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  1. #21
    Senior Member Dark Razor's Avatar
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    This image shows military spending as percentage of GDP, which might be helpful. It shows that the US is roughly in the same area as Russia, Colombia, Uzbekistan, Greece, Egypt or Algeria, while being exceeded by countries like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Mauretania.

    One might note though, that the US does not face any credible threat to it's mainland. Large part of the US military budget goes into developing extremely expensive aircraft like the F-22 or the JSF, which are useless against the most significant threats faced by the USA today: Information Warfair and low-intensity asymetric conflits.

    Another huge part of the budget are the carrier groups the US maintains to retain dominance of global trade routes. Internationaly, most carriers are now likely to be obsolete as anti-ship missles and diesel-electric subs can easily take them out. The highly sophisticated nature of the US carrier groups (AEGIS + accompanying sub) means that the US aircraft carriers might still be able to establish control over the most important sea-lanes in case of major war. However, the balance can easily tip against them, and the opposing systems are far cheaper and easier to use.


  2. #22
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    Thanks for the insight Dark Razor. I guess something I don't get is what we as the population are getting out of our government dominating the trade routes (it seems to be getting harder and harder to live in the U.S. as the years go by)
    Let The Revolution Begin
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  3. #23
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by olly_olly View Post
    Thanks for the insight Dark Razor. I guess something I don't get is what we as the population are getting out of our government dominating the trade routes (it seems to be getting harder and harder to live in the U.S. as the years go by)
    American "dominance" of trade routes is only possible due to the acquiescence of regional allies; to put it bluntly, they prefer us to China, and therefore actively support our role as regional peace-keeper. It is in the interests of all involved (except possibly for China) to maintain the status quo.

    Edit: I was thinking of the Straits of Malacca and the surrounding region specifically while typing this.
    Last edited by lowtech redneck; 03-31-2010 at 04:30 PM. Reason: clarification

  4. #24

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    USA!! USA!! USA!!!

    Its why capitalism has lasted this long

  5. #25
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Its why capitalism has lasted this long
    Well, its why relatively free-trade is possible in the Straits of Malacca, anyway.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffywolf View Post
    That's just my way of commenting. I assaulted the pictures and what they insinuate, not you. :P

    Also, I didn't mention it in the post. But the amount of potential enemies is a huge factor in why USA spends that amount of money. USA is the number 1 country in the world that is a target of terrorism for example.

    Anyways, like I said, my comment is that these figures don't mean anything. :P
    Where did you get this info? did you make it up on the spot??
    You should do your homework before you state something as fact..

    the USA ranks 46th in the world according to the TRI (terrorism risk index)
    The top 10 countries are

    Iraq (1), Afghanistan (2), Pakistan (3) and Somalia (4) top the ranking of 196 countries and are rated, along with Lebanon (5), India (6), Algeria (7), Colombia (8) and Thailand (9)
    The Philippines (10), Turkey (14), Russia (15), Nigeria (24) and Spain (34) all rate as high risk countries, whilst the UK (41), China (43), USA (46) and France (56) are considered medium risk. Countries rated at low risk include Germany (81), Canada (116) and Australia (120).




    Source Maplecroft | Home | About Maplecroft | Media Room | News

    The countries most affected by terrorisim ranks the USA at 18th

    20. Italy
    While not having had the extravagant cases of terrorism as some of the other countries mentioned, Italy is still very much at the forefront of a growing problem. A large discontented population & controversial immigration policies have led to the country's inclusion in this ranking.

    19. Spain
    The Madrid bombings highlighted what has been a growing problem for years, unchecked immigration from Northern Africa into what's becoming a polarized society. However overlooking the threat from Islamic extremism, Spain still has problems a plenty with the ever present Basque separatist movement known as ETA.

    18. United States
    The United States is home to what are a good portion of the world's high profile terrorist targets, & it's every extremist's dream to strike at the heart of America. However doing so has been less easy than to some of the nation's counterparts on this list.

    17. Sri Lanka
    The island has been the home of a civil war for the last 25 years or so, however a cease fire agreement brokered in 2001 provided hope that the violence would one day end. Things did not turn out so well, & renewed hostilities between the Tamil Tigers & the Sri Lankan government forces have claimed the lives of over 4,000 people since the agreement fell apart in 2005.

    16. Indonesia
    Home to the world's largest Muslim population & a government that facilitates the American "War on Terrorism" is a melting pot of disaster as highlighted by the increasing violence.

    15. Saudi Arabia
    The centre of the Islamic world, Saudi Arabia is also at the height of the global terrorism threat. An unpopular monarchy & an alienated population make oil derricks seem like much more appealing targets than they otherwise would have been.

