Military Expenditures

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AbyssalMage
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Re: Military Expenditures

Post by AbyssalMage » Sat Jun 18, 2011 11:56 pm

Fyyr wrote: Paying to feed Tyrone's baby, who knocked up Latisha,,,,,That's not really Constitutional. But you live in SF, so I know how you might disagree. Especially, when Tyrone has no intention of feeding his own fucking kid.

I have a problem with that.

I have an innate, and real problem with working to feed the kids of other men, who have no intention on feeding their own kids.

Call me extreme if you like.. but in my book, that's stealing.
I don't think Tyrone was thinking about any baby when he was <bleep>ing Latisha :roll: :cry: Mabye if Latisha realized that Tyrone wasn't going to hand around once the act was done (or their was reprocussions from the act) she would of made a smarter decision but that has nothing to do withthe original post. /derail off

The only reason we spend so much is because we pay millions of dollars for a single missle. Yeah, they may be able to hit a door knob from 4 miles away but I'm pretty sure people have been killing people for a lot less money for thousands of years. Hell, the most cost efficient military weapon in the US service is a Sniper, followed by the "grunt", and specialist.

Imagine if other countries had the technology we had, they could use percision missiles to take out any rebellion (Libya/Syria) and not worry about some UN mandate that says you can't hit civilians. Seems only Europeon (NATO) can hit civilians, call it collateral damage, and suffer no consequences. That, and they wouldn't have to call us up to fight their damm wars. And it would be them who spend all that money, not the US. /Steps down from his soap box

Na, not surprised how much we spend compared to most other developed countries. I personally wish we would send them a bill everytime they call us though.

erianaiel
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Re: Military Expenditures

Post by erianaiel » Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:15 am

Tudamorf wrote:
erianaiel wrote:
Fyyr wrote:I have an innate, and real problem with working to feed the kids of other men, who have no intention on feeding their own kids.

Call me extreme if you like.. but in my book, that's stealing.
And not paying for that, in my book, is murder.
Wait a minute. You're saying, you're guilty of murder for every kid who dies in Africa or Haiti and whom you could've helped?

Wow.
No I did not say that, but I am sure you are going to remain convinced I did no matter how I try to explain what I really did say. So ...


Eri

erianaiel
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Re: Military Expenditures

Post by erianaiel » Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:55 am

AbyssalMage wrote:Imagine if other countries had the technology we had, they could use percision missiles to take out any rebellion (Libya/Syria) and not worry about some UN mandate that says you can't hit civilians. Seems only Europeon (NATO) can hit civilians, call it collateral damage, and suffer no consequences. That, and they wouldn't have to call us up to fight their damm wars. And it would be them who spend all that money, not the US. /Steps down from his soap box

Na, not surprised how much we spend compared to most other developed countries. I personally wish we would send them a bill everytime they call us though.
Funny thing is that other NATO countries -have- the same abilities. Except for those that your precious USA military will not let them have.
The USA may spend a lot of money on their military, but if you add up all those expenses of other countries strangely enough they tend to end up being purchases with American companies. The country I live in is slated to spend about a quarter of its annual defense budget on buying American fighter planes. Which replaced older planes that were upgraded with the latest American technology that was not limited to the USA only. Which were planes that were build by Americans. Which replaced yet older planes that also were American. During the cold war there were several american air force bases in my country, paid for by us but otherwise effectively American soil for as long as the USA liked to keep them. A country that has less citizens than any of the four biggest cities in the USA. How much of an army would the city of New York be able to maintain on its own? And how would it field that army at the other side of the world? How would the state of, say, Nebraska fare if it were to maintain a national army of its own?
And the first gulf war? Funny thing is that it ended up costing the American tax payer very little as Saudi Arabia and the gulf states ended up footing most of that bill. And Iraq, through very lucrative oil contracts with American companies, ended up paying for most of its 'liberation'.

Yes, the USA pays a lot of money for its defence. It also earns back a substantial part of that through defense contracts.

