Not sure how you think 1 soldier = 1 million dollars. I assume you're (and the article) taking the cost of the per-day-war and dividing it by the number of soldiers there? Then, yeah, I think that is about correct. But the cost of the individual soldier is smaller than that. The price inflates because they add in all the extra's that the private companies are using to profit off the war and placing the price tag on the soldier (this is where the article is probably getting their numbers and how the military has to project costs).Tudamorf wrote:You seem to be assuming that their salary is the total cost of investment. It's actually a trivial part of the true cost.AbyssalMage wrote:So considering what they earn vs. what they should earn and the money they generate for private sector jobs, still going to argue they are the best investment.
Example: Afghanistan, $1 million per soldier per year, if they don't get hurt, and not counting all the benefits you have to pay them when (if) they get back.
And I get no benefit from it.
Compare it to welfare, one of the most wasteful government programs. For $1 million, I can pacify dozens of poor people around me. Not a great investment, but it brings me a real benefit.
I'll take welfare any day.
Unless things have changed recently (last 3 years)... unless the equipment was replaced due to destruction or was made non-serviceable, its equipment that was being housed and stored sense the Gulf Wars. I.e. It was already bought and paid for. And like Frye said (he does make a good point once in awhile ) the soldiers where already being paid for, its just they get a small increase in pay once they leave the states (if they weren't in a combat zone, embassy duty, ect. already). "$hit roles down hill" and that's why it seems like 1 soldier = 1 million. 1 soldier = 80k - 120k for his career barring injury. I know I cost the government 78k'ish. But I guarantee you when it was reported to the Pentagon for the "number crunchers" it was A LOT higher. It's natural government inflation. How else would government papers requested through the Freedom of Information Act cost 15 million (One example of many) Or how about the cost of a government "toilet seat" costing 1k from the 1980's? There are many dubious charges and the controls that are supposed to prevent them aren't working because of politics.
Total Pay - 1,200 (month/avg) x 12 (months/year) = 14,400 x 4 (years) = $57,600
Training - 20k (wasn't supposed to know this figure but our DI told us while he was inebriated in December I'm also sure that the cost of training has gone up sense I joined in '95 but I'm positive it hasn't gone down )
So I made $57,600(avg) over 4 years and cost the government another 20k for 6 months of training (obviously the cost of training would vary depending on what military school(s) you attend). Now I can positively say that had I been privately paid I would of earned 3-4x as much (At least. I never kept track of all the "overtime" and the private sector job equivalent made 60k/year). And assuming the all the training would be privately done, the cost would also be 3-4x as high (you have to pay the instructors all that overtime and higher wages also) so yeah, still penny's on the dollar compared to the alternative of privatization and/or not having a standing military (assuming no other Democratic country filled the void, which currently there isn't).
Add in the cost of deterrence of war(which obviously didn't work in Afghanistan; but did for Iraq*), global security (the stock markets before 9/11 and immediately after), the money private sectors are cashing in (war profiteering), and all the other misc. things I mentioned above, it's still the best investment the Federal Government spends on.
*We know Iraq II was a waist of tax payer money. Hell, the government knew beforehand about no WMD's but I chalk Iraq II up to one of the worse Presidents in our History because deterrence was working before we invaded and could of shortened Afghanistan (assuming we didn't attack Iran or N. Korea, both real threats unlike Iraq).