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Cut Down On Nukes To Shave the Deficit

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the but-then-we'd-need-to-spend-more-on-nukes dept.

The Military 369

Hugh Pickens writes "Joe Cirincione writes in the Atlantic that the US government is set to spend almost $700 billion on nuclear weapons over the next 10 years, roughly as much as it spent on the war in Iraq over the last decade. Most of the money will be spent without any clear guidance on how many weapons we need and for what purpose. As long as nuclear weapons exist, we will need some to deter nuclear threats from others, but do we really need to duplicate the entire nuclear triad for another 50 years? 'The Pentagon budget includes funds to develop a new fleet of 12 nuclear-armed submarines with an estimated cost of $110 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Also planned is $55 billion for 100 new bombers, and a new missile to replace the recently upgraded 450 Minutemen III intercontinental ballistic missiles. ... The consensus among military officials and bipartisan security experts is that nuclear reductions enhance US national security,' writes Cirincione. As the Nuclear Posture Review says, 'Our most pressing security challenge at present is preventing nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism, for which a nuclear force of thousands of weapons has little relevance.'"

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What? (0)

geek (5680) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778096)

"The consensus among military officials and bipartisan security experts is that nuclear reductions enhance US national security" citation needed for that.

I can't imagine cutting back while NK and Iran are arming up. Even Hugo Chavez is talking about going nuclear now. How does leaving us at the mercy of our enemies enhance our security? I'd like as much as the next person for nukes to go away entirely, but this Jimmy Carter attitude that the rest of the world is a cute cuddly place is horribly misguided.

Stop Iraq, Libya and Afghan wars. There is your savings and cost reductions. Keep our military strong here at home to DEFEND us.

Wat? (5, Insightful)

janeuner (815461) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778130)

We need a thousand nukes just in case we want to nuke NK and Iran a thousand times?

Wouldn't a hundred times each be enough?

Re:Wat? (0)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778180)

Frankly, at the moment, if I were in charge, I'd be aiming that Islamabad. NK is a crazy insular regime which at most represents a threat to South Korea and China (the latter through millions of starving NK refugees). Iran, this is a major oil-producing country that doesn't even have the capacity to refine sufficient oil for domestic purposes. Pakistan, that's the real threat to global peace.

Re:Wat? (1)

yourdeadin (944000) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778292)

Bingo!

Re:Wat? (3, Insightful)

guybrush3pwood (1579937) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778440)

Pakistan, that's the real threat to global peace.

I bet my watch and warrant that the same applies to the USA.

Re:Wat? (1)

Larryish (1215510) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778778)

Tag: pork

Re:Wat? (1, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778792)

No, the main reason why we haven't had a WWIII break out is that there are to MAD capable nuclear inventories in the world. One in the US and the other with Russia. If you think you need 10 nukes, then you really need at least 30 nukes as you have to have a few extras so that you can deploy them in various places and you need to have a few spares for times when you need to test or service them.

Going much below 2k for the US and 2k for Russia is a really bad idea as it greatly limits the ways in which they can be deployed globally and restricts the possibility of acting quickly enough to prevent a larger attack.

Re:What? (3, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778142)

North Korea and Iran are not the problem. We've got the fly swatters for that. It's China - which isn't a problem militarily now but certainly could be and Russia (or whatever the former CCCP morphs into) with an enormous number of powerful, accurate nucs and a large identity problem.

That said, the premise of TFA is correct - we don't need to spend ALL the money we're currently spending on nuclear weapons, but the hard question is what is a reasonable level and spread.

Slow and steady (3, Insightful)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778314)

It's China - which isn't a problem militarily now but certainly could be

I think you'll find that China has discovered a much easier and more profitable way to conquer the USA. A strategy they've been using successfully against America for 20+ years. They're simply buying the country.

Why bother risk getting nuked when you can simply accumulate debt from your adversary. At some point in the future the amount of american IOUs that China holds will exceed the GDP. After all, America bought Alaska off the Russians, so why shouldn't the chinese simply cash in their markers, for (say) everything west of the Rockies. Some might even be glad to see that bit go.

Re:Slow and steady (1, Flamebait)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778428)

China will not limit themselves to economic weapons.

Re:What? (4, Interesting)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778416)

The amount of nukes around today is just insane. There is no real need for the amount that exists. Keep the nuclear submarines and then have a few land based nukes on ICBM:s and you will have enough.

The only reason why there are so many is because there is a fear that none of them will reach the target before being shot down. However that risk is relatively small.

What you really shall worry about is if a nuke is smuggled into a major port in a container and go off on the ship. That would take out the port for a considerable time.

Re:What? (1)

tommy2tone (2357022) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778646)

The amount of nukes around today is just insane. There is no real need for the amount that exists. Keep the nuclear submarines and then have a few land based nukes on ICBM:s and you will have enough.

If we (The US) were the only country with nukes, I would agree with you. But since Russia also has just as many, and other countries (like China, NK, Iran, and others) are spending so much to develop nuclear weapons of their own, having a large arsenal of them will keep this conflict to nothing more than a war of attrition, which is a war the US is more than happy to fight. The moment we drop the number of nuclear devices in our arsenal, we open ourselves up to attack and there will be nothing to stop these other countries from firing on us.

Re:What? (1)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778774)

Once you can destroy the world why would you need more of them? Let the Russians and Chinese have more, they won't do them any good, they can only bomb the place once anyway.

Re:What? (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36778724)

No, the fear is someone will preempt you and knock out your arsenal before you can do anything about it. I understand a lot of you kids didn't live through the cold war. I get it. Please don't think you understand nuclear strategy based on the "War on Terror."

China and Russia have significant operational arsenals. A whole lot of nations are jealous of those arsenals and very much want to join the club. Our current force level is sufficient to deal with a counter-force strike, which makes MAD sensible. You cut our arsenal too much, you give "the other guy" a sporting chance.