And of course there is the fundamental difference in attitude between the USA, which considers its task to counter any threat (actual, theoretical or imaginary) anywhere in the world, the the European countries that after two millenia of often bloody and devastating warfare feels it is better to aim for diplomacy and (economic) cooperation. Kindly lay off with the accusations of cowardice until after you have lived in a country where the cities have been reduced to rubble and ten percent of the young adult male population has been killed off in the last war (and about the same percentage of women have been gang raped or worse). Where you had to listen every night for bombers flying over your head and wonder if this time they would come for the place where you lived. Lived while increasingly desperate and bestial occupying forces could and would do anything they pleased. I am fairly sure your grandfather did not see his draft horses (and the livelihood of his farm) stolen for the war effort (or much of what food could be grown), and your mother probably did not have to hide with her older sisters behind a false wall in the cow stables simply because she was twelve years old and some of the occupying soldiers and collaborators could not be trusted not to abuse a girl even that young. The collective memory of all that may be fading (though the scars of the last war are still visible in many cities) but forgive me if we are not all that eager to start another war. The American population may be rather casual about waging wars in countries most probably could not find on the map, they also are rather eager to look away when a small evidence of those wars (i.e. its veterans) shows up in their comfortable (or not so) lives.

And finally, the simple solution of course would be to stop listening to requests for aid. Dissolve the NATO, leave Europe alone and 'go it alone' just like Bush jr. wanted. It is not like that every time other countries -try- to work together with the American army it gets made abundantly clear (though it never gets officially said) that your generals really do not want to have those combined forces. Having to pay attention to others and all that coordination apparently is way too much effort.

So, to summarise a long and meandering argument. The initial statistics was factually correct but hardly presented the full picture. And everybody is to blame on how the NATO is or is not working.


Eri

erianaiel
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Re: Military Expenditures

Post by erianaiel » Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:59 am

Zute wrote:Percentage wise rich people are paying less in taxes than the people mopping the floors of their businesses. That's a paraphrased quote from Warren Buffet, who thinks rich people should be taxed more they presently are.
To clarify, that is percentage of disposable income, the money that remains after the essentials for survival (and minimal participation in society) has been paid.


Eri

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stormhaven
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Re: Military Expenditures

Post by stormhaven » Sun Jun 19, 2011 6:34 am

Living in what Twitter users have apparently dubbed "Military City" (San Antonio, TX), I can say for certain that military spending isn't all just million dollar missiles. While many politicians usually show their constituents pictures of missiles, aircraft carriers, tanks and guns when talking about slashing military budgets, the people here know what cutting the budget really means - less support for the soldiers. Whether it's lowering the amount covered by the GI Bill for higher education, dropping VA services, cutting pensions, it's usually the grunt that gets hit the hardest. It generally also means slashing the size of the standing army which can mean a few things - some soldiers getting sent back to civilian life early (with cut benefits) or tighter restrictions on new recruits (which leads to less incoming soldiers to replace the current ones).

While I'm not always in agreement with how the military works (meaning our current active engagements), I am a fan of military R&D and I firmly believe that we need to be spending money there. Many of the biggest technological breakthroughs of the 20th century are a direct result of military spending, and we'd be crazy to give it up or slash it back to a barebones budget. I agree that (like any government agency) there's a lot of fat that needs to be trimmed, but I think there are much bigger areas where we can save money and not do as much harm. Ending the war on drugs springs immediately to mind.

As far as Medicare goes, the way I understand it is that Social Security was properly funded (and still is). The amount we pay into Social Security is actually structured correctly and if left to its own devices, even with the baby boomers hitting retirement age, Social Security could fund itself. The problem is that the government keeps pulling from the Social Security "bank" to fund other projects (in fact, I believe Medicare is one of those projects). Medicare and Medicaid on the other hand, was never budgeted correctly and was never self-sustaining. In the long run, Medicare/caid would cost as much or more than Social Security per person, however we currently only pay about 1/4 to 1/2 of what we should to fund it. So take a look at your paycheck stub and see how much you pay for Federal Medicare - in actuality it should be 2-4x that amount. However you could never "sell" that to the American public, so we keep trudging on with this broken system. We cringe when we hear that the Canadians pay 30-40% in Federal Income Tax every year, but in order to fund many of their social care programs, that's what it really takes.

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Gunny Burlfoot
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Re: Military Expenditures

Post by Gunny Burlfoot » Sun Jun 19, 2011 6:23 pm

Tudamorf wrote:
Fyyr wrote:Military spending is one of the only real Constitutional reasons to spend money.

Paying to feed Tyrone's baby, who knocked up Latisha,,,,,That's not really Constitutional.
Article 1, Section 8: "The Congress shall have Power To . . . provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States."

