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We could take on the whole Middle East

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posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 05:06 PM
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Or, The stretched military myth.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are told on a daily basis by our media, our government and even our top soldiers that the American (and to some extent, the British and Australian) forces are overstretched. We are told that a war with Iran would be 'almost impossible' and that this war has to cost millions of dollars each day.

These are lies. Or rather, inaccuracies stemming from the wasteful way we manage our military. We have all seemingly forgotten that years ago we waged total war against the combined military might of Germany, Italy and Japan and with success, I might add. Yet 60 years later the United States and allies are at "breaking point" with the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

There are many reasons for this, but it boils down to one simple thing. The main priority of our military is not to fight and win anymore, but to generate Corporate Profit.

In World War II, America alone deployed 75 times the number of troops in combat than it does in the Middle East today. Adjusted for inflation, the cost of deploying each troop was $20,400. Today, it is topping $400,000.

Despite fielding 75 times less troops, the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars in 2006 came to one-sixth of the cost of World War II. (1)

The cost of a soldier's equipment alone is 100 times greater than it was in WW2 and 16 times greater than it was in the Vietnam War. If the Pentagon gets to implement all the technologies it is considering for the soldier, costs could double or even triple. (2)

Our men deserve the best. But you have to ask - are these corporations charging fairly for their products or is the government writing them a blank check? After examining the facts, it would appear the latter is the truth of it.

Perhaps the more important question is, are our spending habits hindering our ability to fight a large scale war with say, China, or Russia? Considering the "breaking point" situation we are currently in, it is hard to imagine how we'd wage war against a military superpower.

Army logistics aside, consider the other armed services. The US Air Force's top plane is the F-22 Raptor, $65 billion has been spent on the Raptor program and the inventory stands at 183 planes with possibility of the production line being closed this year. (3) Russia, on the other hand is pursuing practical programs to build advanced fighter planes to rival the F-22 for a fraction of the cost. Russia is also neogotiating a sale of 50 Su-33 jets to China for a total of $2.5 billion. A licence to construct Su-33 planes in China would cost a similar price, going by recent deals. (4)

The Navy has it's fair share of problems, too. Delays and escalating prices in the shipbuilding industry has left the Navy without the ships it needs. As Navy Secretary Donald Winter says, "The Navy has unfortunately eroded its expertise in shipbuilding and systems engineering and developed a bad habit of relying too much on contractors." The latest shipbuilding project, the LCS, has doubled in price since manufacturing began. All of this and more, is entirely avoidable if the defense industry wasn't allowed to gorge on every tax dollar it can get its hands on. (5)

More contractor madness...

"Rebuilding Iraq" has been a very profitable venture for Halliburton. Awarded the contract without competition, Halliburton reported sales of $4 billion in late 2003. Further contracts worth $1.4 billion have been awarded to help support the troops. Halliburton also charges the Army $1.59 a gallon for its oil, yet it can be bought from neighbouring countries for as little as 98 cents. (6)

A South Carolina parts supplier billed and was paid $500k to ship three machine screws costing a little over a dollar each to Iraq. The company was paid a total of $20.5 million by the Pentagon in fraudlent shipping costs over the past six years. (7, thanks to Joshua for finding this one)

These expenditures are crippling the government, the military, the economy and in the end it affects us all. If you want to fight a war effectively and sustainably, you cut the waste and tightly control or even nationalize the war industries. You have a sense of fiscal responsibility at every level of the Defense department. If you need men, you institute a draft. And the most critical point, if you cannot make supplies and equipment inexpensively and quickly enough then the game is over when facing a foe who can strike your homeland.

If we learned this and more, there would be no "breaking point" in Iraq, and we could take on the whole Middle East if need be.

NB. Could does not mean should.


Sources.
1. Chron.com
2. Image
3. AirForceTimes.com
4. Kommersant.com
5. Wired.com
6. EndEvil.com
7. AboveTopSecret.com




posted on Apr, 26 2008 @ 02:21 PM
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Good post, you've pretty hit a big problem right on the head.

However, the following was a statement that is wrong on many levels:



We have all seemingly forgotten that years ago we waged total war against the combined military might of Germany, Italy and Japan and with success, I might add. Yet 60 years later the United States and allies are at "breaking point" with the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.