    14. United Kingdom
    In what one could say is the first world country most afflicted by terrorism, the United Kingdom comes in at number 14 on the list. The difference between the UK & other first world countries such as the United States is that its terrorism threat is largely home grown, & boasting a large disenfranchised immigrant population, while having a controversial foreign policy is a sure fire way to get a high placement on the terrorism index. What may be most surprising is that its ranked above Saudi Arabia, that's surely how you know a country is doing something wrong.

    13. Colombia
    The drug cartels, rampant criminal gangs, & leftist rebels are the reason Colombia is featured here. Kidnappings, assaults, shootings, & bombings are all common features on their domestic landscape.

    12. Philippines
    The long going Islamic separatist war in the south shows no sign of slowing, & tourists remain a prime target in their war for political freedom.

    11. Algeria
    This country has been plagued by civil war since the early 90's when the military backed government scrapped a parliamentary election that an Islamist political party was set to dominate. Since then it's been all bombs & bullets with the two sides waging a bloody campaign against the other leaving over 200,000 people dead. Things have recently taken a turn for the worse when the long thought declining insurgency re-invented itself which among other things included changing it's name to Al Qaeda in Africa & enlarging focus to waging the global jihad against Western culture & its believed encroachment on puritanical Islamic society.

    10. Turkey
    Turkey is suffering from a growing anti-Western sentiment, & it's starting to affect their tourism trade, with high profile targets having been previously attacked.

    9. Bangladesh
    There are two ways to look at Bangladesh's placement on this list, it's either the 9th most highly terrorized country, or it's one of the safer places on the Indian sub-continent.

    8. Thailand
    A military coup, a new government, a deposed prime minister, an Islamic insurgency, & an increase in military spending are all things that do not bode well for Thailand.

    7. Afghanistan
    While the country hasn't truly been terrorism free for the majority of its modern history, recent times have been even more unkind. Following a short grace period after the American occupation, Afghans are now facing a resurgent Taliban uprising that threatens to envelop their struggling government in an ever more vicious cycle of violence.

    6. Pakistan
    Pakistan seems to be the epicentre of Al Qaeda, with the majority of its known & captured hierarchy having been caught inside the nation. That & a very unpopular government regime make Pakistan's interior targets quite appealing to the terrorist set.

    5. Russia
    The ongoing conflict in Chechnya has made Russia a prime target for terrorism since the resurgent outbreak of violence began in 1999. With no solution to the conflict in sight, Russia looks to remain on this list for the foreseeable future.

    4. Nepal
    Here unlike the majority of the other nations mentioned on this list, the terrorism stems from a completely domestic conflict wholly uninvolved from the global Muslim extremist movement. In Nepal it's the government's conflict with the Marxist rebels that provides fuel to the fire. The future does however look bright with a series of cease fires being agreed to as we start 2007.

    3. India
    The country's predominantly Hindu population & its 300 million strong Muslim minority continue to openly spar in acts of aggression spurred largely by the country's feud with rival Pakistan over the disputed province of Kashmir.

    2. Israel/Palestine
    While the "Second Intifada" has mostly died down, Israelis still have to worry about the Northern threat of Hezbollah, & in the territories the burgeoning conflict between Hamas & Fatah continue to provide acts of terrorism which place the combined two localities at near the height of this list.

    1. Iraq
    No big surprise here, Iraq has & continues to be the world's hotspot for terrorism in the four years since the American invasion & subsequent occupation of the country. And that is just one way to not build a nation.

    Source.Countries Most Afflicted by Terrorism - Travelers Digest

  7. #27
    Senior Member Dark Razor's Avatar
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    To be fair though, it's not only the US that buys crap equipment. A recent report by the German Army found that the new NH-90 helicopters are in fact totally useless

    Money Quote:

    the report recommends using alternative aircraft whenever possible in an operational scenario

  8. #28
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Razor View Post
    Money Quote:

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    Well, its why relatively free-trade is possible in the Straits of Malacca, anyway.
    Yeah, I was commenting on your military Keynesianism.

  10. #30
    Member themightybob's Avatar
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    Dark, the f-22 and f-35 may be useless in a counter-terrorism situation,but who is to say who we will be fighting twenty years from now and what technology they will be using. In modern conventional warfare controlling the sky has become in many respects more important than ground warfare.

    Suppose the u.s was to fight a war with a large country with reasonably advanced technology like russia or china, would'nt we want the best equipment available? You simply cannot allow your military technology to become stagnant, even if at the time your country is not experiencing any major threats.

    "A wise man in time of peace prepares for war"- Horace


    olly,the u.s is first in gdp and second in income per capita, wth are you talking about? Yes americans have large debts both individually and on the national level,however in terms of standard of living and government expenditures per capita the u.s is equal to western europe and surpasses everywhere else in the world. The statistics you posted were very misleading (probably intentionally so).

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