(Maybe that was edited out of the new Libertarian revised edition of the Constitution?)
Maybe you need to read the Federalist Papers, which were written to clarify the meanings of the Constitution.
Federalist Paper No. 43 wrote:It has been urged and echoed,that the power ``to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts, and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States,'' amounts to an unlimited commission to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defense or general welfare. No stronger proof could be given of the distress under which these writers labor for objections, than their stooping to such a misconstruction. Had no other enumeration or definition of the powers of the Congress been found in the Constitution, than the general expressions just cited, the authors of the objection might have had some color for it; though it would have been difficult to find a reason for so awkward a form of describing an authority to legislate in all possible cases . . . 'But what color can the objection have, when a specification of the objects alluded to by these general terms immediately follows, and is not even separated by a longer pause than a semicolon? If the different parts of the same instrument ought to be so expounded, as to give meaning to every part which will bear it, shall one part of the same sentence be excluded altogether from a share in the meaning; and shall the more doubtful and indefinite terms be retained in their full extent, and the clear and precise expressions be denied any signification whatsoever? For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted, if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power? Nothing is more natural nor common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of particulars.
Congress can provide for the general welfare in the following areas:

Borrow money to (Maybe the Federal Reserve can be excused here)
Regulate Commerce with nations, states, and Indians (This is where the ATF gets its authority)
uniform rules of Naturalization and Bankruptcies (Dept of Immigration derives its funding here)
Coin money, regulate its value, establish standards and weights, prevent counterfeiting (FBI, IRS, etc fall in here)
Establish Post Offices (Woo, post office is safe from cutting!)
Establish Post Roads (Department of Transportation is safe)
Establish Patents and Copyrights (US Patent office gets its funding)
Establish the lower Federal court system (All those Federal circuit court judges can keep buying golf clubs)
Fight Pirates (Go get em, Navy)
Declare War, make rules of war (I think they keep delegating this to the President)
Raise Armies (Department of Defense is a go)
Provide and maintain a Navy (Also a DoD function)
Make rules for them to follow (Military courts and tribunals can keep operating. Convict more terrorists)
Call forth the Militia, suppress Insurrections, and repel invasions (National Guard can be organized and given federal funding)
Provide for means to organize the Militia (Same)
Exclusively rule the 10 mile area here-fore known as Washington DC (The beltway is Congress's playground)
Make laws necessary and proper for executing aforementioned powers. (Department of Justice is safe)

That is it. Nothing else. Strike everything else down as unConstitutional, illegal (For the Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America), and do away with it.
No mention of Department of Education, Social Security, Housing, Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, Medicare part C, Medicare part D, Medicaid and 503 other programs.

I bet you don't agree with that, but there it is. How about Jefferson? After all, he is the sole and only originator of the phrase "separation of church and state", so you shouldn't have ANY objection to his views.
Thomas Jefferson to Gallatin, 06/16/1817 wrote:Congress had not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but were restrained to those specifically enumerated; and that, as it was never meant they should provide for that welfare but by the exercise of the enumerated powers, so it could not have been meant they should raise money for purposes which the enumeration did not place under their action; consequently, that the specification of powers is a limitation of the purposes for which they may raise money
If that is too harsh, how about AT LEAST CONSOLIDATING the myriad, overlapping, redundant ones we have into ONE organization per area?

In a 333 page report, the GAO (Government Accounting Office) listed ludicrous amounts of waste and duplication of effort in every level, every branch, and every spending category that could be consolidated without significantly crippling ANY Department.

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d11318sp.pdf

The WSJ has two articles about it, one here:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... %3Darticle

And it also made a miniscule 12 point summary of the smallest amount of waste found in the larger report:
1. Food safety: 15 agencies are involved in implementing numerous federal laws.
2. Defense: Numerous redundancies in the purchasing of tactical wheeled vehicles, procurement, and medical costs.
3. Economic development: 80 different programs spread across numerous agencies, often with similar goals.
4. Surface transportation: More than 100 programs run by five divisions within the Department of Transportation deal with surface transportation.
5. Energy: Eliminating duplicative federal efforts to increase ethanol production could save $5.7 billion each year.
6. Government information technology: 24 federal agencies deal with information technology.
7. Health: The Defense Department and the Department of Veterans Affairs could work together – instead of separately – to modernize their electronic health records systems.
8. Homelessness: More than 20 federal programs deal with homelessness.
9. Transportation Security Administration: Assessments of commercial trucking overlap with another federal agency.
10. Teachers: 82 programs that deal with teacher quality, spread across multiple agencies.
11. Financial literacy: 56 programs dealing with financial literacy.
12. Job training: 44 employment and training programs.