You kind of contradicted that statement right there. Sixty years is a long time. The world has changed drastically during that time and along with it, the American economy. The incorrectness stems from a widespread misunderstanding of changes in the socioeconomic structure. Without getting too specific (I'd have to give a history lesson that lasts for a week), globalization as well as the increasing influence of free-markets and capitalism has created a situation where governments are very much at the mercy of non-state entities in providing war materiel. Not to mention the phenomenon of the power elite means that business/corporate profit will always be intertwined with the government and the military.

Otherwise, I am totally on the same boat with you on this. I especially agreed with you on this:



Considering the "breaking point" situation we are currently in, it is hard to imagine how we'd wage war against a military superpower.


Its ironic because our military as well as government and civilian talking heads are all complaining about how we can't fight insurgencies and guerrillas like industrialized nation-states and how we can level anybody as long as we play to our so-called "strengths." Yet, as you imply, the U.S. military in its current form may as well be unable to wage interstate conventional war.

[edit on 26-4-2008 by sweatmonicaIdo]



posted on Apr, 26 2008 @ 02:23 PM
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Oh, you could indeed take on the entirety of the middle-east.

Of course, you would be sending your people to the grinder - and that kind of war hasn't been fought since your independance.



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 12:37 AM
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reply to post by sweatmonicaIdo
 


Agreed there buddy. I am advocating a returning to how things "used to be". If we had similar control over the defense industry now, as we did back 60 years ago, our power would be multiplied many times.

The wasteful system is deliberate and very profitable for some who intend to keep it that way.

reply to post by Anti-Tyrant
 


I see your point, but disagree. The grinder occurs when we are ill-prepared to fight and win.

[edit on 2008/4/28 by SteveR]



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 12:40 AM
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Originally posted by SteveR
I see your point, but disagree. The grinder occurs when we are ill-prepared to fight and win.

[edit on 2008/4/28 by SteveR]


Granted, but what if the enemy is just as prepared as you are?



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 12:49 AM
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reply to post by SteveR
 


There are two strands of thought that come to mind for me. As a proponent of free-market capitalism, I believe the best way to deal with this problem is to create a situation where collusion between business and state and military does not occur. Rather, they are all separate entities and all three spheres hold each other accountable. Who knows, maybe in a true free-market society, large-scale warfare won't be necessary.

The other, more realistic strand of thought, says that the only way to make any major changes is to actually fight a war and see how we deal with the imminent threats of our times. Sometimes the only way to deal with the monster is to feed it some more.



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 01:15 AM
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Originally posted by sweatmonicaIdo
Who knows, maybe in a true free-market society, large-scale warfare won't be necessary.


No matter the adaptation it would resort back to de-segregation over time, I believe. Conflicting ideologies would soon surface, followed by corporate espionage, and in no time at all private militaries would start to form all over again.

Love and Fairness must be the foundation of ever choice made in any governing embodiment for "it" to have a chance.

BTW, really good thread Steve. If more leaders thought like you.


AAC



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 01:34 AM
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I dont agree,

The way a war was fought in the 40's against Germany/Japan/Italy is VERY different from today.

Not just the mere COST per troop/plane/car/missile/ship, but the over-all mentality of the people your sending to fight.

Also, the cost of troops may have risen to $400,000 ( assuming your figure is accurate ) but thats what gives them the edge, technological enhancements, weaponry, communications, armory... if we resorted back to the ol budget of $20,000 per troop ( Again your figure assuming...) how would we match up against a vicous militia campaign, aka Iraq?
IED's would decimate us without technological abilities...
we couldnt just go in guns blazing and decimate every moving/living/breathing thing, because we'd lose the only middle eastern people on our side...

also, people WANTED to join up to rid the world of Nazi's and the Japanese empire, at the moment, more people want to remove the world of the Bush regime, than anything else,

this means morale and mentality is basically out the window, there arent many people willing to go through the trauma of war, just so the oil barrons can continue their ways, there also arent many people who TRUST, or BELIEVE the US government any more... the army's struggling to gain recruits as it is, even when allowing convicted felons and less healthy civilians to sign up..

also,

The American economy is all but defunct, where as WW2 spurred the economy, mainly because you didnt have such a major dependance on FOREIGN oil.

This time around, your internal economy will not cope creating your machines of war, when the industry fails to sustain production because oil has dried up, and the very nations you are at war with, wont supply you with oil, i think its called trading with the enemy.. how are you going to continue building vast machines of war, when no one is investing in your economy, and you cannot afford to keep your own country running as it is?
I doubt the chinese will continue your endless credit line, when your destroying their investments either.