If you think the only "other guy" left is some Arabs in a tent, you're out of your mind. We're all friend and all enemies in this world. The only sensible strategy is to keep us safe and scare away anyone that wants to give us a go. You can get all this for a FRACTION of what we're spending on the rest of the military.

You want to cut military spending? Good. Cut the Army. Stop bombing everyone. Stop nation building. Make it real clear we'll defend ourselves and our allies with our full remaining might. Cheap and effective.

Re:What? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778486)

At least Russia had the good sense to stop building new nukes when there was no money left. The USA just keeps on borrowing more.

That said, the premise of TFA is correct - we don't need to spend ALL the money we're currently spending on nuclear weapons, but the hard question is what is a reasonable level and spread.

In the next ten years? Zero would be a good amount. Economic collapse is a much bigger threat than Korea/China.

Re:What? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778602)

In the next ten years? Zero would be a good amount. Economic collapse is a much bigger threat than Korea/China.

Zero doesn't really work - these are complicated gizmos that don't just sit there. I rather doubt we need the new class of subs and we certainly don't need a new class of bombers. Whether or not we need to replace the Minutemen is more up in the air, IMHO - you just don't keep solid fuel boosters sitting there forever.

Re:What? (4, Informative)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778758)

Actually, the US and Great Britain are both designing new ballistic submarines, with the US's existing fleet being a 35yr old design and the newest 15yrs old. The French started building their new Triomphant class in the late 90's, with their latest entering service just last year. The Russians recently restarted their Borei class with two ships launched, and a third due out next year. The remaining five are postponed, not due to funding cuts, but because they want to redesign it significantly into a new class.

The US is not alone. Everyone, including Russia, is spending money on new nuclear hardware.

Re:What? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36778152)

indeed, north korea and iran, neither of which have operating nuclear bombs, and hugo chavez's talk; that's exactly why we need enough of a nuclear arsenal to destroy the world several times over as well as a dozen brand-new nuclear subs costing 110 billion dollars. to stop hugo chavez's dream of someday going nuclear.

Re:What? (5, Insightful)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778194)

We currently have a stockpile of 5,113 warheads if Wiki is to be believed. We could get away with 1,000. That's more than enough to keep China and Russia scared via MAD. But as far as those other nations are concerned, we only to use *1* warhead EACH. That alone should be enough to inflict serious pain if not total collapse of the nations you mentioned. Just look at Japan. It only took 2. And they were far more dedicated at imperialism than the other nations you mentioned. NK is a joke anyways. Poor SOBs wouldn't dare fire off a nuke, unless "suicide by cop" was what they were after.

Re:What? (3, Informative)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778450)

It did only take 2 to flatten japan, but you do have to compare the square mileage of japan vs Russia or china.
Area of china: 9,596,960 sq km. Area of japan 377,835. To do comparable damage to the same amount of area, as 2 nukes to japan, would be 50 nukes to china (ignoring of course the potential advance in technology potency etc of the nukes themselves). Admitted I would say 1,000 nukes should be enough, we have over 5k and are still working on making more which seems a bit obsessive, we should instead be spending money on say a technology to nueturalize nukes. Imagine the technical advantage of something the equivelent of an EMP field, but rather then eliminating electronics, it renders nukes coming at us inert. May be above our technology range now, but if we took 300 bil out of our nuke production, we could probably do it.

Re:What? (3, Informative)

sheehaje (240093) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778612)

A) You don't need to nuke the whole country. Think if Washington, New York, Houston and LA were hit with 1 nuke each. We would collapse. Same thing with any other country. You hit population, finance, political and military centers, you will fold a country.

B) Nukes today are much more powerful than what we used in Japan. Maybe not as powerful as some tested in the 50's and 60's, but far more powerful than the relatively small ones used on Japan.

Honestly, 500 nukes should be more than enough for any situation. Heck, even 100 is enough. The problem is keeping those hundred nukes safe, spread out, and operational, which is most of the cost whether you have 500 or 5000 nukes.

Re:What? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36778688)

Think if Washington, New York, Houston and LA were hit with 1 nuke each.

I can dream, can't I?

Re:What? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778642)

To my knowledge, it isn't so much as area coverage as it is about decimating entire population centers. That's why cities are targeted exclusively and not open fields of land. Cities are also viewed as part of a nations overall military complex. So it's fair game in warfare. It should also be known that nukes create an EMP already.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36778708)

It took 2 to flatten 2 cities, it would take our entire arsenal and still not cover Japan.

Re:What? (1)

wiggles (30088) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778586)

>unless "suicide by cop" was what they were after.

That's what I'm afraid of, personally. The country is so poor, and so desperate, that I wouldn't put it past them to open up aggressions again on a full scale just because they were completely out of other options to keep their population in check.

Re:What? (5, Informative)

tgd (2822) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778714)

The bombings of Tokyo damaged more and killed more than both nukes combined.

The two nuclear bombs ended the war, not because we vaporized two cities, but because they had no idea how many more we had.

Re:What? (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778752)

Hur dur it only took two nukes to stop Japan! Sorry, as a historian when I see things like this I want to retch. It took four years of hard fighting and millions of casualties on both sides to get Japan to a point where only two nukes were necessary, not to mention that Japan wasn't even in range of nuclear attack in the first years of the war assuming that we could have had the bombs and planes earlier than we did. If both weapons were dropped on Japan in 1942 or 43, it's unlikely that they would have surrendered at that point. It was a combination of the effects of the nuclear attacks with the reality of the imminent invasion of the Japanese mainland after the fall of Okinawa as well as the fire bombings of major Japanese cities in 1945 that in total were enough to tip the Japanese emperor and the military over the edge of surrender (in fact it was the fire bombings, not the nuclear bombings, which were the initial catalyst that started Emperor Hirohito working against the military toward a peace process, see F. J. Bradley's No Strategic Targets Left. "Contribution of Major Fire Raids Toward Ending WWII" p. 38.). It was NOT the nukes alone, nor could it have been.

Re:What? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778834)

And we've already signed and ratified the new START treaty to reduce that number by about two thirds to 1550 nuclear warheads and drastically reduce the number of launchers available.