I have so many other founding quotes I could give, but I'm sure all the objections based on what the founding fathers actually thought the phrase "general welfare" meant will be summarily discarded with the old liberal standby: "That was then; this is now."

Now, today, right this second, we so need to cut the bloat if we don't want to go the way of Greece. Cut in every department. All of it, including most of the troops we still have stationed in South Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan. We got Osama, let's wind down most of our mobilization. Cut, cut, cut.

{Edit: Eri said the Europeans don't really want us there, because we do tend to act like alpha dogs, so we can also remove all US military presence from the European theatre. We can keep military R&D running so we are not surprised by some new upcoming BRIC (Brazilan, Russian, Indian or Chinese) space age weapon that we had no idea was developed, and we can keep all the military aid services up and running, because of anyone in America, those guys(and gals) have ****ing earned it. DoD functions are one of the real functions on that short list at the start of my post anyways. }

In an ideal world, I'd like to see everything that is authorized in those 17 things trimmed by 33%, and everything else by 100%. I know I will never get that wish. I know that nothing substantial will ever be cut from the US budget. I also know that it is unsustainable. As such, I need to prepare things that are sustainable.

Time to go turn my compost pile. I need to get ready to start a garden, as I seriously doubt our currency can survive a third round of qualitative easing. And you have to amend the soil a year in advance if you want a good crop!
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Gunny Burlfoot
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Re: Military Expenditures

Post by Gunny Burlfoot » Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:36 pm

Tudamorf wrote:
erianaiel wrote:The average adjusted gross income in the U.S. is about $33,000, over 144 million returns. Tax each of them at 2.9% and you'll come up with only 17% of what Medicare actually earned.

Rich people, almost all of whom are NOT currently eligible for Medicare, are the ones funding the system.
Medicare is not calculated on AGI. It's Gross Income, straight off the top.

http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10022.html#pay

According to the latest Census figures (2008)
http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/ ... ncome.html

There are 117 million households, with a median income of 50,303.
2.9% of the median income x 117 million = 170,678,079,000

Which is still far shy of the 793 billion budgeted for Medicare/Medicaid in 2011. Something must give, and that would be the Federal Reserve's hesitation to print more money and/or the Congress's "hard line" on raising the US debt. Just add some zeroes in a computer; no one will know or care. Nothing can possibly go horribly wrong. Heck, meet all of our financial obligations this way!

If we just spend more money, we can get this economy going! Just let us borrow 2 trillion more, according to TIMMAH Geitner, and all of our problems will be solved.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/ ... UG20110504









P.S.

(Just remember, beware of Monsanto seeds; several of their hybrid varieties don't pollinate and give you seeds for next year!)
(Honey is one thing that never, ever goes bad. It only crystallizes, and heating it in hot water will restore it)
(Vitamin C stays good for several years, and one 1,000mg tablet can stave off scurvy for 10 days if you divide it into 10 pieces)
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erianaiel
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Re: Military Expenditures

Post by erianaiel » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:10 am

Gunny Burlfoot wrote: {Edit: Eri said the Europeans don't really want us there, because we do tend to act like alpha dogs, so we can also remove all US military presence from the European theatre. We can keep military R&D running so we are not surprised by some new upcoming BRIC (Brazilan, Russian, Indian or Chinese) space age weapon that we had no idea was developed, and we can keep all the military aid services up and running, because of anyone in America, those guys(and gals) have ****ing earned it. DoD functions are one of the real functions on that short list at the start of my post anyways. }
I did not actually say that :)
Only that the ideas about the military differ greatly at both sides of the atlantic due to vastly different histories.
The oft repeated argument that the USA spends all that money on defence while the european countries do nothing is not entirely correct. The European countries could do more, but they do spent a significant part of their budget purchasing American weapon systems so the huge American expenses tend to get moderated by that. Similarly the USA could do less and the world would not collapse nor melt down.

The other argument I made is separate from the financial one. It is the simple observation that while there is a lot of talk in the USA of wanting NATO (or whoever) do do more, every time it comes to joint operations the end result is that you have the allied forces and you have the USA forces, and the later not trusting the former to do anything. Instead the allies get relegated to remote corners of the conflict and are in so many words told to stay out of the way of the 'real' army. While that is understandable, it is not going to encourage other countries (that already have populations that fail to see why they should get involved in yet another war) nor their militaries to get out of their way to join the USA. This has nothing to do with people not wanting the USA around, but everything with a 500 pound gorrila throwing its weight around and then looking surprised that everybody made room. A lot of it.

