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Global military spending

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  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    This article shows, that we are on the wrong track; both Trump and Cruz wants to even expand our half a trillion waste.

    Global military spending nearly $1.7T amid Mideast conflicts 6 hours ago The Associated Press BY By JON GAMBRELL - Associated Press

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Global military spending rose in 2015 to nearly $1.7 trillion, the first increase in several years, driven by conflicts including the battle against the Islamic State group, the Saudi-led war in Yemen and fears about Iran, a report released Tuesday shows.

    The study by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute also noted that the Chinese expansion in the South China Sea and Russia's annexation of Crimea and support of Ukrainian separatists also accounted for nudging spending up 1 percent in real terms, compared to 2014.

    For weapons manufacturers, the nonstop pace of airstrikes targeting Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria, as well as Saudi-led bombing of Yemen's Shiite rebels and their allies, means billions of dollars more in sales.

    But activists question continued U.S. arms deals to Saudi Arabia as its Yemen campaign has killed civilians, while American fighter jet sales to both emerging military buyer Qatar and longtime ally Kuwait appear stalled.

    The United States, with $596 billion in defense spending, and China, with an estimated $215 billion, led all countries in 2015, the annual report by SIPRI said. Saudi Arabia, however, came in third with spending of $87.2 billion — double what it spent in 2006, according to the report. That fueled the first worldwide increase in military spending since 2011.

    Iraq spent $13.1 billion on its military in 2015, up well over 500 percent from 2006 as it has rebuilt its armed forces following the U.S. withdrawal and rise of the Islamic State group, SIPRI said.

    While part of the U.S. coalition fighting the extremists, Saudi Arabia also launched a war in Yemen in March 2015 to support the country's internationally recognized government after Shiite rebels known as Houthis earlier overran the country's capital, Sanaa. The Sunni kingdom views the Houthis as a proxy of Shiite power Iran, long its regional rival.

    The United Arab Emirates also is taking part in both conflicts and likely has spent billions of dollars to support its military in 2015 as well, though the Stockholm-based institute said it couldn't offer precise figures this year, senior research Pieter Wezeman said. Both the UAE and Saudi Arabia also sent troops into Bahrain to put down its 2011 Arab Spring-inspired protests.

    "This clearly is a reason for these countries to improve their so-called security forces, both to be able to fight against internal uprisings, whether a more-peaceful nature or more violent, but also of course to intervene in neighboring countries," Wezeman, who took part in the report, told The Associated Press.

    But the air campaign waged by the Saudi-led, U.S.-backed coalition in Yemen has been increasingly criticized by human rights activists over civilian deaths. Airstrikes account for 60 percent of the 3,200 civilians killed in the conflict, according to the United Nations, which has criticized coalition strikes that have hit markets, clinics and hospitals.

    Yet arms deals continue, especially from the U.S. Asked about the civilian casualties, State Department spokesman David McKeeby said the United States remained "deeply concerned by the devastating toll of the crisis in Yemen."

    "We have remained in regular contact with the Saudi-led coalition and have reinforced to them the need to avoid civilian casualties and the importance of precise targeting," McKeeby said in a statement. "We have encouraged them to investigate all credible accounts of civilian casualties as a result of coalition strikes — and to report publicly the results of these investigations."

    But both the Yemen war and the fight against the Islamic State group likely will keep arms manufacturers busy into 2016. Companies that may see increased sales include Boeing. Co., General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin Corp. and Raytheon Co., aerospace and defense analyst Roman Schweizer at Guggenheim Securities wrote March 28.

    "We have been bullish for the better part of a year that the Pentagon and its European and (Gulf) allies will have to refill their stocks of missiles and munitions due to the current campaign against ISIS in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and even Libya," Schweizer wrote, using an alternate acronym for the extremist group.

    Meanwhile, President Barack Obama promised America's "ironclad commitment" to back its Gulf allies during a summit last May. In the time since, the U.S. has made $33 billion in arms sales to its Gulf allies, including an $11.25-billion deal with Saudi Arabia that includes four armed warships to modernize its navy, McKeeby said.

    But the Obama administration has been criticized by U.S. Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican, for "failing to live to up the promises" made at the summit by allegedly stalling fighter jet sales to both Kuwait and Qatar.

