I was not arguing that if was not efficient for other countries to outsource their defense research and manufacturing to the USA, only that it skews the picture that was being painted by the graph in the original post. The image suggests that even 20 countries combined do not equal the amount of money the USA spends on defense, but a significant part of what those other countries spend on defense flows back into the USA economy (e.g. saudi arabia has no defense industry and buys all its equipment in the USA, with money the USA first spend in Saudi Arabia on oil, so I guess it really is a kind of weapons for oil program with a bit of a detour going on).AbyssalMage wrote: Imagine how much your country would spend if they invested in their own technology for fighter aircraft (Not to mention other Military technology). I guarantee your 1/4 budget on purchasing American Planes wouldn't cover the cost. Neither would the technology you would be able to scrape together to create your aircraft (because you have International Copyright Laws to contend with). But in the long run, mabye you would be able to compete with American Aviation Technology, but that means you would have to invest in it as a society. But my guess is, like every other country, it isn't cost effective.
I admit I have no idea how much the USA spends(*) on those bases. I know that in some countries they pay a rent for the base and the ground it is located on, and that this was not so in the Netherlands (or the rent was a symbolical amount). (* this is separate from the fee that is paid to the soldiers on those bases since they had to be paid regardless of the country they soldiers were stationed in).As far as American Bases in foreign countries goes, I don't see your point. Bases cost money and I doubt the tax payer money you paid for the bases covered the USA expense of keeping them there. Add in the revenue I'm sure the Bases created for the surrounding community and Country as a whole, and I doubt it was a bad investment.
I was merely trying to point out that some countries in Europe are smaller than some cities in the USA, and expecting a full blown and fully capable military out of those is as realistic as expecting the city of New York capable of maintaining an army that can be deployed anywhere in the world at a moment's notice with state of the art technology and abilty for a months long campaign. It is a common misconception in this kind of discussion (not that I am blaming you personally!) to think of Europe as if it is 'the USA but different'. The USA is a hugely rich country that has a unified economy and a functioning (more or less) central authority. By contrast Europe is a very loose collection of countries that barely manage to cooperate at the best of times (and even then only where national politics can be kept out of the inner workings of the EC). They have a common currency for a decade now, have barely started coordinating their industrial regulations and are still fiercely territorial when it comes to national authority (think how the USA reacts to any suggestion of relinguishing its authority to an international body like, say, the war crimes tribunal in The Hague. It may have nothing but a minor footnote on page 32 of the newspapers, but over here it is not forgotten that Bush jr. mentioned (with full agreement of congress) that he would invade the Netherlands should any American be brought before that tribunal...)In the USA their called the National Guard (Reserves) and every state is required to fund them much like the Federal Government funds Active Duty. As far as funding over seas bases, I'm sure they would fund them (i.e. Use the same buisness model) the way they fund Prisoners in other State Prisons.
It does not really matter who initially gets the money. The point is that much of those billions the USA spent on foreign wars the last decades eventually find their way back into the American economy. It may take a while but the long term cost of all those wars is not nearly as bad as the short term financial pictures suggests. Of course it takes a while and the country must be able to wait for those debts being repaid. On the other hand, the propensity of the USA to reach for the inflation tool whenever their debts get a bit too much means that effectively the country is defaulting on some of its debts (the same thing everybody is shouting very loudly Greece should not be allowed to do).Your talking about Boeing and Lockhead Martin (Spelling?) getting paid (And multiple other private coporations). The American Taxpayer hasn't been (fully) reimbursted for the expenses of any war (Going back to WWII). The cost of WWI wasn't paid off until 1994 or '95. Yes, many private industies have reaped the benefits of these wars you mention, but the American Tax payer and the National Debt that is created by them, haven't
*malicious grin*Defense contracts don't pay for the USA military, they pay for CEO's
was that not the scripture of the Church of Republican Voodoonomics: Trickle down stimulation programs? If you give the richest people in the world a couple of billion dollar that somehow translates into the whole population doing better, economically speaking?
I am sorry. I did not mean to imply that you personally called anybody a coward. Again it is zombie horse that gets raised everytime some political body in the USA wants to make an argument that 'Europe' is not doing enough or is not capable of supporting the USA properly like the peons and vasals they are. The 'French are cowards' arguments that get paraded jokingly in the media are about as funny as racist jokes. And only last year an American general claimed that the massacre of Srebrenica happened because the Dutch Army allowed gays and men with long hair to serve (instead of the fact that they were understaffed, armed only with semi automatics and personal side arms and a rules of combat that allowed them only to return fire when directly fired upon. Oh, and desperate pleas for air support got ignored because various French, English and American generals could not be bothered to answer on their weekend off. Yes, it is a sore topic for me the way the rest of the world distorts what really happened there just so they can wash their hands of that atrocity).Not sure how I called anyone a coward. As far as War's goes, everything you mentioned has happened sense man waged war. It wasn't until the modern news cycle was created that any of it was reported (and for anyone to really care). For Americans, you would have to go back to the Civil War to see the atrocities you mention happen on American Soil. As far as the wars' Americans have waged on foreign soil, yes, I'm sure the scars are still visible on its citizenry and achutecture.
I agree with you here. Leaving the NATO is not going to solve anything and it will effectively eliminate the ability of the European countries to do anything outside their own borders. Not sure how that is different from the current situation though. The point was not that the USA should leave, but that they should stop whining about how ineffective the NATO and European countries are when half the time they are working against those organisations being more than a foreign legion that gets to step up to suggest international cooperation in what is essentially an American operation serving American interests.Dissolving NATO wouldn't sove your problem, Europeon counties would be put in a political nightmare everytime they needed assistance (Wich is quite frequently). Its in America's best interest politically, economically, and security wise to remain part of NATO. Unfortunately, Bush Jr. was an idiot, as is the Tea Party that is dividing this country. Yes, we could leave NATO but we gain nothing from it, something most Democrats and Independents understand.
I am not sure what it says about our countries that both the USA and European countries try to get the nationalist idiots voted into positions of power.