Posts tagged military spending

From politicalprof:

One of Mitt Romney’s claims in the now-infamous tape is that we can’t afford to cut military spending any further without endangering our security. So, a little perspective. Do note that almost everyone else on this graph is either an explicit US ally or no particular threat to US interests. When you add them to the US total, it’s pretty overwhelming.

What do you call a state that explicitly seeks to maintain military superiority over the globe while maintaining a military footprint on every continent? Hegemony is one word, imperialism is another.

From politicalprof:

One of Mitt Romney’s claims in the now-infamous tape is that we can’t afford to cut military spending any further without endangering our security. So, a little perspective. Do note that almost everyone else on this graph is either an explicit US ally or no particular threat to US interests. When you add them to the US total, it’s pretty overwhelming.

What do you call a state that explicitly seeks to maintain military superiority over the globe while maintaining a military footprint on every continent? Hegemony is one word, imperialism is another.

If you only read one political economy analysis of the military deterrence model used by the Empire in Star Wars, it should be this post form The Monkey Cage.

Death Star? No thank you. — The Monkey Cage Gregory Koger, themonkeycage.org
I wish to address the most important policy question of the millenium: should we build a Death Star?  This debate picked up this year after some Lehigh University students estimated that just the steel for a Death Star would cost $852 quadrillion, or 13,000 times the current GDP of the Earth. Kevin Drum suggests this cost estimate is too low but, in the context of a galactic economy, a Death Star is perfectly affordable and “totally worth it.” Seth Masket and Jamelle Bouiehighlight the military downside of the Death Star, suggesting that more people might rebel against the wholesale genocide of the Empire, and that the Death Star would be the prime target of any rebellion. I have two thoughts to add. First, the Death Star is a bit misunderstood. It is primarily a tool of domestic politics rather than warfare, and should be compared to alternative means of suppressing the population of a galaxy. Second, as a weapon of war, it should be compared to alternative uses of scarce defense resources. Understood properly, the Death Star isnot worth it.
Read the rest

The post is an excellent model for how to write seriously using a pop culture reference. Applying theoretical constructs about politics to pop culture is a great way to test and/or demonstrate deep understanding.

If you only read one political economy analysis of the military deterrence model used by the Empire in Star Wars, it should be this post form The Monkey Cage.

Death Star? No thank you. — The Monkey Cage
Gregory Koger, themonkeycage.org

I wish to address the most important policy question of the millenium: should we build a Death Star?  This debate picked up this year after some Lehigh University students estimated that just the steel for a Death Star would cost $852 quadrillion, or 13,000 times the current GDP of the Earth. Kevin Drum suggests this cost estimate is too low but, in the context of a galactic economy, a Death Star is perfectly affordable and “totally worth it.” Seth Masket and Jamelle Bouiehighlight the military downside of the Death Star, suggesting that more people might rebel against the wholesale genocide of the Empire, and that the Death Star would be the prime target of any rebellion. I have two thoughts to add. First, the Death Star is a bit misunderstood. It is primarily a tool of domestic politics rather than warfare, and should be compared to alternative means of suppressing the population of a galaxy. Second, as a weapon of war, it should be compared to alternative uses of scarce defense resources. Understood properly, the Death Star isnot worth it.

Read the rest

The post is an excellent model for how to write seriously using a pop culture reference. Applying theoretical constructs about politics to pop culture is a great way to test and/or demonstrate deep understanding.

Thanks, dieyounglivefast!

pol102:From adam-wola:


U.S. defense expenditure, in billions of inflation-adjusted dollars since 1980. It’s much higher now than during Reagan’s cold-war buildup.
(From Mother Jones, using Congressional Budget Office data. More charts there.)

An interesting, and powerful chart. But how would this look if we used spending as a percentage of GDP (which has also increased since 1980)? The underlying fact is that we still spend about the same as we did when we faced another rival superpower. But by what proportion?

I am happy to answer some of your questions (and maybe a few you didn’t ask). The post-9/11 average for base defense spending is about 4 percent of GDP, roughly the post-WWII average. Fifty years ago, defense spending made up around half (48 percent) of total expenditures, while entitlement spending accounted for about 25 percent. Next year entitlements will be 60 percent of the total budget and defense will be less than 20.