So, I'm not really sure what exactly you're problem is. You can't just dispose of nukes by detonating them. You have to go through the steps of disassembling them, weapons inspections and dispose of the waste. Even chemical weapons which have been banned for years take time to properly dispose of once they get banned.

You Need to Think About the Two Outcomes ... (2)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778204)

I can't cite any documents off the top of my head but the way I see it (and, no, I'm not an authority) is that we have enough nukes to blow any or all of the countries you listed to complete destruction. So what will increasing this nuclear stockpile do for us? Well, one thing it does for us is gives us yet more things to look after and keep track of. You know when the USSR fell and they were scared about "a couple nukes here or there going missing"?

We've got enough to radiate entire countries, why do we need more? Okay yeah, now Chavez has one or two ... so? Does it matter that we can now blanket his country three times over instead of only once?

but this Jimmy Carter attitude

Seriously? Grow up. This isn't a "Jimmy Carter attitude", unless you associate Jimmy Carter with common sense.

How does leaving us at the mercy of our enemies enhance our security?

How does your Ronald Reagan fear mongering attitude help us? See what I did there? How in the hell does this "leave us at the mercy of our enemies"?

Re:You Need to Think About the Two Outcomes ... (0, Flamebait)

geek (5680) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778302)

Reagan won out the cold war without firing a shot. Jimmy Carter all but left us to the Soviets mercy and pretty much every one elses. Carter wanted to eliminate every single one of our nukes without even having a plan from Russia as to their disarmament. He still wants this. Grow up? You're in fantasy land where communists are nice people, just misunderstood. Never mind the hundred + million they've killed since the 1920's.

The above spending is just to create new nukes. It's to replace older aging ones, as well as create more accurate ones to minimize civilian casualties. It's about bunker busters and targeting systems, upkeep and maintenance.

The only fear monger is you "Oh God we're all gonna die!" Guess what, being well armed is the best means to keep your country safe. Responsible adults know this which is why Jimmy Carter lost in 1980 by epic proportions. But by all means, keep the juvenile fantasy alive that everyone in the world is just misunderstood and America is the great evil because we posses tactical nukes in our own defense.

Nice Attempt at Deflection (2, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778484)

Reagan won out the cold war without firing a shot.

And he also ensured that our future would forever be saddled with debt [wikipedia.org] . Which makes me laugh when I read the end of your original post:

Stop Iraq, Libya and Afghan wars. There is your savings and cost reductions. Keep our military strong here at home to DEFEND us.

Spend more on your military industrial complex than you take in on taxes. THERE is your ensured debt and eventual country-wide bankruptcy. Raise the debt ceiling? Sure why not? We've done it, how many times since Reagan [ritholtz.com] ?

You're in fantasy land where communists are nice people, just misunderstood. Never mind the hundred + million they've killed since the 1920's.

You're in a fantasy land where a large part of today's world population are mass murderers just because they live in a communist society! Put that blame on communist leaders and we'll talk. I rip China apart more than anybody on Slashdot, I don't need to hear you assume that I think they're misunderstood angels. Their leaders are human rights violators but I don't hold the citizens responsible for death. When you nuke a country do you think the leaders are the only ones that get hurt?

The only fear monger is you "Oh God we're all gonna die!"

What in the hell are you talking about? We're trying to have a discussion about possible ways to decrease our spending so we can catch up with the insane amount of debt we've been accumulating. And you totally skirted any indication that you even understand that whether we build a thousand more nukes or stick with our current numbers, the outcome is the same. We could hold the entire world hostage right now if we wanted to just by threatening to detonate all of our nuclear weapons on ourselves and I think it's time to consider that enough force if to increase that means $700 billion.

Re:You Need to Think About the Two Outcomes ... (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778494)

Reagan did jack and squat the USSR was broke and falling apart no matter what we did. Commies not only kill people, but also can't run an economy for shit. Jimmy Carter lost for lots of reasons, some his fault some not, adults know that.

We have enough nukes, no one is saying give them up. Just that we don't need to spend this much on them.

Re:You Need to Think About the Two Outcomes ... (4, Informative)

crawling_chaos (23007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778508)

Jimmy Carter all but left us to the Soviets mercy and pretty much every one elses.

Bullshit. Some of us lived through the period. We were never "at the Soviets mercy." You are entitled to your own opinion about the man, but buddy you are not entitled to your own facts, particularly ones that can only be found on films from your last colonoscopy / ear exam. Must be nice to see one specialist for both, however.

Re:You Need to Think About the Two Outcomes ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36778518)

Wow, it's a good thing you addressed the arguments made in the comment you were replying to. Otherwise I might not have realized that losing track of a nuclear stockpile and nuking Venezuela three times over is equivalent to believing that communists are nice but misunderstood people, and that we're all going to die. Thanks for interpreting the comment, I was questioning my ability to read.

Re:You Need to Think About the Two Outcomes ... (3, Informative)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778652)

This is a relatively looney tune response but I'll bite. No one is saying that Communists are nice people. I mean, Hitler was a very religious guy who thought that Jews killed Christ and therefore he had to kill themâ"but I'm not going to say that all religious people are Hitlers. Hell, the Iranians are very religious people, but that clearly doesn't mean that they're our friends, not by a long shot! The Cold War was won by spending Russia to death. Reagan worked up a gigantic national debt in doing so. Does it seem like a good time right now to pursue that policy?

The argument is that we have many nuclear warheads that we are spending hundreds of billions on. The proposal is that the money spend on keeping these weapons on the ready can be better spent elsewhere. Consider: what are the consequences to our national security if we cut that down to 2,500 nuclear warheads? That's enough to irradiate Russia or China a couple of times overâ"certainly enough to dissuade them from launching a nuclear attack. Does reducing the number of warheads reduce the survivability of our force? Depends, but if we keep the bulk of them deployed on ballistic submarines, they'll likely never be tracked or shot at by any other country in the world.