The first step that needs to be taken is to sit down and decide what the role of the NATO, or whatever other organisation, is going to be. There will have to be a lot of give and take. Only when that is taken care of does it make sense for countries to sit down and negotiate over how much every country is going to contribute according to ability.
If neither side of the disagreement is willing to sit down and negotiate on any of these things then whatever is being said about the UN or NATO or any other international organisation is purely rhetoric meant for their own population. And after a while that gets tedious and we all should either shut up or start acting. The USA has been complaining about the small defense budgets (though percentage wise they are not that small compared to the rest of the world) for decades now, but nobody could be bothered to actually do something about all this. American defense ministers like to complain but are not remotely as eager of Europe becoming less dependent on the American army. Mind, European defense ministers like to talk big but are not all that eager to stop hiding behind mommy America's skirts.

As I said, both sides are to blame in this.


Eri

erianaiel
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Re: Military Expenditures

Post by erianaiel » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:23 am

Gunny Burlfoot wrote: Now, today, right this second, we so need to cut the bloat if we don't want to go the way of Greece. Cut in every department. All of it, including most of the troops we still have stationed in South Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan. We got Osama, let's wind down most of our mobilization. Cut, cut, cut.
If the USA were part of the EC then Chinese investment bankers and hedge funds and all the other financial cockroaches and locusts would be swarming over the country, speculating against it.
The state of the American finances is comparable with that of Portugal if I remember correctly.
One of the bigger problems is that like the Greek, the general American population wants all those juice government programs (as long as they benefit them) but then balks at paying taxes to support them. Nobody likes paying taxes, but few countries in the world delude them as thoroughly that it has become unquestionable truth that paying less taxes is good.
It is not a matter of:
1 - Pay less taxes.
2 - ???
3- Profit!

I know that nothing substantial will ever be cut from the US budget. I also know that it is unsustainable. As such, I need to prepare things that are sustainable.

Time to go turn my compost pile. I need to get ready to start a garden, as I seriously doubt our currency can survive a third round of qualitative easing. And you have to amend the soil a year in advance if you want a good crop!
The USA can go on a long time yet with what it has been doing (making loans from the future to pay for current debts). It will collapse, and very quickly at that, when China and India no longer need the American market to prop up their own economy.
Quantative easing is simply a new word for the USA inflating itself out of debt, thereby making its trading partners (that have not tied their currency to the dollar) take up some of the shortages.
Turning that compost pile is a good idea, but the American economy will not have collapsed by this time next year (besides, economic crisis come in five year cycles now so we are not due the next one before 2013. I mean the banks need some time to crank up the next money printing fraud machinery).

Eri

AbyssalMage
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Re: Military Expenditures

Post by AbyssalMage » Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:08 am

erianaiel wrote:
AbyssalMage wrote:Imagine if other countries had the technology we had, they could use percision missiles to take out any rebellion (Libya/Syria) and not worry about some UN mandate that says you can't hit civilians. Seems only Europeon (NATO) can hit civilians, call it collateral damage, and suffer no consequences. That, and they wouldn't have to call us up to fight their damm wars. And it would be them who spend all that money, not the US. /Steps down from his soap box

Na, not surprised how much we spend compared to most other developed countries. I personally wish we would send them a bill everytime they call us though.
Funny thing is that other NATO countries -have- the same abilities. Except for those that your precious USA military will not let them have.
Other countries DO NOT HAVE the technology that the USA does. Half of the problem is that NATO doesn't have the percision missles that the US does have and thats why they were not able to attack the military vehicles parked next to civilian building and why they flew in the Helicopters. There are multiple reasons the US doesn't share its weapon systems and reasons other countries don't use are weapon systems.
The USA may spend a lot of money on their military, but if you add up all those expenses of other countries strangely enough they tend to end up being purchases with American companies. The country I live in is slated to spend about a quarter of its annual defense budget on buying American fighter planes. Which replaced older planes that were upgraded with the latest American technology that was not limited to the USA only. Which were planes that were build by Americans. Which replaced yet older planes that also were American. During the cold war there were several american air force bases in my country, paid for by us but otherwise effectively American soil for as long as the USA liked to keep them. A country that has less citizens than any of the four biggest cities in the USA.
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.