This is a great example of how better numbers are often, well, better. The chart above shows defense spending as increasing about 60% from 9/11 to 2010 (from about $400 to $700). If dieyounglivefast is right (and I believe he is), then defense spending has actually decreased about 40% (from 48% of spending to about 20% of spending). What this also means is that military spending has increased, in party because total government spending has increased. The previous graph did not convey this.

Thanks, dieyounglivefast!

pol102:From adam-wola:

U.S. defense expenditure, in billions of inflation-adjusted dollars since 1980. It’s much higher now than during Reagan’s cold-war buildup.

(From Mother Jones, using Congressional Budget Office data. More charts there.)

An interesting, and powerful chart. But how would this look if we used spending as a percentage of GDP (which has also increased since 1980)? The underlying fact is that we still spend about the same as we did when we faced another rival superpower. But by what proportion?

I am happy to answer some of your questions (and maybe a few you didn’t ask). The post-9/11 average for base defense spending is about 4 percent of GDP, roughly the post-WWII average. Fifty years ago, defense spending made up around half (48 percent) of total expenditures, while entitlement spending accounted for about 25 percent. Next year entitlements will be 60 percent of the total budget and defense will be less than 20.

This is a great example of how better numbers are often, well, better. The chart above shows defense spending as increasing about 60% from 9/11 to 2010 (from about $400 to $700). If dieyounglivefast is right (and I believe he is), then defense spending has actually decreased about 40% (from 48% of spending to about 20% of spending). What this also means is that military spending has increased, in party because total government spending has increased. The previous graph did not convey this.

This is a great chart. While the US spends more money than any other country on defense (and roughly as much as all other countries combined), many countries spend incredibly large sums relative to their national GDP. It’s interesting to see what kind of countries are the outliers.
From theeconomist:

Daily chart: military spending. America, Western Europe and Latin America all spent less on defence in 2011 than they did in 2010. But Russia’s spending increased by 9.3%, making it the third biggest spender worldwide, ahead of France and Britain.

This is a great chart. While the US spends more money than any other country on defense (and roughly as much as all other countries combined), many countries spend incredibly large sums relative to their national GDP. It’s interesting to see what kind of countries are the outliers.

From theeconomist:

Daily chart: military spending. America, Western Europe and Latin America all spent less on defence in 2011 than they did in 2010. But Russia’s spending increased by 9.3%, making it the third biggest spender worldwide, ahead of France and Britain.

From publicradiointernational:

inothernews:

I spy… China’s brand new aircraft carrier, out at sea.
(Photo: DigitalGlobe / AP via MSNBC.com)

According to MSNBC: “A commercial satellite operator says it has captured a rare image of  China’s first aircraft carrier as it sailed through the Yellow Sea,  after going through an exercise that’s the 21st-century equivalent of  finding a needle in a haystack.”

From publicradiointernational:

inothernews:

I spy… China’s brand new aircraft carrier, out at sea.

(Photo: DigitalGlobe / AP via MSNBC.com)

According to MSNBC: “A commercial satellite operator says it has captured a rare image of China’s first aircraft carrier as it sailed through the Yellow Sea, after going through an exercise that’s the 21st-century equivalent of finding a needle in a haystack.”

Economist Daily chart: the world’s biggest weapons suppliers. Three-quarters of global arms exports were supplied by just five countries between 2006 and 2010. The two biggest importers of arms, India and China, both bought over 80% of their weapons from Russia.

Economist Daily chart: the world’s biggest weapons suppliers. Three-quarters of global arms exports were supplied by just five countries between 2006 and 2010. The two biggest importers of arms, India and China, both bought over 80% of their weapons from Russia.

Defence budgets: Military ranking | The Economist
An interesting chart on defense spending around the world (as percent of GDP). Look at the Saudis. Do they know something we don’t? And look at the growth of “emerging” powers.

Defence budgets: Military ranking | The Economist

An interesting chart on defense spending around the world (as percent of GDP). Look at the Saudis. Do they know something we don’t? And look at the growth of “emerging” powers.