Does the idea of a nuclear-bomb-equipped bomber or cruise missile seem archaic to you in an age of super-reliable ICBMs based in the sea and on land? The US Air Force accidentally flew nuclear bombs across the US without knowing that the bombs were live. Think about that. How much value is the "bomber" part of the nuclear triad adding? We can lower the number of nuclear bombers and base them around the world for backup, but what makes you think that we must have nuclear weapons at current levels of maintain our national safety?

But hey, let's ignore this, and go all hysterical about even considering lowering the level of nuclear weapons. Because Jimmy Carter is an asshole and Reagan is God. Or maybe because you're delusional.

Re:You Need to Think About the Two Outcomes ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36778456)

The real reason we need so many redundant nukes is that if this ploy by the christians in America to "befriend" Israel in a back-handed "we just want to get on with the rapture, so hurry things up . . . my friend . . ." attempts to fulfill their whacky prophesies don't work, they can bring about armageddon by just unleashing every nuke in existence.

Re:What? (2, Insightful)

Syberz (1170343) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778236)

Woa, woa, woa, relax guy! The US still has enough nukes to turn the whole of Iran into glass and after that they would still have enough left over to turn Argentina into a huge sinkhole; and this is without spending an extra 700 billion.

As for defense of the homeland, a few well placed bunker busters would be quite enough to calm down any saber-rattling nation. Plus, the simple fact of staying home and not meddling would also reduce animosity towards the nation.

I wholeheartedly agree with you that the wars in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan are where the US should cut costs though.

Re:What? (4, Insightful)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778482)

Woa, woa, woa, relax guy! The US still has enough nukes to turn the whole of Iran into glass and after that they would still have enough left over to turn Argentina into a huge sinkhole; and this is without spending an extra 700 billion.

As for defense of the homeland, a few well placed bunker busters would be quite enough to calm down any saber-rattling nation. Plus, the simple fact of staying home and not meddling would also reduce animosity towards the nation.

I wholeheartedly agree with you that the wars in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan are where the US should cut costs though.

You know Chavez is from Venezuela, right? Not sure where the attitude against Argentina came from, but they are some ok dudes... Is your map of South America maybe upside down?

Re:What? (1)

chill (34294) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778666)

Nah, he's Brasilian and is just looking to vent after their implosion at the 2010 World Cup. That, and after watching the walking ego that is Maradona, I'd vote for nuking them just so he doesn't get any more airtime.

Re:What? (1)

Syberz (1170343) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778746)

Woopsies. To err is human in case you didn't know.

Re:What? (3, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778336)

you got nukes. the nukes can't be used against chavez. the nukes are not meaningful against nk's supposed, future, nuclear forces, but tomahawks are. anyways, if usa cut back a little on their corporate benefits for select few companies you could have your nukes and cake too. just giving a check for someone to build "nuke stuff" with no idea of it's use is not the answer. and ICBM's.. well. you can't get any more ICBM than what you are already have done, that's why the nuke race stalled - nothing more to race for after having pictures of nukes that deploy multiple warheads nicely and impossibly to defend. so you're giving xxx billions of money to companies which will build a cheaper version and take more money for doing it.

Re:What? (2)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778394)

"The consensus among military officials and bipartisan security experts is that nuclear reductions enhance US national security" citation needed for that.

I can't imagine cutting back while NK and Iran are arming up. Even Hugo Chavez is talking about going nuclear now. How does leaving us at the mercy of our enemies enhance our security? I'd like as much as the next person for nukes to go away entirely, but this Jimmy Carter attitude that the rest of the world is a cute cuddly place is horribly misguided.

Stop Iraq, Libya and Afghan wars. There is your savings and cost reductions. Keep our military strong here at home to DEFEND us.

Yeah, peace through strength! Amiright? Actually, if you RTFA you would see that the argument goes something like this: If all the big players agree to a NPT, they can all agree to take a strong stance *together* against other countries that don't agree with the NPT. What good is having 3000 nukes instead of 2000 nukes when all your enemy needs is just one to inflict serious damage on your nation? If we don't stand with the international community, we can't expect that our military is going to be able to shoulder policing the whole world for threats until the end of time. We will run out of money way before that happens. Oh wait, we already did run out of money. But can we figure out how to maintain security in a world where our military doesn't outnumber all other nations' combined? Hint: "More is better" is not the answer.

Re:What? (1)

DrData99 (916924) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778400)

Did you read TFA? (oh, yeah right-this is /.)
>>>
The consensus among military officials and bipartisan security experts is that nuclear reductions enhance U.S. national security. As the Nuclear Posture Review says, "Our most pressing security challenge at present is preventing nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism, for which a nuclear force of thousands of weapons has little relevance."
>>>

I'll let you google "Nuclear Posture Review"...

Re:What? (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778452)

We only have a finite amount of money available to spend on the military. Maintaining nuclear weapons is a very expensive process, and when your nuclear arsenal could destroy the entire world multiple times over the question becomes, "Could that money be better spent on conventional weapons, ships, airplanes, etc.?" The majority of military engagements that the US expects to fight over the next few decades are going to be non-nuclear, and we will need plenty of money for guns, ammunition, fuel, vehicles, armor, and all the coordination and planning that a modern military operation involves.

I would read that statement as saying that looking forward, military intelligence analysts believe that the United States is going to be engaged in military operations that call for conventional weapons, guided missiles, drone attacks, and so forth, and that we are spending money maintaining more nuclear weapons than we actually need to remain secure.

Re:What? (2)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778472)

Reducing the size of the American nuclear arsenal would free up a lot of money that can be used to target more present threats. We already have enough nuclear bombs to deter North Korea and Iran even if we cut our arsenal to a tenth of its current sizeâ"the added deterrence of nuked a thousand times versus ten times is not enough to be relevant. But if we get an extra ten billion dollars a year, we can pay down our debt. We can get more UAVs to keep our soldiers out of harms' way. More armored cars to lower their risk to IEDs. The current bulk of the US nuclear arsenal is a relic of the Cold War and is not suited for the threats that currently faces our country.

