What's Wrong With The Military Budget
English II Honors
What’s Wrong With The Military Budget?
“The cold war is over so we don’t 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billion and 339 F-22’s at a cost of $63.8 billion (the stealth technology that makes these planes so expensive will be out of date in a few years)( http://www.clw.org/pub/clw/ef/behindnumbers/d10t12.html).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 Navy’s 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 industry’s defense is that many jobs would be lost if such massive contracts weren’t around. But the truth is if the money were to be reinvested in education and health care those jobs wouldn’t be lost, but instead recreated in other more important and more productive fields.
Another reason for the cut in the military’s 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