Also, nuclear weapons are in play, compared to the last major world war ( and yes, taking on the entire middle east will be a world war ) the risk of nuclear retaliation against western assests is to much.

China and Russia will not just watch you attempt to take the soon to be last standing supply of oil either.

Also,

Germany was secluded, it was isolated. It was surrounded by nations on both sides which mean once you came in from the left, no one was coming at you from behind.. I think they mention never fighting a war on 2 fronts?

If you take on the entire middle east, do you plan on starting on the west coast of arabia-saud and just walking all the way to russia? slowling defeating every nation?

No, you will need multiple fronts in multiple countries leaving your army too exposed from the rear and flanks, creating huge problems of supply too. Your navy wont just sit pretty constanting loading supplies.. the GULF sea's are no place when a world war is on, its to narrow from two ENEMY nations.


Also,

your allies will not support you, England cannot afford to join in a murderous campaign, neither can NZ, AUS or Canada or various other ASIAN nations.

Which ever government is insane enough to try, will be burnt at the stake by rioting civilians.

The only way the USA can possibly take out the entire middle east, is buy simple launching a surprise attack with dozens of ICBM's, hoping you kill every mofo in the region, because unless you do, allah will raise his head again with a vengance.

So the ol gun-ho bravado of American society may beleive yes, your STILL invincible and can take on anyone regardless of your current standing, but sadly I feel it just isnt the reality.

...... although, funny enough its just the perception I believe Bush has.. and we've all seen how accurate he can be.



[edit on 28-4-2008 by Agit8dChop]



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 01:54 AM
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Agit, I hear you.

I think the point was..................................

We are conditioned and frankly fooled into thinking supplying our troops costs obscene amounts of money. And that fighting with a few thousand troops in Iraq and Afghanistan is prohibitively expensive, let alone Iran which is practically impossible.

When you realize the amount of corruption, blank checks, corporate profit going on behind the scenes, you realize these "realities" are


The Military is broken. It is no longer a fighting force, but a business. Its very success is determined by insane fiscal policies and the whims and greed of the war industries.

I would bet you... if the right measures were put into place... that the cost per troop could be decreased ten fold without touching effectiveness. I see potential for the same in logistics and support. This will have to be a matter of opinion drawn from the facts I listed above.

PS. The figures are accurate and from the government itself.



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 02:04 AM
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I'd like to add that in the 40's there was also a draft and a helluva lot more troops available for deployment. There was also a much clearer goal and the people supported the war. That is not really the case right now and the support for a widened conflict is just not there.

Sure, the US has enough aircraft, bombs and missiles to lay waste to large areas of the ME, but then what? To do the job properly you need boots on the ground, something the US just cannot do. The technological edge is fine when fighting in a stand up, face to face war but, as is the case right now, it's the asymetric warfare that is grinding away at the troops already on the ground.
High tech isn't always an advantage.



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 02:05 AM
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Yeah, I hear what your saying, a toilet seat shouldnt cost $30,000.00
but at the same time removing the curropt corporate military complex wouldnt make a lick of difference to the outcome.

it just means we'd be able to sustain the slaughter a little bit longer... but not a lot.

good topic but!



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 02:23 AM
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What an odd title for a post about the needless overhead sucking money from our military.

Or perhaps your problem isn't so much with hte cost, butthat hte cost is keeping us from engaging in what amounts to genocide in the Middle East thinnly guised as "Warfare"?



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 02:23 AM
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Regardless of trimming the fat in the military industrial complex or not, the military is bleeding huge sums of money by committing resources to areas where they are no longer logistically, strategically or politically needed.

By taking away our presence in the Korean Peninsula, Germany, and the Balkans we could save thousands of man hours and free up leave for those in combat zones.

We don't need to prop up the South Koreans. We don't need to stay in Germany where we aren't needed. And if the EU is so good at what its doing lately then I'm sure they could come up with a multilateral way to handle the Balkans.

I'm not advocating an isolationist streak but rather a readjustment of our force allocation.



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 02:28 AM
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Originally posted by TheWalkingFox
What an odd title for a post about the needless overhead sucking money from our military.

Or perhaps your problem isn't so much with hte cost, butthat hte cost is keeping us from engaging in what amounts to genocide in the Middle East thinnly guised as "Warfare"?


