rights.

                    At best, it has a duty to not infringe them, and it regularly thumbs its proverbial nose at that duty.

                    So why would it take protecting your rights seriously?

            1. Yeah, did you here about this Osama Bin Laden guy? He has a rag-tag group of Afghan hillbillies and these warboner types think he’s a threat to America. Pffft. /FDA in 1997

            2. This is a complex issue that I don’t have time to get far into, but I will say this, re ISIS and Islamic fundamentalism in general. By your argument, no city is ever really threatened by muggers, rapists, gangsters, or serial killers. After all, they never kill very many people at once, and they never take over municipal buildings, so in a sense they are never “a threat to the city.” Is it wrong to consider them threats?

              If it’s not wrong, then why is it wrong to take ISIS etc. seriously, as they murder and enslave thousands, and claim their goal is to take over the world? They are following a holy book followed by a billion other people. Seems like a fairly serious threat to me.

              What to do about it is a whole ‘nother kettle of fish, of course. But I don’t think one can dismiss the threat.

              1. It’s a system of moving goalposts. FDA wants a way to forever dodge conclusions he doesn’t like.

                1. Yeah, did you here [sic] about this Osama Bin Laden guy? He has a rag-tag group of Afghan hillbillies and these warboner types think he’s a threat to America. Pffft. /FDA in 1997

                  OBL was never a threat to the US. He was an annoyance. He had absolutely no capability to take or hold American assets. He wasn’t going to shut down our markets, take our land, withhold commodities, change our way of life…

                  3000 people. Yeah, that sucked, but losing 3000 Americans wasn’t going to impact us in the least. Anything that happened subsequently, we did to ourselves, by choice.

                  And people like you two led the charge. Nice job. You’ve decimated our military capability by driving our equipment into the dirt. You’ve gotten 4500 MORE americans killed. You’ve killed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians. We’ve spent $1.5T on two wars lasting 10 years.

                  And for all that, we are no more safe and secure than when we started. Arguably less so. Well done.

                  And now, you argue we need to double down and start fighting again?

                  Einstein…Insanity?

                  1. And for all that, we are no more safe and secure than when we started. Arguably less so. Well done.

                    but but… that journalist done got his head cut off! That fact overrides all hindsight.

                  2. FdA, you didn’t respond to my city analogy.

                    True, Iraq and Afghanistan didn’t turn out well, but both were in better shape before Obama took over.

                    1. FdA, you didn’t respond to my city analogy.

                      By your argument, no city is ever really threatened by muggers, rapists, gangsters, or serial killers. After all, they never kill very many people at once, and they never take over municipal buildings, so in a sense they are never “a threat to the city.” Is it wrong to consider them threats?

                      They are the price of doing business. Correct. They do not threaten the city, however they have infringed upon the rights of others and are held accountable for their actions.

                      You will note, that we don’t punish criminals based upon what they might do. We only punish them based upon what they have done.

                      I’m not against going to war when we’ve been attacked. I’m against going to war preemptively. I have NO PROBLEM killing those involved in 9-11. Killing the Taliban and nation building is an entirely different matter, as was the entirety of Iraq. It is folly believing you can bomb people into leaving you alone.

                      If you want to send in SEAL 6 to take care of the individuals personally responsible for the beheadings, have a nut. We should. But killing two journalists is not grounds for going to war. It is about the most ignorant response we could possible make.

                      1. It is a waste of military resources.
                      2. It won’t stop it happening again.
                      3. It’s a waste of money and possibly lives.
                      4. You will simply make more people hate you.
                      5. It gives them credibility.

                    2. You will note, that we don’t punish criminals based upon what they might do.

                      Actually, it’s a crime to conspire to commit crimes, at least some of the time.

                      And I disagree about “credibility.” Quite the opposite seems to happen with jihadis: when they seem to winning, they get more support. When they get beaten, they lose support.

              2. They are following a holy book followed by a billion other people. Seems like a fairly serious threat to me.

                So if some militant Christians started killing and enslaving thousands of people, would you expect the average Protestant to cheer them on just because they share the same holy book?

                1. sarasmic: I’ve covered this before, but in brief: The Bible and Koran aren’t equivalent. The Bible was written by dozens of people in a handful of cultures and languages, “inspired by God,” over hundreds of years. Nearly everyone reads it in translation. It does not proclaim that Christianity is destined to rule the world, by force if needed.

                  OTOH, the Koran was written by one person, taking dictation from Allah, who speaks Arabic and has a copy of the Koran in Heaven. Every word in it is directly from Allah, and Muslims are supposed to read it in Arabic. There are internal contradictions and muddled passages, true, but overall, it’s said to be the last and perfect word from Allah. There’s very little room for interpretation. And it tells Muslims to take over the world, by force if needed. And depending on the survey question and where it’s asked, double-digit percentages of Muslims believe the most violent interpretations. It’s not an exaggeration to say that all Muslims are “fundamentalists” in ways that militant Christians can’t approach.