Re:What? (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778480)

Well, less money spent on nukes means more money spent on something else. Fewer nukes means less chances of one being stolen (might be a small chance, but still it could happen) or sabotage. Less chance of an accident involving radioactive materials. More fuel for nuclear ships. Basically, one you get above the 1,000 nuke point (and we're at 5,000+ ATM) you can already kill basically everyone, even with a fairly high failure rate, so more is actually bad. We kinda needed it during the Cold War because we didn't want the Russians to think they might have had an advantage (possibly preemptively destroying silo's, whatever). Or maybe we didn't, IDK. We certainly don't need it now.

Peace of Attrition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36778534)

What use are nuclear weapons if you can't use them? North Korea can cough up a few nuclear bombs in the next decade, but has no means of deployment. Even if they do manage to get them to some kind of terrorists and actually hit Americans (or anyone outside NK for that matter), would you really want nuclear retaliation? That would be criminally atrocious and atrociously stupid.

The only "enemies" for these kind of weapons are Russia and China. Basically, China and the U.S. are gearing up for WW III, because neither one of them trusts the other not to start it, so they have to make sure they won't loose it alone. But I highly doubt if the U.S. needs to spend a hundred times as much in this "peace of attrition".

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36778628)

Exactly. The DoD 2012 budget request is $670.9 billion [defense.gov] .

This is ripe of someone cutting 10% off the top and extrapolating it to $BIGNUM to make it look good politically. Apples to apples, the DoD budget, if sustained for 10 years, would cost a total of $6,709,000,000,000, 9.8 times as much as this plans to "save" and over 47% of the current national debt. Just because is says the N-word it looks a lot better than it really is. Nuclear defense is cheap. Just how much do you think it costs to house a few thousand ICBMs compared to a few million troops?

Re:What? (1)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778788)

If Hugo Chavez wanted to damage the US, he only needs to cut the oil flow (right now, Venezuelan oil accounts for 10% of US oil imports). Hardly an enemy!

I have a nuclear deficit (1)

slashpot (11017) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778106)

I have nuclear deficit that needs cut down - in my pants

Can they be recycled? (1)

JamesP (688957) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778122)

NASA could use some new RTGs

Medical isotopes are in need as well. Maybe they can come with a small power plant or some process that uses the nuclear material

Re:Can they be recycled? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36778224)

Our nuclear reactors already run mostly off of decommissioned Russian nukes.
http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2017465,00.html

multi-purpose submarines (1)

nido (102070) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778498)

If the US Government is going to build 12 submarines anyways, I think they should be multi-purpose.

A powerplant that can quickly go anywhere in the world could be really useful. I imagined using the navy's nuclear reactors to power bubblers to help the bacteria break down oil in the Gulf of Mexico. The catchy title was To Save the Gulf, Send the Enterprise [sendtheenterprise.org] .

Now the Enterprise isn't outfitted with bubblers, or much else besides the equipment needed for its usual duties of launching airplanes to dogfight with Soviets and bomb stuff, so the proposal wasn't exactly feasible. But some guys at the Naval Research Institute [usni.org] said the idea had merit. Selected comment from the link is blockquoted below...

If the Government is going to spend a billion dollars on new submarines to fight the soviet menace, at the very least they could design in features that would be useful for disaster response... I imagine steam vents that could be attached to external electrical generators, or bubble generators.

Because we don't know when or where the next offshore oil rig is going to blow out...

I think the idea of a large aviation-capable logistics support / humanitarian assistance ship has merit, but do not believe CVN 65 would be the solution, for the reasons stated above, as well as the need to consider that we do not need to spend money on reactor-trained personnel and the Nuclear Propulsion Program overhead unless that capability is truly needed for war-fighting reasons. For this application, I don’t think it is.

If we are going to do this, it probably should be new construction. Such a ship needs, off the top of my head, command facilities, aviation capabilities, a well-deck (to load boats with both supplies *and* with trucks to deliver those supplies in disaster areas), a hospital, and a large storage capability for supplies. The Wasp-class has all this to some extent, so with some rejiggering an addition to that class may be prudent. The America class also has potential, though the well-deck is a really nice-to-have item for disasters (where port facilities may not be in existence and landing supplies across the beach is needed).

If we think the ship during peacetime would be too big to be out there just waiting for the need for a Japan/Indonesia-type rescue capability, just put some oceanography gear on it and map the bottom when it has nothing else to do, so we don’t have another submarine run into a uncharted seamount. I joke, but not overly much. There is potential there. With the well-deck it can also serve as mothership for small PT-type boats for piracy patrols/engagement. It would still perhaps be considered too big, so maybe increased scope for education and scientific research things are also players–as well as helping friendly nations enforce and study their EEZs. Add the Seabees, and we have something else it can do–build things in Africa or Asia or South America as it shows the flag. All these items have been mentioned in the previous post on the subject.

There is no doubt in my mind the ship could be a potent item of statecraft. Especially if we have more than one so that we have a steadily reoccurring presence in South America, Asia, and Africa. Though we may want to rethink the size again. And maybe one would be better, so it was seen as a genuine effort and not “imperialist propaganda”. But then disaster response time becomes an issue. All these are trade items.

In wartime it could serve as a fleet command ship to replace existing units when they decommission, as an aviation-capable escort for the fleet logistics train (in the tradition of CVEs), as an ASW platform, as a logistics ship capable of long range VERTREPs, as well as whatever capabilities it can bring as a dedicated amphibious assault ship augmenting the capabilities of the ARGs (or whatever they are called now). The only debate would be about size.

But overall I still think the concept has merit, and one with enough wartime utility so as to not be a total drain on the ship construction budget.

P.S. Wallace [usni.org] (emphasis added)

Que the navy guy to tell me why this can't work.

Someone has an axe to grind (1)

Dynedain (141758) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778166)

'The Pentagon budget includes funds to develop a new fleet of 12 nuclear-armed submarines with an estimated cost of $110 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Also planned is $55 billion for 100 new bombers

Because those next-generation bombers and submarines can't possibly be used for anything other than nuclear warheads.