    "They are languishing on the shelf gathering dust," McCain said at a hearing on March 8. Tiny Qatar in the meantime has signed a deal for 6.7 billion euros ($7.6 billion) to buy 24 Dassault Rafal fighter jets from France.

    Obama will visit Saudi Arabia on April 21 for a meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the UAE. The jet sales likely will be a topic of discussion, as will Iran after its recently implemented nuclear deal with world powers.

    Wezeman said international sanctions against Iran had seen its weapons technology lag behind its neighbors as its military spending dropped by 30 percent between 2006 and 2015. However, he acknowledged regional suspicions likely would keep Gulf military spending strong.

    "Iran is, of course, perceived as an adversary and also wants to be the main player in the region, a country which will potentially use its influence over different proxy groups in the region to destabilize countries," Wezeman said. "Both the expenditure and the armament procurement by states in the Gulf are clearly aimed at kind of keeping Iran in check."

    ___

    Online:

    Stockholm International Peace Research Institute: www.sipri.org

    ___

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    I saw that only 8 people read this; thus this means; that this is a country which hides behind the military expenditure and finds this normal. Hitler would be proud of us.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Dutch -- The article is well written and true. No disagreement with it. I would not agree to your conclusion that "this is a country which hides behind the military expenditure and finds this normal. Hitler would be proud of us." That is an emotional statement made out of frustration. Do not stereotype the entire population based on your observations of a few.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    Dutch -- The article is well written and true. No disagreement with it. I would not agree to your conclusion that "this is a country which hides behind the military expenditure and finds this normal. Hitler would be proud of us." That is an emotional statement made out of frustration. Do not stereotype the entire population based on your observations of a few.

    Sorry, Schmidt; so you deny that this is not a militaristic country, which in expenditure and culture matches or exceeds Hitler's army? Yes, I do stereotype, because try to meet people here, who have not been in the military here or are indoctrinated by it and love it.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Dutch Wrote: Sorry, Schmidt; so you deny that this is not a militaristic country, which in expenditure and culture matches or exceeds Hitler's army? Yes, I do stereotype, because try to meet people here, who have not been in the military here or are indoctrinated by it and love it.

    The vast majority of Americans do not serve in the military. There are roughly 1.4 million individuals currently serving in the military in a country that has more than 300 million people.

    I've met many people in this country who are not indoctrinated by the military. I'm one of them and so are all of my friends. America is a big country. I encourage you to get out of your bubble and have some conversations with people. You might learn that that there are tens of millions of Americans who are level headed and don't watch 24/7 "news" channels all day long.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    jaredsxtn Wrote:
    Dutch Wrote: Sorry, Schmidt; so you deny that this is not a militaristic country, which in expenditure and culture matches or exceeds Hitler's army? Yes, I do stereotype, because try to meet people here, who have not been in the military here or are indoctrinated by it and love it.

    The vast majority of Americans do not serve in the military. There are roughly 1.4 million individuals currently serving in the military in a country that has more than 300 million people.

    I've met many people in this country who are not indoctrinated by the military. I'm one of them and so are all of my friends. America is a big country. I encourage you to get out of your bubble and have some conversations with people. You might learn that that there are tens of millions of Americans who are level headed and don't watch 24/7 "news" channels all day long.

    Jared, you disappoint me; don't we have veterans all over the place? You are talking about who is serving "NOW" Militarism is baked in here since WWII; in this country; may not in Oregon in the bush-bush. Indeed we are lucky that some people here think; but they are not the majority. Ask P.R.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Dutch Wrote: Jared, you disappoint me; don't we have veterans all over the place? You are talking about who is serving "NOW" Militarism is baked in here since WWII; in this country; may not in Oregon in the bush-bush. Indeed we are lucky that some people here think; but they are not the majority. Ask P.R.

    Even if you factor in the surviving veterans from WWII and on 7.3% of Americans alive are serving or have served in the military. That means 92.7% of our current population has never served in the military. That is less than 1 in 10 Americans. I'd hardly call that a "militaristic" mindset.

    I tend to deal with facts and not hysteria. The fact is that the vast majority of Americans alive today have never fought in a war and the vast majority of them won't fight a war in the future.

