Why the US need a big military, and keep using it.

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Zylark, May 7, 2011.

  1. The basic premise is simple. If the right people do not have the biggest stick, the wrong people will.

    So who do one want poking their big stick around? Of the available options, seeing as Europe can't agree on the price of cheese, much less foreign policy, the US do seem to secure much of what we like to call comfortable living.

    If only by parking a carrier task force at strategic places.

    The US military creates a certain stability in places where such is not a given without outside infuence. You may call that imperialistic if you want, but so what.

    So far, its kept Taiwan from beeing invaded by China. It's made sure South Korea have prospered beyond anyones imagination. And let us not forget how it essentially created and secured the European post-war affluence, as opposed to the destitude and totalitarianism on the other side of the iron-curtain.

    Not saying the US is perfect in its foreign adventures. But I am saying that the Soviets would be much worse. The Chinese as per today would be much worse.

    I know there are dreamers, that think a world without major powers is feasible, and that we can all live in peace and harmony. A nice dream for sure. But in reality, it is now as it have alway been.

    Whoever got the biggest stick wins.

    And if the right people do not wield that stick, the wrong people do...
  2. please.. explain.
  3. i see nothing about oil or money in your post..

    do these wars and occupations have anything at all to do with those things?
  4. Kylesa seems to be the ultimate anti-neocon. Zylark is expressing some neoconesque type justifications for the U.S.'s foreign policy. I'd like to hear his counterpoint as well, though.
  5. yeah i wanna hear what he has to say.. only because he probably shares my thoughts, and is way smarter than me... which will make for a better argument.

  6. Honestly, I think it's a tough argument to make, and Kylesa has his work cut out for him if he wants to avoid to oversimplified generalizations that most America bashers tend to resort to. I'm not siding with the neocons here, but when you lay it out like Zylark has, it's hard to explain why he's wrong. In fact, he may be right, but the end does not always justify the means. It becomes a question of morality and ethics.
  7. #8 Zylark, May 7, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2011
    We take for granted our little freedoms. To speak our mind, to think what we want, to go outside the box. To create something new, think something new. Celebrate progress rather than indulge in picking off the temporary profits of regress.

    As it happen, our collective prosperity is entirely dependant upon a system of free trade and free inquiry. Like it or not, money, that is where betting on progression go, ventures where new ideas meet new markets.

    You can not plan progress. That is where non-market ideologies fail. Progress happen by free people doing what free people do, innovate. Others just imitate. At best.

    And so far, the US is the ONLY world (imperialistic even) power that have not imposed a totalitarian government. Quite the contrary. As far as possible, the US have strifed for liberal means of government.

    Not always possible during the Cold-War, but then again, then as now, better our bastards are in power than their. Realpolitics is not quite dead yet.


    Yes. Strategic resources is the most imperative consideration in any societies list of things to secure. So yes, US involvement in the middle east is by no means idealistic. As long as the west is dependent upon oil, the west will do its best to have the biggest stick in the middle east.

    An embargo is no longer feasible. The Saudies depend on the US to stay alive. We may have trouble with Iran, or now even Egypt, but that is managable. It is not as if _ANY_ middle eastern nation got anything to threaten our interests when push come to shove.
  8. Military industrial complex hasn't gone wrong, why stop?
  9. Indeed. It is why you and I communicate on the internet ,originally the Darpanet, a US military little invention, by means of computers something the brits came up with, at least of the electronic digital kind, during WW2.

    Then you got stuff like Jets, ER medicine, Moon-landings...

    Basic fact is, necessity is the mother of invention. And like it or not, we thrive on competition. And here in the west, inventions of any kind should not take into consideration that killer of innovation; political correctness.

    We learned that lesson with Gallileo. He was right. The political correct was wrong. But it was Gallileo who got punished...
  10. Let me start off by saying that with your initial question and further commentary on the Soviets, you seem to be creating a false dichotomy. Even without the United States occupying countries around the world, the Soviet Union would've still collapsed.

    The people holding the biggest stick don't always win. The world isn't something that you can control by force. Arguing that the US is better than the Soviets doesn't make their occupations of various countries the most desirable situation possible.

    I would also like to note that you are making an argument from history and while historical examples are nice, times can change and a lot has changed since the 1960s. Also, I don't think that the US could stop China from taking over an island like Taiwan, especially now. They're dependent on us, but we are also very dependent on them. Going to war would be stupid for either country no matter what China does to Taiwan.

    Occupying dozens of countries around the world makes Europe, Taiwan, South Korea, and the United States safer than if they weren't? What about the rest of the world? You realize that most of the population of the world does not experience what I like to call "comfortable living." The US armed forces (and armed forces in Europe as well) have been known to create instability in order to benefit themselves. I could give many examples of this, some of which I'm sure you're already aware of.

    The US federal government is not some group of do-gooders who go around the world saving innocent women in children while feeding, clothing and providing clean water to the world. Just because the United States was better than the Soviets doesn't necessarily mean that the United States needs to occupy dozens of countries throughout the world, especially now that the Cold War ended over 20 years ago.
  11. I disagree with the original post. The United States military expenditure accounts for 47% of the world's military expenditure. Maybe that is the point you're making, I don't know. The point that there has to be one country that has the largest military and spends the most on it. But what exactly gives the US the authority to have the largest military? The US government are a bunch of corrupt criminals run by corporate interests. It's what got us into Iraq, and we are still pouring billions into Iraq. We are pouring billions into Afghanistan, and for the past 10 years it did not look like it was going to start to pay off until what recently happened.

    I don't think it is safe to have a highly militarized country.