Re:Someone has an axe to grind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36778270)

Bombers, sure, but missile subs generally require expensive retrofitting to use the kind of tactical guided conventionally-armed missiles that we actually use in combat rather than ballistic nuclear missiles.

Re:Someone has an axe to grind (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778312)

Because those next-generation bombers and submarines can't possibly be used for anything other than nuclear warheads.

Well, design them for the mission they are needed for.

Re:Someone has an axe to grind (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778444)

Boomers are boomers. You could use them as a very expensive way to launch cruise missles, but that is about it. The Bombers are useful for traditional ordinance though.

Re:Someone has an axe to grind (2, Interesting)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778540)

well the sub force exists largely just to hunt enemy subs(which have nukes) and to deploy revenge nukes. the intelligence work etc doable with them is just related to that. the subs don't exist even for putting up a naval blockade. as far as bombers.. well, you got some nice bombers already and some strike aircraft capable of carrying quite a bit of bombs, the force is big enough even for traditional carpet bombing. but of course with the subs the question is what's wrong with the old subs? that's a national secret, right? I mean apart from the need to run a high tech shipyard industry experiment. but all that sounds like a joke considering that usa doesn't even have those xxx billion dollars.

Isn't this kind of obvious? (5, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778174)

As long as nuclear weapons exist, we will need some to deter nuclear threats from others, but do we really need to duplicate the entire nuclear triad for another 50 years?

That's why continued reductions treaties with Russia are important. Neither country is going to do this themselves. It's not as if both countries aren't actively reducing their arsenals.

Regarding the expenditures on bombers and subs... The thing about those is you need to always be building one or the industry dies. You can build it very, very slowly, but you need to be making one at some minimum rate or you'll lose the huge investment you put into learning to build them in the first place. Aircraft carriers are similar. The problem is that when you do this, your development costs don't get spread out so the cost looks enormous - but you have to spend that money or get out of the sub/airplane/ship business altogether.

There's an argument for that, but I don't think we're ready to give up our military power just yet.

Re:Isn't this kind of obvious? (1)

Atmchicago (555403) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778810)

That's a fair point about not losing our know-how. But then why build 12 submarines and 100 bombers? Why not 2 and 20?

That's dumb. (1, Interesting)

tmosley (996283) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778208)

That's just dumb. If you want to smash, rather than shaving the budget, you would buy more nukes, and nuke delivery systems, and withdraw all the troops we have stationed everywhere. We'd save a trillion dollars a year. You could use the proceeds from that to fund universal health care and a dozen missions to Mars. Or, you know, pay down the debt. Whatever.

Re:That's dumb. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36778410)

I believe history tells different story.

USA is going to have more troops, more nukes, more army all over the place in order to keep every nation on this globe in their place. No dollar will be saved on military, mind my words...

How else are they going to push China or Russia into another arms race / cold war ? War on terror is not enough, but any kind of fear is very very good way of keeping your own population in control. Just as one Serbian military doctrine says: "Enemy is not know, but it is present!"

Irony (1)

sweatyboatman (457800) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778706)

That's just dumb.

Good Point... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36778214)

... we don't even USE them. So why bother having so many of them? Especially if they cost so much...

Decommission costs? (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778222)

I know a lot of the man power and costs is in keeping the weapons viable for use, but what would the cost to decommission them be? You cant just let them sit on the shelf, they have to be maintained or taken apart.

Recycle anyone? (1)

lostmagik (776421) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778244)

Currently the way weapons are built they cannot be used as fuel for powerplants due to the isotopes specific to weapons. They should make those weapons become fuel and cycle through the nuclear repertoire and be done with it.

Left Out Reliability (4, Informative)

coolmoose25 (1057210) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778266)

One of the big expenses is the reliability of the nuclear arsenal. Nuclear material is hot - radioactive - and that means it's also "disappearing" as it decays. Triggers, main charges, and other elements of a nuclear warhead do age and this needs to be addressed. We've done a lot of work with computer models since we're no longer willing to test fire any of these weapons, even underground. But this only goes so far, and if you ARE going to rely on those computer models, then you HAVE to make sure that what was modeled is actually what is IN those warheads. If we don't do this, it won't matter how many missiles and warheads we have. They won't be viewed as a credible threat if we can't show that they'll actually work. And all of this is in support of the strategy of deterrence, which seems to be our only strategy so far, since we're not willing to forcibly stop proliferation. Whether deterrence is even a viable strategy going forward is certainly up for debate. But I can tell you this. If North Korea or Iran end up nuking us somehow, we damn sure better be able to flatten those countries, or else we should get used to the idea of getting periodically nuked.

Re:Left Out Reliability (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36778732)

This is bizarre. Do you imagine the failure rate of the US nuclear arsenal would be great enough to entice an attack. In fact uncertainty of the state of the US nuclear arsenal seem likely to enhance its effectiveness as a deterrent.
Incidentally Pakistan and Israel seem to have credible nuclear capabilities without spending a fortune.

The Cut Downs have already happend. (4, Informative)

the_raptor (652941) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778274)

WTF do people think all the START things are? It stands for STrategic Arms Reduction Treaty. The US and Russia have been cutting back their arsenals for more than twenty years. The reason there is huge upcoming expenditures being budgeted for is because the US nuclear arsenal is pretty much late 1980's vintage. Nuclear warheads don't stay viable forever, and planes and submarines wear out. Most of the expenditure is going to be on the planes and submarines, not Nuclear warheads, and those planes and submarines have non-nuclear warfare use

The B-52 was designed as a nuclear bomber, but has probably dropped more conventional ordnance then all other aircraft combined ever. Most SSBNs around the world have been adapted to be capable of firing either non-nuclear IMRBM or non-nuclear cruise missiles. They aren't just sitting under the ice with a cargo of nukes waiting for the Russkis to push the button.