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.

*** Side Note ***
I am aware of some foreign military bases costing more to maintain than the expense to keep them. I have no clue if the bases in your country was one of them. But of the multiple miltary base closings that started in the late 90's under Clinton and continued under Bush, the closing of a military base destroyed many foreign communities when the bases left. These communities petitioned for the removal of these bases but never calculated the influx of money that American tourism brought. It wasn't until after the base closed that the community realized the economic loss.
How much of an army would the city of New York be able to maintain on its own? And how would it field that army at the other side of the world? How would the state of, say, Nebraska fare if it were to maintain a national army of its own?
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.
And the first gulf war? Funny thing is that it ended up costing the American tax payer very little as Saudi Arabia and the gulf states ended up footing most of that bill. And Iraq, through very lucrative oil contracts with American companies, ended up paying for most of its 'liberation'.
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 :evil:

*** Side Note ***
Depending how this economic recession has affected Germany, Poland, and Italy, the US wasn't expected to get paid back for WWII until 2030 (or 2050, I have both years stuck in my head). Japan I think was scheduled to pay off its war debt to the US by 2015 but I think the US has forgiven much of that debt for economic considerations. That doesn't count any of the other conflics or wars we have gotten our selves into.
Yes, the USA pays a lot of money for its defence. It also earns back a substantial part of that through defense contracts.
Defense contracts don't pay for the USA military, they pay for CEO's :evil:
And of course there is the fundamental difference in attitude between the USA, which considers its task to counter any threat (actual, theoretical or imaginary) anywhere in the world, the the European countries that after two millenia of often bloody and devastating warfare feels it is better to aim for diplomacy and (economic) cooperation.
With the exception of Libya, I totally agree :D The USA does tend to solve its problems with force, especially when a Republican is in office. Although, Democrats use force, they just tend to send a few missles/bombs at the enemy's base and call it "good."
Kindly lay off with the accusations of cowardice until after you have lived in a country where the cities have been reduced to rubble and ten percent of the young adult male population has been killed off in the last war (and about the same percentage of women have been gang raped or worse). Where you had to listen every night for bombers flying over your head and wonder if this time they would come for the place where you lived. Lived while increasingly desperate and bestial occupying forces could and would do anything they pleased. I am fairly sure your grandfather did not see his draft horses (and the livelihood of his farm) stolen for the war effort (or much of what food could be grown), and your mother probably did not have to hide with her older sisters behind a false wall in the cow stables simply because she was twelve years old and some of the occupying soldiers and collaborators could not be trusted not to abuse a girl even that young. The collective memory of all that may be fading (though the scars of the last war are still visible in many cities) but forgive me if we are not all that eager to start another war. The American population may be rather casual about waging wars in countries most probably could not find on the map, they also are rather eager to look away when a small evidence of those wars (i.e. its veterans) shows up in their comfortable (or not so) lives.
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.
And finally, the simple solution of course would be to stop listening to requests for aid. Dissolve the NATO, leave Europe alone and 'go it alone' just like Bush jr. wanted. It is not like that every time other countries -try- to work together with the American army it gets made abundantly clear (though it never gets officially said) that your generals really do not want to have those combined forces. Having to pay attention to others and all that coordination apparently is way too much effort.
Actually working with foreign militaries isn't a problem, answering to foreign commanders is. The UCMJ that US Military peronal adhere to is vastly different (In many minor ways)than the regulations that many of our NATO allies have adopted. Add into that, if a US service member breaks "said rules" he could be punished by a foreign commander, and you have a political nightmare in Washington. Imagine if Abu Grab was overseen by a foreign commander, the punishment would of been more harsh (and probably closer to the punishment they should of recieved) but would of been a political nightmare here in the USA. Not that it is an excuse, just a reason behind the flawed logic that is our military.

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.
So, to summarise a long and meandering argument. The initial statistics was factually correct but hardly presented the full picture. And everybody is to blame on how the NATO is or is not working.

Eri
With the fall of "The Red Curtain" NATO lost alot of its facade of being a deterrence to the "Red Menace." It has been "floating in the wind" so to speak for over a decade trying to find its purpose once again. With the "War on Terror" in full swing, NATO has been given a "Second Life" and one I'm sure neither America or any Europeon country is going to let go. Being killed by a Terrorist is the new "Red Menace" and is simply history repeating itself.

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