    I'm not going to ask P.R. anything because he is not a social scientist who studies the ebbs and flows of the average Americans thought processes. This is a diverse country full of beliefs of all kinds. Contrary to your beliefs, not everyone in this country is a sheep who blindly follows the orders of their shepherd.

  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    You don't have to ask, I'm more than happy to share my opinions with you after 73 years of carefully observing society and the people it breeds.

    If you are or ever have served in the US military you are automatically considered a "Hero" by most people and the MSM. They have so dis-valued the word "Hero" that it means and stand for nothing anymore. Your typical red blooded, Christian, white American citizen believes the bigger the flag, the more guns, the more dead enemies the safer we all are. They have NO concept of the reality that we have caused the nightmare they are so afraid of and, in reality, it is nonexistent.

    Americans love the military. The military makes them feel strong, powerful and in control. Of course like the Pro Life phonies who have no interest in a fetus after it becomes a real, living person they couldn't care less about the military veterans when they come home shell shocked, disillusioned and psychologically ruined for life. Money for the VA? Are you nuts? We need more money to build bigger bombs, more drones, battleships, tanks, etc, etc.

    Personally, I would consider any person who even considers joining the military (much less making a career of it) to be a poorly informed and possibly danger to society at best and very possibly psychologically unstable. Of course, I'm in the minority because they typical citizen has no interest in hearing much less knowing or understanding the reality of the military and its supporters.

  • Independent
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    Read Bacevich. He is my go-to on matters of military foreign policy. Of course foreign policy is projected domestic policy.

    there is also an interesting book called "weaponizing anthropology" which looks into the militarization of universities.

    the concept of keeping nation-states in check fails when non-state actors are in play.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    jaredsxtn Wrote:
    Dutch Wrote: Jared, you disappoint me; don't we have veterans all over the place? You are talking about who is serving "NOW" Militarism is baked in here since WWII; in this country; may not in Oregon in the bush-bush. Indeed we are lucky that some people here think; but they are not the majority. Ask P.R.

    Even if you factor in the surviving veterans from WWII and on 7.3% of Americans alive are serving or have served in the military. That means 92.7% of our current population has never served in the military. That is less than 1 in 10 Americans. I'd hardly call that a "militaristic" mindset.

    I tend to deal with facts and not hysteria. The fact is that the vast majority of Americans alive today have never fought in a war and the vast majority of them won't fight a war in the future.

    I'm not going to ask P.R. anything because he is not a social scientist who studies the ebbs and flows of the average Americans thought processes. This is a diverse country full of beliefs of all kinds. Contrary to your beliefs, not everyone in this country is a sheep who blindly follows the orders of their shepherd.

    I repeat: Militarism is baked in here since WWII; it is glorified all the way. Don't tell me that this country is not militaristic! Just by the fact that as my listed story says, we are number one in militaristic spending, so what does that tell you. Furthermore most presidential "candidates" want to expand that even more. Guess who's got the most battle ships on the world seas? What is the cost to operate and maintain those daily? Who are we going to shoot in the Pacific? Go think for a change. Why built an F35 with all kinds of problems for a price tag of 400K, with which you can't even shoot one terrorist. Your numbers are totally incorrect; here in FL they've even made parking places all over for "veterans" only. Every time I shop there are always some people with a veterans hats on etc. Even worse in S.C. Please go and count all the army tags and stickers on cars etc. As well all the from our tax paid adds on TV and all over the place; even adds on stockcars and dragsters. Shaking my head; I guess in Oregon they still have farmers with hayforks and never heard of all our wars.
  • Independent
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    military spending while not the same as militarism is, imo, highly dependent upon militarism. there is a vast disconnect between the public, the military and foreign policy. the military many times wants its toys (programs which were created for the last war and have no use in the next war). the military/industrial/university/congressional complex wants money for those programs while being based upon the concept that every problem is a nail and we need bigger hammers. the public is willingly bamboozled by nonsense of "support the troops" and "you're either with us or you're for the (fill-in-the-blank bogeyman of the moment.)" this is the heart and soul of militarism in the u.s. and we are loaded with it.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    Dutch Wrote: I saw that only 8 people read this; thus this means; that this is a country which hides behind the military expenditure and finds this normal. Hitler would be proud of us.
    Dutch, Not unlike professional boxing. Create a fight and promote it to make money. What better product to have than one that is constantly updated with a guaranteed sale plus it is designed to be a consumable. The pen is mightier than the sword ??? Award goes to the industrial military complex for myth busting.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    pr Wrote:

    You don't have to ask, I'm more than happy to share my opinions with you after 73 years of carefully observing society and the people it breeds.