    The Japanese Empire once spent 55% of the tax revenues on its military. The Empire fell. They don't have a military, only an emergency defense force, and a constitution that prevents war. And look at Japan now. The most technologically advanced nation.

    The German Empire spent once spent 43% of tax revenues on the military. The German Empire suffered a similar fate that of Japan's.

    The British Empire spent 39%. This is when they owned half the world, and their imperialistic policies lasted until around the 1940's to the 1960's. Now the Queen is head of extremely small countries.

    The USA will suffer the same fate. It's imperialistic policies will fail. They honestly already have. We were stupid to interfere in the middle east like we did in the 80's and 90's. We gave Saddam Hussein weapons of mass destruction. We gave the installed Shah of Iran weapons. We trained and armed Osama bin Laden. It all came back to fuck us in the ass.
  12. I think Japan is under the US umbrella of "security" Zylark alludes to. Correct me if i'm wrong, but post imperial japan was completely set up by the US.
  13. #14 Zylark, May 7, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2011
    Oh good, then we agree. The US is not the extended arm of the Red-Cross, out to save the world, but rather a nation that like to see a certain world order benefiting them and those that like to benefit from such a world order.

    To keep that up, requires a bit of enforcement now and again. That is why the US spends a hell of alot on the military.

    I guess we can agree so far.

    But seeing as power comes from the pointy end of a gun, what other power would you like to see govern world trade and influence world politics?

    A liberal democracy like say the US, or a totalitarian dictatorship by committee like say China? Or perhaps the despots of the OIC (rapidly falling I might add)? Maybe the thieving oligarchs of Russia?

    What, really, is the better alternative? And please, no rosy-red tinted kumbaya.


    What about the rest of the world? And yes, I do realize that most do not enjoy our comfortable living. Then again, I also know, that our way of living did not happen by accident. It did not fall into our lap. We used centuries to get where we are today, and even so, it is far from perfect.

    But compared to _ANY_ other societies, what we got in Europe and the US is leaps and bounds ahead on any measure. I know it is very much politically incorrect, but our societies and culture are just better. It is why they are more prosperous. More tolerant. More innovative.

    We can dig into the reasons for that if you wish, but if you ask me it all boils down to the enlightenment and subsequent free inquiry. The end of dogma.

    And that is something very valuable that is not to be compromised upon. It is the culture where we can agree to disagree, no questions asked, no threats given. But when evidense present itself, we can admit our faults.

    And as it happens, for good or worse, exhausting all other possibilities, the US eventually land on the right side of history. Not very consistent, but at least meaning well. To those that like freedoms ofcourse. Those that don't, well...
  14. THe problem is when the military doesn't have a public enemy then they create a public enemy.

    When the Cold War ended the War on Terror began.

    Bin Laden was a godsend for Military Industrial Complex. What purpose would they serve for the last 10 years without him?
  15. Ok- There's another problem.

    If the Japanese constution was drafted and set up by the US and Allied forces, then we would have not learned our lesson from setting up post WWI- Germany. Stripping them of their military and forcing them to pay for the war. It turned into Nazi Germany.

    Then if the Japanese constitution was drafted and set up by the Japenese people, where they themselves prohibited armed forces and war, it just proves that you don't need to wave your cock in everyone's faces to progress as a nation.
  16. #17 Zylark, May 7, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2011
    Oh, there are always enemies. One need not look that hard.

    But as far as the US military goes, terrorists are not their ideal enemy. As it happens, from a funding and strategic scenarios point of view, little rag-tag bands of fanatics is the militaries least favourite enemy.

    A big army (and navy, air force and marines) want funding to fight another big army (and navy, air force and marines). Not a bunch of half-trained wannabee soldiers with an issue.

    You can't get money for a half-dozen more Aegis destroyers or a few more Stealth-Fighters wings by pointing at a loosely organized band of camel herders with an attitude.

    The war on terror (islam really), is the worst thing to happen to the conventional military. They have to think new thoughts, and every military loathe doing that if already lulled into good old thoughts.

    But ofcourse, they do know how to get paid thinking new thoughts...
  17. #18 Zylark, May 7, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2011
    The US cock so to speak, demanded that the Japanese Emperor was not to be regarded as a god, and that any future governement was to be elected, not appointed. But the emperor was allowed to hold a representative position. The first ambassador of Japan, much like the nordic monarchies.

    All in a bout of cultural understanding, where sacking the royal might be seen as somewhat disagreeable. There were some strong opininons in the US for trying the Japanese Emperor as a war-criminal. And I for one think he should have been.

  18. no, but you can get a totalitarian police state...which is the goal of government. all people act in self interest, and the best interest of the state...any state..... is total control. control of resources, control of people, control of ideologies. the state (like any organization) is always self serving. saying that the actions of the us (or any imperialism for that matter) are necessary to enjoy the partial liberty that we have is a restatement of "the ends justify the means" and that is morally repugnant, and allows the rationalization of some pretty horrible actions. i, for one, will never accept ends reached by immoral means and i will never be content with partial liberty.......doomed to a life of bitterness and anger i suppose, but at least i can live with myself.
  19. #20 rubbs, May 7, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2011
    strictly speaking about international policy (the Big Stick). you are assuming that all other nations (specifically USSR and China) must follow the same type of foreign policy as the US does. you seem to assume that the USSR, which had the second biggest military (thus the would-be most threatening), would be equally imperialistic as the US and that in the absence of the US military, then USSR would have pursued an imperialistic foreign policy.

    ill let rothbard take it from here:

    this was written before USSR intervention in the civil war that was taking place in Afghanistan, but in my opinion the point rothbard makes is still valid; just compare the number of military interventions post WW2 US vs USSR

    A-priori history:

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