Sorry you can't tell the difference between starting a war needlessly and trying to fix a mess that someone else had caused. Looking back, we can say that Vietnam is another one of those that we should never have gotten into. But Johnson actually fought in WWII. Unfortunately he thought the new concept of Hueys ferrying troups would actually make a difference and do what the French could not. That's the problem with getting new military capabilities. The generals want to test them. At least back then there was the fear of the Domino Theory. Apparently President W just wanted to "spread democracy" into the Middle East.
DoD continues to generate alot of spinoff technologies. Just like nature - one animal or plant comes up with a better mouse trap and then the mouse adapts with a way to evade it. Apparently it's been going on for eons, I don't remember what day it started. Humans haven't moved off that evolutionary path much.
War among modern nations has become to costly in lives and material. Having hundreds or thousands of friendlies (civilian or uniformed) die in one day is not acceptable as a cost of war anymore. So unconventional warfare with State-to- non-State entities (supported by other states) has become the means of proselytizing your religion, democracy, authority, ...
All that being said, why do we spend so much on anti-terrorizm when >750,000 people die from being cared for in a hospital care. If we did nothing to stop terrorism since 2001 would the that many people have died. Probably not. But it's not in human nature or the democratic government of this great republic to stand by and let someone give us a bloody nose.
Our civilian congress needs to control and guide the military adequately and generally that is done with the checkbook (I'm a veteran). Your congressman is the key, but few are brave and independent enough make a difference.
Zippy said it very well. As General, Presidential Eisenhower saw the horrors of war. No doubt that is why before he left his second term, he warned of the military-industrial complex. It's well worth reading what he said. By having less arms, we are in danger of having a balance of terror, which would unsettle a lot of Americans. But is not being vastly superior a bad thing? It would cause us to pause long and hard before getting into any armed dispute. Instead we have draft evaders like President W and Dick Cheney who never personally engaged in combat thowing away precious lives just to show the world what "Shock and Awe" looks like. How many of our young men and women's lives have been shattered by their misadventures? Anyone who thinks being a great military power is so great can look back throughout history to see why seemingly dominant countries and empires flame out. I found the decline of Sparta most intriguing. They ran out of fighting men!
Ah yes, the good old "beat your sword into a plow" utpoia. Go ahead. The barbarians of the world will then come and take your plow, your cow, and your life! Contrary to your belief, the reality is men are not peaceful creatures. Civil society only exists because we choose to organize and enforce rule of law. Take away the rule of law and you get the lawlessness you described. Doesn't matter how they are armed. History has abundant proof!
My second amendment rights are all the safety I need at home!
I have problems with making guns, bullets and bombs. Much of our growth is predicated on the military industrial complex. The problem with making these items is that you have to use them up to make more. This forces us into more involvement in war and supporting more wars.
I would rather see real growth in this country not based on arms. We need peace in the world and the proliferation of arms only supports war. It does not make us safer, even at home.
Guatemala has really suffered from the amount of guns dumped into the country by the US to combat the supposed guerilla insurection in the 1980s. the war ended in 1996 but all the arms left inthe country made it a much more lawless place, and it is still suffering.
I would rather not have any 'stimulus' by the government. However, defense spending is defined as one of their constitutional duties, whereas the massive entitlement state is not. If you eliminated entitlements from federal spending, we would probably not be having this conversation.
As for our military's preparation you are correct. We are the big dog on the block and are just trying to protect our lead. We could probably do with less, but with the social engineering that has killed our military capability on the personnel front; we need every technological advantage we can get!
And I'll somewhat agree with your last point - When you have cool toys; you want to use them! With a lack of moral and ethical leadership, which we suffer from, there is the danger of the arbitrary use of power.
Oh, they have lots to show for it all right. The work on Virginia approaches to the new Wilson Bridge on the south side of the beltway was positively glacial in its progress. They must have taken six years to 'finish' that portion.
Then, they widened the beltway but just to be sure traffic would still be as bad, they now charge you for the privilege of driving on those two extra express lanes. Just feels like a bald face money grab, gasoline taxes be damned.
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