The expensive thing isn't nuclear weapons, it is launch platforms and manpower. If you start cutting those heavily you may as well cut the carrier fleets and a few army divisions as well and accept not having the ability to fight three different wars at once.

Re:The Cut Downs have already happend. (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778492)

But most of what they've "cut" was just decommissioning obsolete designs, while creating newer, more accurate, and more powerful weapons.

Re:The Cut Downs have already happend. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36778754)

But most of what they've "cut" was just decommissioning obsolete designs, while creating newer, more accurate, and more powerful weapons.

You have no idea what you're talking about. Peacekeeper was the most advanced ICBM ever deployed -- nevertheless, it was chosen for decommisioning and the last one was retired during the GWB administration. The only ICBM type remaining in US silos is now the Minuteman III, which was designed in the 1960s. Furthermore, those that remain have been de-MIRVed down to a single warhead apiece.

Hey! (2)

crow_t_robot (528562) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778284)

Let's keep arguing about cutting Medicare and Social Security benefits while this $700 billion dollar waste of cash silently slips by!

The distraction is working.

Re:Hey! (1, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778356)

Yes, a whopping $700 billion per decade. Wow. Why, at $70 billion per year, it'd only take about 107 years before we've saved as much as we spent on all those failed stimulus packages and bailouts! And it would only take about ten years to save as much as we spend in a single year on the social programs you mentioned.

Yes, why make big meaningful cuts, when we can make a trivial one that looks good on the evening news?

Of course, we should cut everywhere we can, but let's stop being pussies about this. Cut these extra nukes. Cut military spending. Cut social security. Cut whatever the fuck has to be cut to bring spending down to an amount lower than revenue. Period. There's no way to make cuts that will be painless to absolutely everyone, so let's stop bullshitting ourselves about "well, we can't cut this, because all those government employees will be out of a job" and "now muh gramma gonna have to choose between her tv dinners and her medication durp durp".

Re:Hey! (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778580)

We can also increase revenue. We have the lowest taxes on the richest folks we have ever had, perhaps it is time they pitch in just a little.

Re:Hey! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36778756)

50% of Americans don't pay federal income tax.
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Nearly-half-of-US-households-apf-1105567323.html?x=0

Who do you think is paying?

Re:Hey! (1)

Spigot the Bear (2318678) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778648)

"now muh gramma gonna have to choose between her tv dinners and her medication durp durp".

Well I'm glad you can derive some amusement from the poor and elderly being deprived of healthcare and basic dignity, just so Thurston Howell III doesn't have to pay his fair share of taxes.

well (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778286)

Resources are diminishing, and some nuclear powers have an rapidly expanding population of young men.

So, that is something to keep in mind when discussing military issues.

Re:well (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778500)

The concept of MAD isn't going to go away anytime soon. So think about this. If we cut down on nukes, they will be replaced via biological agents. I'm not saying just the US, but other nations will do the same if they haven't already started to stockpile.

US need more nukes... (0)

dooode (1134443) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778300)

to save itself from Canada, Cuba and Mexico !! And yes some 10,000+ aren't enough.

VOTE! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36778326)

Just a reminder, that in order to FIX our government you will need to vote REPUBLICAN next year. Let's review:

Republicans will fix this nation! DEMOCRATS ARE AND WILL CONTINUE TO FUCK IT UP!

How much of that is nuke-dedicated? (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778330)

Subs - Even boomers have quite a few uses other than flinging nukes.
Aircraft - Same thing. The B-2 has been successfully used in many conflicts, none of which were its original design purpose (penetrating Soviet airspace with a nuclear payload)
Missiles - OK, hard to justify that one unless the article is missing something (like the missile being derived from an orbital launch vehicle, or developed with orbital launch as a secondary capability)

We've got more than enough bombs, but as delivery systems age, they need to be replaced. In many cases, the replacements can be more multipurpose than the units they replace.

Re:How much of that is nuke-dedicated? (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778422)

Subs - Even boomers have quite a few uses other than flinging nukes.

I should hope so, they've been around for decades, cost billions and have never actually fired a missile in anger.

Re:How much of that is nuke-dedicated? (1)

Sir Realist (1391555) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778720)

Actually, I'll bite. What else do you use a nuclear submarine for?

Re:How much of that is nuke-dedicated? (1)

goodmanj (234846) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778828)

Subs - Even boomers have quite a few uses other than flinging nukes.

No they don't. Sure you can fire cruise missiles out of them, but a guided missile cruiser does a better job at 1/5 the price.

Aircraft - Same thing. The B-2 has been successfully used in many conflicts, none of which were its original design purpose (penetrating Soviet airspace with a nuclear payload)

And coincidentally, the aircraft leg of the nuclear tripod is the weakest. B2s are hard to shoot down, but not as hard as a ballistic missile. And the B-1s and B-52s still in service are a complete waste of time.

Missiles - OK, hard to justify that one

So basically, the only kind of nuclear weapons platform that's useful for conventional warfare is the one that's least useful for nuclear weapons.

Easiest way to save money (3, Interesting)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778332)

Look at your biggest expenditure and start shaving it off bit by bit. That gives you the best return for the least amount of pain - And in the US that would be 1% off the militaries budget equating to many more % off someone else's budget. However the US is very conflicted about its military and how it uses it, and how much is actually needed ("we aren't the worlds police, but we can't not play that role"). But the population in general seems to equate military spending with greatness ("we can't let those god damned commies/terrists/gays/foreigners sneak up on us, like they did last time") so I can't see then ever agreeing to cut military spending.

Re:Easiest way to save money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36778674)

Look at your biggest expenditure and start shaving it off bit by bit.

That would be Social Security and Medicare. Enjoy having your benefits shaved.

It makes sense. (0, Flamebait)

nege (263655) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778362)

"Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." - Isaac Asimov

If the US can't be the most powerful economically, it will attempt to retain its power through the military.

Re:It makes sense. (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778566)

The fall of the Soviet Union happened because its economy collapsed, and thus so did it's military might. In that order. In fact, it collapsed because they over exerted itself on military expenditures.