                  1. Papaya, I don’t disagree. I think Islam an “extremist” religion at it’s core, and that moderate Muslims are only moderate insofar as they are un-Islamic. Few people have a lower opinion of that belief system than myself. But it would be a leap for me to say that we need to crusade through their shithole part of the world to lend even more credence to their violent fundamentalist tendencies in order to save the world. Our policy should be to engage in commerce with them, let them eat each other, and if we must be drastic, I’d rather stop admitting those with that belief system into western countries rather than send western military into their countries.

                    1. Well, I’m not really advocating crusading through their shithole part of the world. I thought it made sense to topple Saddam, and his cease-fire violations made it legal. But then we bumbled the occupation a bit, and while eventually things got OK, the idiot Shiite politicians and the idiot Obama threw it all away.

                      As for now, I’m leaning towards withdrawal, but with the option to blow things up after any terror attack. I’d also pull aside the leaders of Iran and Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, etc., and explain that an Islamic nuke going off in the West means an American nuke turning Mecca into a glass parking lot. Yeah, even a “rogue” nuke, so you’d better crack down on your more insane co-religionists.

                      And yes, it’s insane to allow mass Muslim immigration to the West now. It’s like the Roman Empire inviting in Visigoths.

              3. Its about threat models and the appropriate response thereto.

                The threat model for muggers is adequately dealt with by increasing the number of armed “good guys” (by which I mean non-LEO citizens, of course).

                What threat model does ISIS pose that military intervention addresses?

                You don’t just get to run around screaming “threat!” and expect to automatically win.

                1. Well, I’m not claiming to have the perfect solution. Being the target of asymmetric warfare by radicals from a major religion is a huge conundrum. I just think it’s naive to say “ignore them and they’ll go away,” or “fighting back just makes them madder.”

        3. Okay. You’re crazy.

  8. Goddammit. Tell me that is not the message these idiots got from Tuesday. Well, enjoy the two years in power, stupid party, you’re already well on your way to getting Hillary elected.

  9. Putting boots on the ground is a surefire way of ensuring a Paul presidency.

    Republicans and Democrats…making libertarians…EVERY DAY!

    Keep up the good work boyz…never change.

    1. Rand has to pipe up wrt this. And get backup from Mitch, who owes him.

      1. A McConnister never pays their debts!

  10. Does anyone trust McCain to seriously make an effort to cut our defense budget? We spend about $1 trillion a year on national security-related expenditures (see here: http://www.pogo.org/our-work/s…..udget.html), so I’m sure there’s plenty of waste to go after.

    1. “Does anyone trust McCainRepublicans to seriously make an effort to cut our defense budget? We spend about $1 trillion a year on national security-related expenditures (see here: http://www.pogo.org/our-work/s…..udget.html), so I’m sure there’s plenty of waste to go after.”

      Fixed and no.

      1. House voted last year 215-206 NOT to go along with the leadership’s idea to increase spending. 38 libertarian and libertarianish GOPers joined with most Dems to outweigh most Republicans and 18 conservative and moderate Dems.

        A lot of the R gains in the House came from the 18 Dems who opposed this, so who knows in the new House. Kind of like what will happen w/ pot.

        1. Huh. Thanks that’s very interesting.

    2. That total subsumes all Social Services related to Military, and a chunk of the interest supposedly related to the military. The real figure for direct defense is around $630 billion.

      1. It also includes spending on our nuclear arsenal, intelligence, homeland security, etc. That’s why I said national security-related spending.

        1. It is still a small amount. National Security Issues is the most important function of National Govt. Instead, we have prioritized Social Services.

          So, let’s use the figure $1Trillion. That still only amounts to 27.8% of Fed Outlay. Social Services = 66%

  11. Given past experience, it’s highly likely the GOP will misplay its hand as the congressional majority

    It’s an inevitability. No one likes Congress and before too much time passes, everyone will realize this congress is too much like the old congress, so they’ll vote in a slate of new Democrats who will inevitably fuck everything up, and new TOP MEN will replace them in turn.

    Seldom does anyone suspect that the problems of unaccountability associated with this cycle, is a systemic feature that cannot be undone with new TOP MEN.

    1. Throw the bums out never works because of the nature of people who seek power. Throw a bunch of bored lawyers out, and a bunch of bored lawyer will fill their place.

      1. Turnover works. It disrupts power structures. America’s turnover is too low.

        1. If ‘turnover’ ‘works’, the democratic mechanisms that distribute power within a state would be great bulwarks of liberty. The opposite is true of democracy.

        2. Turnover does nothing about the unaccountable bureaucracy, and that’s the real menace. At best turnover may result in the bureaucracy being given different priorities, but they don’t give a shit. They’ve got jobs for life with no accountability.

