English II Honors
Whats Wrong With The Military Budget?
The cold war is over so we dont need to spend so much money on the military, many people say after the military budget grows each year. That is an understandable statement to say, backed with much evidence of misuse in the government. Money in the military is sometimes used on useless things that just cost an incredible amount, but serve no practical use. The budget needs to cut back in certain areas such as buying new weapons and researching new weapon technologies.
The current military budget is approximately $291 billion dollars and that is not even enough to satisfy what the military requests, which is $305 billion dollars(http://www.clw.org/pub/clw/ef/dodbud01.html). The fact that the new President is increasing the military budget, by some 3 billion dollars and more to come later in his presidency, is almost shocking(CNN News). The military does not need more money, as much as they need to reallocate the money they are currently spending. For instance plans are being drawn up to update out dated weapons with new technologically superior ones. These include buying close to 1,200 RAH-66 Comanche attack helicopters at a cost of $48 billion and 339 F-22s at a cost of $63.8 billion (the stealth technology that makes these planes so expensive will be out of date in a few years)( http://www.clw.org/pub/clw/ef/behindnumbers/d10t12.html). A self-propelled howitzer, the Crusader, is being developed at a cost of $13 billion and when development is complete the army plans to purchase 440 of them at an unknown price(http://www.clw.org/pub/clw/ef/behindnumbers/d10t12.html). The president has requested $4.377 billion for fiscal year 2001 for the CVN-77 Nimitz class carrier, being the eighth one in our Navys fleet(http://www.clw.org/pub/clw/ef/behindnumbers/d10t12.html). To add to the carriers construction, a small fleet has to be built to protect it, the ships included are several cruisers and destroyers and often an attack submarine, plus other refueling and maintenance ships. Another attack submarine is being built at a cost of $13.1 billion, in order to preserve submarine manufacturing skills at Groton, CT(http://www.clw.org/pub/clw/ef/behindnumbers/d10t12.html). Lastly, the LHD-8 Wasp Class Helicopter Carrier will begin construction this year for $1.5 billion(http://www.clw.org/pub/clw/ef/behindnumbers/d10t12.html).
The numbers and money involved are overwhelming, but do we really need all this? We currently have the most powerful military force in the world with the most technologically advanced weaponry. So why are we spending even more money to improve our forces? Most of its politics, adding to the pork they say in Washington. Pork is a term in which military projects are assigned to private weapon developers so that they will create many jobs in the surrounding communities. In turn those weapon developers contribute vast amounts of money to the political campaigns of the congress people who voted for bills that would give contracts to them.
If the Military would cut back in unnecessary usage of the budget, that extra money can be spent elsewhere, in places that will benefit the taxpayer. This money could be put into social programs such as social security, education, and health care. The defense industrys defense is that many jobs would be lost if such massive contracts werent around. But the truth is if the money were to be reinvested in education and health care those jobs wouldnt be lost, but instead recreated in other more important and more productive fields.
Another reason for the cut in the militarys budget is to promote peace and not war. Currently billions of dollars are spent on weapons of destruction. How does this promote peace? It only provokes it. True our nations superior militaristic capabilities deter some countries from attacking, with the fear of not standing a chance against us. And so this brings peace, but what sort of peace is this. Resentment grows in countries that have no chance in battle with the USA. This sort of peace is what I call instilling sheer fear in our enemies. This creates resentment, fueling radicals that can do damage to our country in non-orthodox ways, such as terrorist acts. What our country should do is spend more time on the diplomatic tables, preventing wars from happening in the first place and not just stepping in once they happen. This would save many lives as well as a vast amount of tax payer money that could be used elsewhere.
The above reasons for cutting back on the military budget are important, but this reason out weights the pervious. This reason is the obvious misuse of the funds provided by the budget, by congresspersons and military officials, to receive certain rewards from weapons developers and producers. Stated before were the completely unnecessary projects that cost unbelievable amounts of money serving no use to the security of the nation. Purchasing all those new weapons of destruction was just a ploy to get contribution from the weapons industry and give jobs to the people of the home state of certain congress people. The most notable example of this is the fact that Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott has ordered a helicopter carrier ship to be built in his home state of Mississippi. There are other examples of this, numerous ones, in which congresspersons get contracts for businesses in their home states to gain the voters approval. This is an awful big waste of resources since a lot of these projects are unneeded by any part of the military. The congresspersons are just wasting our countrys money in order to receive contributions and votes. For what they cannot get extra funds from congress the military takes away from areas that already lack resources. This being the readiness of our forces, meaning the training of our troops, giving them a good salary, providing them with adequate housing, and most importantly keeping them well supplied incase of an emergency. Congress officials drive to get more money for the budget saying that there isnt enough money to improve the readiness of our country. When they get that extra funding they quickly set most of it aside to build more weapons. They are not thinking of the future prospects, just immediate goals that would gratify them.
My final reason for cutting back on the military budget is that all the new planes, helicopters, submarines, and carriers are not needed since we are already superior to every nation on the planet. Why put so much money into weapons development and production when what we currently have at our disposal is much more superior that what our enemies have and even our allies. In fact we put so much money into our military budged that we close to double the combined budgets of our allies, and more then eight times that which all our enemies have combined. What is the reason for having such a large budget when everyone else combined doesnt even contend with ours? Also, currently the United States is prepared to fight two wars almost simultaneously from two different sides. This has been a long standing policy that is out of date. There is no point in that either since future wars will most likely be fought elsewhere and not on our own soil with the latest technological weaponry. The possibility that a superpower will rise and compete with us is small, if it does occur it would take another two decades for a country to catch up to us, a country that is well developed already.
To conclude, cutting the militarys budget and reallocating current resources needs to be done so that our countrys military doesnt become overwhelmingly corrupt. With that money education, social security, and health care could receive extra funding. With a smaller budget, that focused less on weapons development, we would be promoting peace and not war thorough out the world. Also the way the budgets funds are handled are profoundly misused in the wrong areas, cutting back on areas that do need the resources. And finally our military is already the best so it does not need to put so much into increasing its militaristic power because there is no one who can oppose us. This idea needs to have action taken upon it or things will not change and will get worse from now on.