Guns vs. Butter

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Thanatoast, Sep 21, 2004.

  1. Thanatoast macrumors 6502a

    Thanatoast

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    #1
    We've allocated one tenth (and only spent one tenth of *that*) the amount of money for rebuilding Iraq that we spent destroying it in the first place. Am I nuts or is our leadership?

    On a larger scale, the US is spending $450B this year on the military, and $15B on international aid. (the largest portion of which goes to Israel, a nuclear-armed country with a strong military (also funded by us)) Would we get more accomplished in terms of world peace, and sooner, if those proportions were evened, or dare I say it, reversed?
     
  2. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #2
    Sounds like the International Aid lobby better up their donation levels. [/CYNICISM]
     
  3. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #3
    Not that I don't believe you, but I'd love a link to this information.
     
  4. stoid macrumors 601

    stoid

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    #4
    I think that all 465B should be withdrawn altogether and used to fund education, fix the retirement system, and other domestic problems that our fine country is facing at this time.
     
  5. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #5
    If we lived in a peaceful world, that would be nice. But don't you think that we need to defend ourselves? If we stopped funding the military and our allies don't you think that would be an invitation for terrorists and such to do as the please to us? I'm not saying that we don't spend too much because I have no idea how much we spend and how much we really need. I'm just saying, can't we agree that we need to spend something on our nation's defense?
     
  6. diamond geezer macrumors regular

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    #6
    Maybe if you got your armies/noses out of other peoples business, you wouldn't be a target for terrorism.
     
  7. SPG macrumors 65816

    SPG

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    #7
    Our military is around the world to protect our interests. It's just that our interests are economic and not social.
     
  8. Thanatoast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Thanatoast

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    #8
    It depends on how you want to define defense. Gun-toting soldiers are one form of defense. The most popular one, as it happens. Another form could be (in the case of Iraq) providing electricity and water to citizens 24 hours a day. People who have the basic necessities of life are a lot less likely to be pissed off enough to want to fight you. Or sympathize with those who do. Soldiers provide security when the ****'s already hit the fan. Providing utilities prevent the **** from hitting the fan in the first place.

    The numbers I used are for public consumption. You could probably google them and get gov't websites. $450B for the military this year (plus an additional off-the-budget supplement for Iraq after the election, somewhere around $40B). It'll be $200B total spent on Iraq once that appropriation goes through. $15B for foreign aid. I think it's $1-2B for Isreal with the rest spread around, but the only thing I'm sure of is that Israel gets the larges portion. The military and aid numbers were quoted by the UN deputy on world development today on the BBC world service, btw.

    I think congress appropriated $18B for Iraq, of which less than $1B has been spent - learned from various stories over the last several weeks on Yahoo, BBC, and NYT. Dunno which, but those are the ones I read, so...

    Anyway, it seems to me that our enormous traditional military was able to do very little to stop the WTC attack, and can do very little today to stop *any* terrorist attack. Our military is designed, built, and funded to fight major land wars, where the primary goal is the complete dominance and destruction of the enemy and the capture of his land and resources is the result. The world no longer works this way though, and having this giant military that can roll over any country you'd care to name does little to stop a determined suicide bomber on a bus, a plane, in a truck, or even just a crowded corner. Even having armed soldiers posted on every corner will not keep us safe from people who are willing to die for their cause.

    My thought was that most anger with the US comes from dissatisfaction that we are the richest and at the same time, one of the most miserly nations in the world. We give less money to foreign aid (in proportion to our income) than any 1st world nation. People in other countries who have to fight just to eat and survive day-to-day are not likely to look upon us with favor when we bitch about gas for our SUV's climbing past $2 a gallon. In fact, they're probably inclined to want to kick us in the teeth. (I know I would be, though I'd like to think I'd restrain myself)

    More than anything, people want security. Not security against boogeymen, but security in food and shelter. A populace that has a stable food supply, enough shelter for all its citizens, and a working economy will keep a populace pretty much sated. How do you think Saddam stayed in power so long? Even though he was a evil dictatorial prick, he provided these things to his people, and they were fat, dumb and happy enough not to care when things started going crazy. Much like some other countries *cough* US *cough* I could name.

    Again, our military is poorly designed to cope with today's threats. Throwing more money at our military will not solve any problems, as our military cannot solve the problems we face. You don't give money to the baker when you're trying to buy candles. You go to the candle maker. It's time to rethink our strategy for national defense. Peace through superior firepower is outmoded and dangerous in today's world. Let's try something else.

    [Edit]

    from an article on yahoo
     
  9. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #9
    I agree with you. Sorry if I came across as saying I want to build up a major army. There are a lot of intangilbles that go into defense. Maybe we are not proportioning them correctly (I don't have enough knowlegde to say). I just don't think we can stop it all together as anohter poster suggested.
     
  10. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #10
    Check the World Factbook at cia.gov

    It makes for great reading.
     
  11. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #11
    I've been looking over it, and it is a nice resouce. I just don't see the info I'm looking for. I'm going to keep looking, but if anyone knows exactly where to look it up, it would be helpful.
     
  12. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #12
    I found it in under a minute. It's under the category of "Economic aid - donor" and defence is under "Military expenditures - dollar figure"

    The numbers are less in both categories, though, but the data is sometimes from older sources.
     
  13. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #13
    And it IS from the CIA, so take it all with a pinch of salt: you know what their intel is like...
     
  14. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #14
    And so does Dubya...
    Link
    (Emphasis mine, as always.)
     

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