    If you are or ever have served in the US military you are automatically considered a "Hero" by most people and the MSM. They have so dis-valued the word "Hero" that it means and stand for nothing anymore. Your typical red blooded, Christian, white American citizen believes the bigger the flag, the more guns, the more dead enemies the safer we all are. They have NO concept of the reality that we have caused the nightmare they are so afraid of and, in reality, it is nonexistent.

    Americans love the military. The military makes them feel strong, powerful and in control. Of course like the Pro Life phonies who have no interest in a fetus after it becomes a real, living person they couldn't care less about the military veterans when they come home shell shocked, disillusioned and psychologically ruined for life. Money for the VA? Are you nuts? We need more money to build bigger bombs, more drones, battleships, tanks, etc, etc.

    Personally, I would consider any person who even considers joining the military (much less making a career of it) to be a poorly informed and possibly danger to society at best and very possibly psychologically unstable. Of course, I'm in the minority because they typical citizen has no interest in hearing much less knowing or understanding the reality of the military and its supporters.

    Thanks, P.R. right on; it is totally baked in; the slogan: "This keeps us safe" is a best seller; while we shoot each other every day. What a country.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Dutch Wrote: I repeat: Militarism is baked in here since WWII; it is glorified all the way. Don't tell me that this country is not militaristic! Just by the fact that as my listed story says, we are number one in militaristic spending, so what does that tell you.

    It tells me that it's a huge jobs program.

    The military industrial complex was very deliberate to build factories in small town America. They also made sure that various parts for the same machine were built in separate locations, which maximizes the number of jobs available and makes it harder for politicians to cut. There are also a lot of different machines from Humvee's to nuclear weapons that are made here.

    It's not that those people who work in these facilities are militaristic; they just want a job so they can feed their families and keep a roof over their heads.

    Dutch Wrote: Furthermore most presidential "candidates" want to expand that even more.

    Which Democratic candidate has called for expanding the military budget?

    Dutch Wrote: Guess who's got the most battle ships on the world seas? What is the cost to operate and maintain those daily? Who are we going to shoot in the Pacific? Go think for a change. Why built an F35 with all kinds of problems for a price tag of 400K, with which you can't even shoot one terrorist. Your numbers are totally incorrect; here in FL they've even made parking places all over for "veterans" only. Every time I shop there are always some people with a veterans hats on etc. Even worse in S.C. Please go and count all the army tags and stickers on cars etc. As well all the from our tax paid adds on TV and all over the place; even adds on stockcars and dragsters. Shaking my head; I guess in Oregon they still have farmers with hayforks and never heard of all our wars.

    I hate to break it to you, but my numbers are absolutely correct.

    You are conflating the total military budget with the number of soldiers who are serving or have ever served. You can try to deny it all you want, but only 7.3% of Americans alive today are currently serving or have ever served in the armed forces. You get no argument from me that the military budget needs to be slashed, but at I encourage you to drop the hysteria and look at the facts.

  • Independent
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    jared, yes, the military/industrial/university/congressional complex built plants where they did. there were multiple reasons. access to skilled workers, access to transportation, pork-barrel/earmarks and so on. there was/is a tank plant in warren, mi. the sign out front was a stunning example of bureaucratic military speak "general dynamics land systems division." they made freaking tanks. there was/is a tank plant in lima, oh as well. yes, part of the goal was undoubtedly to make small towns, in many instances, dependent upon the military. of course had the government paid as much attention to the deindustrialization of the country some of those plants and thousands of others might still be here employing people.

    military programs such as the f-35 are even more of a resource drain than the military itself. the creation of weapons that are not used detracts from other industries which can be developed. yes, a military is needed. yes, there must be weapons built and soldiers outfitted and the like. but absent a discussion of how, where, why, and when monies are spent and who profits along with a frank discussion of our projected domestic policies we will see little to nothing done to truly alter the path of militarism in the u.s. militarism both feeds and feeds off of the complex. politicians use militarism to get elected. they use it to frighten people. it needs to be addressed. it likely will not be.