Yes thats exactly what I was doing on patrol six months ago, systematically rounding up locals and driving them to the death camps.

Its hard identifying all collaborators and then organizing a good death squad. Oh wait thats what the insurgents who shot at my platoon regularly did to those who helped police, medical or political offices in Iraq.
..........................................................................Sweet jesus I think I'm gonna go break something.



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 02:51 AM
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reply to post by Agent47
 


I as asking if that might be what the OP wanted - I for one have difficulty thinking of another reason we could possibly need to "take on the whole Middle East" if not for some internet armchair soldier's wet dream of killing lots of Arabs.

Did I say that is what is happening in Iraq, or in Afghanistan? Did I? Do you see that, anywhere in what I posted? No, you don't. Want to know why? Because I never said it.



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 05:04 AM
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reply to post by SteveR
 


Theoretically, your assumptions might be right, however you seem to forget certain things (that might have been mentioned already):

-After World War II, much has changed. Conventional warfare has been replaced by guerilla warfare, enemies have become smarter and use 'hit and run' tactics. This requires a different approach and better equipment compared tto that of World War II...

-You seem to forget that during World War II a military draft was in place. Unless the US government decides to reimplement such a draft, no such numbers as in World War II can be achieved. There's a huge number of reserves. However, they lack experience and are not as well trained as the troops that are currently in war areas.

-A third point is that of raw material costs. During world war the Dutch colony of Suriname provided over 80% of the bauxite used for the production of war planes. Being a colony of a Nazi-occupied country, people were eager to support the war and making profits was no priority. These days, the war business is booming and simultaneously prices of raw materials skyrocket.

Professional armies are dependent on primarily privatized companies, bidding for contracts. Unless the US decide to nationalize the military industries, prices won't decrease much.

The professional army is overstretched, yes. A draft could change that.



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 12:17 PM
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Originally posted by Mdv2


The professional army is overstretched, yes. A draft could change that.




The army is too "high tech" if you will nowadays to plug someone who doesn't want to be there into it and make them a well oiled part of the machine.

Yeah you could still turn someone into an 11B but even the infantry is got its share of slick tech and required knowledge.

Someone off the street who may not want to be there wouldn't necessarily be the best choice, considering the training time alone would almost run through half the conscription time. It wouldn't be worth the money to train these people then turn around and let them go.



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 11:32 PM
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Originally posted by TheWalkingFox
I as asking if that might be what the OP wanted - I for one have difficulty thinking of another reason we could possibly need to "take on the whole Middle East"


WalkingFox. My preference in regard to Iraq and the M.E.? Pull out and stay out.


I trust that takes care of your personal worries here, perhaps you can focus your intelligence on the topic at hand? Surely the fact our military is used and abused by civilian bosses and contractors is more serious of a problem to you than my preferences about whatever.

[edit on 2008/4/29 by SteveR]



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 11:49 PM
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Originally posted by Mdv2
Conventional warfare has been replaced by guerilla warfare, enemies have become smarter and use 'hit and run' tactics. This requires a different approach and better equipment compared tto that of World War II...


Two things here. Guerilla warfare is certainly not new, and people have not suddenly become smarter. Alot of what we are seeing now was present in WW2 and formed the backbone of french and russian resistance movements. The task at hand in Iraq is to subdue insurgents, not fight an opposing Army. This vision for our military has been a problem for centuries and always generates a steady flow of body bags. Taking on Iran, however, would result in substantial military on military engagements.


Originally posted by Mdv2
You seem to forget that during World War II a military draft was in place.


Covered drafts. The military is highly limited without conscription (or popularity for that matter..)


Originally posted by Mdv2
A third point is that of raw material costs.


Capitalism 101. The raw materials cost because other industries are competing for them and the government doesn't interfere in the market nor run nationalized raw material companies. Again, different in WW2.

The equipment and R&D still costs more.


Originally posted by Mdv2
Professional armies are dependent on primarily privatized companies, bidding for contracts.


They are businesses. War is business. In the good ol' days armies were no less 'professional'. And AnAbsoluteCreation will tell you about the kind of volunteers we get nowadays.



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 11:57 PM
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Originally posted by Agent47
We don't need to prop up the South Koreans. We don't need to stay in Germany where we aren't needed. And if the EU is so good at what its doing lately then I'm sure they could come up with a multilateral way to handle the Balkans.



Well said.



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