          1. True, and that requires something additional. Doesn’t mean turnover isn’t good.

            1. Even term limits have a side effect of deterring the protection of a country’s capital value. New top men don’t fix a systemic problem that exists independently of any particular top men.

  12. my classmate’s mom makes $78 /hr on the internet . She has been laid off for 5 months but last month her pay check was $14869 just working on the internet for a few hours. pop over to this website…

    ????? http://www.netjob70.com

  13. The first thing to look at is the vote on the Mulvaney Amendment to 2014 Defense spending bill in the House. Mulvaney (R-SC) is a libertarian Republican, and he opposed the House leadership attempt to have DoD spending sort of exempt from sequestration. His amendment to pare back defense spending to the sequestration levels passed 215-206 (that’s the roll call), with 38 Republicans in favor (same libertarians who are pro-pot, mostly) and 18 Democrats against.

    The Republican gains in the House this year disproportionately included taking from conservative and moderate Dems who voted against the defense spending cuts– Rahall of WV, Barrow of GA, McIntyre of NC (retired), Gallego of TX.

    So there may still be a bipartisan majority in the House to stop this sort of defense spending shenanigans. It will be close.

  14. It is interesting that Obama chose a moment AFTER the Republicans took control of Congress to propose an authorization for use of force against ISIS, isn’t it?

  15. Too bad McCain wasn’t running this year, so I couldn’t enjoy voting against him as I have for 8 years running. Jerk-off.

  16. A huge problem with defense spending is that it seems almost impossible to arrange it rationally. There are too many constituencies to be appeased, too many symbols to maintain. If it were simply a matter of defending the country and our interests as efficiently as possible, we could probably do it with 1/3 the expense, but then we’d be upsetting Country X or Congresscritter Y by closing a base or a National Guard unit or stopping production of a favorite defense item.

    1. The BRAC process has worked surprisingly well for base closing.

      1. It’s true, that worked, but it’s more the exception than the rule.

    2. Defense or deterrence? In the long run deterrence is cheaper.

  17. They could save quite a bit within the DoD budget by cancelling the Green Fuel schemes which probably only advance the bottom lines of AlGore and cronys.

  18. What?!

    No!No!No!No!No!

    /bangs head on the table

  19. All of the spew here against the U.S. Military spending and intent of it’s planners smacks of two things to me:
    1) anarchistic pacifism, meaning full intent to disarm and lay this nation open to annihilation; and/or
    2) lack of guts to conceptualize a strong military AND proper restraint at the same time.

    I also challenge that graphic. It seems to indicate 850 Billion for FY2014, when the actual was as follows:
    FY2014 Actual Federal Spending, in $ Billions
    651.70 Defense of the Nation including all war spending
    149.60 Veteran Affairs
    801.30 Total

    This amounts to only 18.26% of spending for Defense alone, 22.46% if veterans affairs are included.

    1. All of the spew here against the U.S. Military spending and intent of it’s planners smacks of two things to me:
      1) anarchistic pacifism, meaning full [sic] intent to disarm and lay this nation open to annihilation; and/or
      2) lack of guts to conceptualize a strong military AND proper restraint at the same time.

      How much is enough John? The US has 3 times the military it needs to defend itself. Stop asking them to fight wars against non-threats and you’ll require less of it.

      1. Enough is when other nations and rag tag militias decide it is unwise to engage in warfare to achieve their goals.

      2. What informs your “three times” opinion?

        Hard to imagine “too much.” Increased funds should go into new tech. Our airplanes are antiquated.

        The calculation is not based on amount required to stop Canada when they invade; it must be enough to stop China (et al) when it thinks about invading.

        1. What informs your “three times” opinion?

          Oh, 20 years as an AF pilot.

          Our military can take on 3/4 of the world at the same time. And I’m well aware of China’s and Russia’s capabilities to invade the US. They are ZERO. They have no mobility capability. They have no tanker capability.

          Yes, we need to stay on the cutting edge of technology, but we don’t need 1/3 of what we have if the mission is to defend ourselves and half if we choose to keep a reasonable defensive expeditionary force. We no longer need the capability to wage two major wars and a brushfire at the same time. There is no one that can wage a major war against us, let alone two.

  20. Libertarians ought to read B.H.L. Hart’s “Strategy”.

  21. Peace reigned in America in the 30s. We got a whopper of a war as a return on that investment. We should avoid making that mistake again.

    We won’t.

  22. Nobody wanted to slap Germany down for the invasion of the Rhineland. Too expensive in lives and treasure. Not our problem. Look what they got for their parsimony.

    I see the same arguments here. The people who favored peace prevailed in the 30s. Making way for those who favored war in the 40s.

    1. Sadly, there is truth in this. A lot of the “ignore them and don’t make them mad” arguments around here remind me of pre-9/11 excuses for terrorism. “Why, it kills very few people! Why worry?” But of course things can change, suddenly.

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