Helps, but won't solve the proble alone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36778370)

That works out to be a around 5.8% of this years annual deficit. Further military cuts will be required to make any meaningful cuts to the deficit.

Most of it not spent on nukes (5, Interesting)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778412)

There are a lot of pockets to line before any of that money actually turns into rocket fuel.

Ah "the atlantic" (0)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778460)

Need anything more be said?

Even if they make a valid point (as this one seems to be) I find myself looking for the ulterior motive...

Sell them? (2)

SleepyHappyDoc (813919) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778520)

Why don't they sell a few of them? I'm sure they could find a buyer in Iran or North Korea, and I bet they'd pay a lot.

"as long as nuclear weapons exist"???? (2)

mark-t (151149) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778614)

So, like... they mean, forever then?

Because let's face it... there's not a chance on this earth that every nuclear power going would just up and dismantle 100% of their nuclear arsenal. It wouldn't matter what we were facing... no disaster, no common threat... nothing.

I mean, I suppose if some disaster comes along and we end up getting obliterated entirely (not merely facing inevitable extinction, but actually ending up that way), there's a good chance that the threat of nuclear terrorism could be eliminated along with our species...

Until then... however... it ain't gonna happen. Of this, I am certain.

Eisenhower (5, Insightful)

sunfly (1248694) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778630)

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron." ~Dwight D. Eisenhower "The problem in defense is how far you can go without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without." ~Dwight D. Eisenhower Eisenhower was a great Republican, 5 star general, Supreme Commander, from the midwest with a lot of common sense.

Happy 66th minus one day. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36778676)

Thanks to dozens of Nobel-winning physicists, hundreds of physicists and engineers and thousands of unsung heroes for changing the world, 66 years ago tomorrow.

Take a chunk out of military spending, but... (1)

Sir Realist (1391555) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778692)

Do be aware that that has impacts on the economy. Strangely enough, we build a lot of our military hardware in the US. Just stop buying it, and an awful lot of US jobs go out the window. And then those unemployed people stop buying VCRs and houses and fast food...

I'm not saying its a reason to not cut the military budget - it isn't. For one, if we're going to keep people employed by dumping tax dollars into an industry, I can think of a few I'd rather pick than Killing People. But if we're going to stop spending all those dollars in the first place, which is the only way to pare down the deficit, we might need to spend _some_ of the dollars we save trying to create jobs to replace the ones we remove.

Military Industrial complex - KNOCK IT OFF... (2)

3seas (184403) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778744)

Former presidents have warned us of such abuses of the Military Industrial Complex.
Today the M.I.C has been painting itself into a smaller and smaller corner of which they cannot get out of without getting the wet paint of their lies all over themselves... and here is why...

Population growth has a way of pressuring social change. It happened in what is described in metaphorical terms as the tower of babel, which is more and event happening around the world, each growing society in its own time. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_of_Babel [wikipedia.org] -n Julian Jaynes explains it as the break down of the bicameral mind to that of more than just awareness but consciousness. The use of higher level abstractions, introspection, the first recorded suicides, and the wrongful use of abstraction was discovered a tool of deception.

The next event of social change was of moving from a limited mathematical symbol set of the roman numerals to the easier to use and more powerful Hindu Arabic decimal system with its zero place holder. the idea of nothing (the abstraction of zero) can have value was hard to comprehend.

Today we are at another threshold of change due to population growth and communication technology.

Of the near 7 billion people on this planet its becoming realized that its some fraction of 1% messing things up for the rest of us. Its becoming clear there are those who are psychologically unfit to command anyone. Verifiable psychopaths who pursue the increase in the military industrial complex with such tactics as invading a country base on a unverified claim and media hype and in the process killing over 100,000 civilians. Thsi done in teh name of protecting the freedoms of Americans while the same excuse is then being used by these psychopaths to strip teh very freedoms they claim to protect, away from Americans.

Now if another country came to the US and killed 100,000 American civilians, would we hate them? Of course!!

And this is how the psychopaths, like drug addicts, try to verify and validate their disease. Making enemies, not friends.
But today the mass majority of the population knows, all but these few, share in doing the same daily things called living...
Efforts like Wikileaks only helps to expose the dillusions of power these few have and how sick they really are.
Money is an abstraction. We do not need it to be productive, we only need man power, knowledge and natural resources, of which we have plenty.
Knowledge begets knowledge and waring knowledge begets more waring knowledge... and like wise, productive knowledge begets more of its own...

The waring mindset is going to destroy itself...

We *could* reduce military spending.... (1)

paulsnx2 (453081) | more than 3 years ago | (#36778800)

.... But the industrial military complex would not get the money they they have grown accustom to. Republicans are all for cutting government spending until you really are talking about cutting government spending. And not that the Democrats disagree. They are all on board, because we are talking serious campaign cash here.

The fact is that there is no justification for the level nuclear and conventional forces we are paying to maintain now. We should be building down, and maintaining enough nuclear weapons to serve as a deterrent. We have to have perhaps even the best military technology. But the idea that we have to spend at these levels to be safe is hugely over blown. China needs us as a market. Their nuclear arsenal should be counted as protecting us. Same with Europe. Asia's Industrial giants (like Japan, S Korea, etc.) can also be counted on for conventional deterrents, if not nuclear. All these countries are safe, and not spending at the percentage of GNP nor in absolute dollars the way we are. Why? Because they don't have to, and neither do we.

We can reduce our military expenses across the board. It is great to invest in technology, and even in military infrastructure. But there isn't any point in having a great defense if we collapse under the debt required to construct and maintain a huge military. And many, many people (esp. Republicans) argue that it is this outcome, of allowing their military to destroy our economy, that brought down Russia.

Why do we think we are immune?

Cut expenses. If you don't want to cut services, and you don't want to raise taxes, then cut the military.

Is this really that hard to understand? Why doesn't the public wake up to the common sense of this? What does the military have to do, wire tap young murdered girls before anyone cares?

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