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    why did you waste your time with that post?

    so what, I made a minor error. SHOOT ME!

    Back to my point. Whats the point in these huge armys, its not like we actually use them to defend our shores from anything, it just seems a huge waste of cash. im seeing this from a practical perspective, not an ideological one.
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    (Original post by Lord Waddell)
    A draft? Interesting...but nothing more than rumours.
    Yes. Only rumors. For now anyway.
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    (Original post by markgg)
    why did you waste your time with that post?

    so what, I made a minor error. SHOOT ME!
    I dont know you made an error.

    Back to my point. Whats the point in these huge armys, its not like we actually use them to defend our shores from anything, it just seems a huge waste of cash. im seeing this from a practical perspective, not an ideological one.
    Because they are a deterrent which is why we dont need to defend our shores so aggressively.
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    (Original post by markgg)
    why did you waste your time with that post?

    so what, I made a minor error. SHOOT ME!

    Back to my point. Whats the point in these huge armys, its not like we actually use them to defend our shores from anything, it just seems a huge waste of cash. im seeing this from a practical perspective, not an ideological one.
    We have these so-called huge armies precisely to make our enemies stop and think before attacking us. If we hadn't had a large army during the Cold War and no nuclear weapons then the USSR would have rolled over the Rhine with very little to stop it between there and London (apart from the English Channel). Anyway, Britain doesn't exactly have a huge army. We only have 100 000 men which isn't really anything to crow about.
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    (Original post by Howard)
    Interestingly, (though slightly off topic) the US Army is recruiting 25% fewer than they need ATM. They have recently increased the age for entry into officer training programs from 28 to 44 and are offering join up bonuses of as much as $40,000 for specialized skills. There is dark talk of a draft.
    This dark talk is only coming from people who are trying to score political points (by saying that the other side wants a draft). A draft would literally cost trillions of dollars to institute and whoever proposes it would see their political career destroyed in an instant. No one is that stupid.
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    (Original post by markgg)
    It seems to me that America has forgotten what theyre actually supposed to protect. And thats the peoples quality of life.
    That's what America was protecting for 50 odd years. Your way of life. It wasn't a grand British & French coalition that stopped the advance of communism from accross the Rhine. :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by JonD)
    I think the GPD expenditure is 2.3% for the UK (but shrinking), 2.8% for France, and 3.6% for the United States, which has ten times a large economy than both countries.
    I think its roughly 6.59371492704 times bigger...
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    (Original post by kizdesai)
    I think its roughly 6.59371492704 times bigger...
    You're making that fraction up
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    11,750,000,000,000/1,782,000,000,000

    2004 est.
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    The problem is making sure that that money the Americans are spending is being spent in the correct way. To a certain extent, the American military machine is dysfunctional - preparing for fights against big threats at a time when most wares are small and unconventional.

    In the Balkans, Somalia, Chechnya, Afghanistan, or Iraq, war is not against national armies with battleships, planes and tanks. Instead it is about fighting street by street, house by house, against local insurgents. You need to be able to occupy and control territory in the face of a hostile local population. The challenge in this respect is not more firepower, but less. In fact, the American obsession with firepower and force protection leads to an unacceptable level of civilian casualties.

    The difference between British and American approaches is visible in Iraq most obviously - in Baghdad, the American counter-insurgency operation mobilised the entire civilian population against the occupation, while the British approach in Basra was driven by an attempt to seperate the insirgents from the local population.

    Obviously, America needs a large and impressive military to complement its foreign policy - to make sure that the Iraqs of tomorrow - Iran and N.Korea - keep in line. However, achieving an impressive military does not demand it must be organised in the 'conventional' manner that has proved cumbersome and problematic in Iraq.

    I also accept that America has been compensating for a lack of military spending in Western Europe in particular. But this raises a question - if EU countries were to step up their military spending, would America in fact compensate by spending less? Or would it start spending more?
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    (Original post by tom391)
    The difference between British and American approaches is visible in Iraq most obviously - in Baghdad, the American counter-insurgency operation mobilised the entire civilian population against the occupation, while the British approach in Basra was driven by an attempt to seperate the insirgents from the local population.
    But Baghdad and Basra are totally different environments; chalk and cheese. What's good for Peter isn't always good for Paul.
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    (Original post by Lord Waddell)
    A draft? Interesting...but nothing more than rumours. If the government instituted conscription, it would make 2008 a shoe-in for the Democrats.
    Actually, the rumors only seem to be coming from the left, and it's essentially a tactic to scare young people into voting for them. At this point, both sides of the spectrum realize that draftees tend to cause more problems for the military than they solve.
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    Also note that the last time the draft was passed the people who were going to be drafted were not able to vote. That is no longer the case.

    (Original post by tom391)
    The difference between British and American approaches is visible in Iraq most obviously - in Baghdad, the American counter-insurgency operation mobilised the entire civilian population against the occupation, while the British approach in Basra was driven by an attempt to seperate the insirgents from the local population.
    Have you ever considered the possibility that there is another explanation for this? Like the fact that a vast majority of the insurgents are Sunni, while Basrah is almost entirely Shi'a?
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    (Original post by tom391)
    The problem is making sure that that money the Americans are spending is being spent in the correct way. To a certain extent, the American military machine is dysfunctional - preparing for fights against big threats at a time when most wares are small and unconventional.

    In the Balkans, Somalia, Chechnya, Afghanistan, or Iraq, war is not against national armies with battleships, planes and tanks. Instead it is about fighting street by street, house by house, against local insurgents. You need to be able to occupy and control territory in the face of a hostile local population. The challenge in this respect is not more firepower, but less. In fact, the American obsession with firepower and force protection leads to an unacceptable level of civilian casualties.
    Thats indeed true. However, the US Army is far ahead of anyone else in readapting itself to these new threats.
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    (Original post by tom391)
    I also accept that America has been compensating for a lack of military spending in Western Europe in particular. But this raises a question - if EU countries were to step up their military spending, would America in fact compensate by spending less? Or would it start spending more?
    If they stepped it up under the NATO umbrella, the US would not recognise it as a threat. However, the EU is determined to create a EU defence force that has already found itself in direct conflict with NATO. The US would have no other option than to consider this a hostile force and withdraw funding from NATO.
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    "Direct conflict"? "Hostile"? That's rather overstating it: no standoffs, no corpses, which is what the terms imply.

    The problem the USA and Europe both face is how to get enough people in the military and the right kind of people. The advantage of conscription is it's cheaper and means that there's a full army. If the USA isn't going to conscript people it will have to pay a lot more for soldiers, lower the levels of ability or rely on foreign recruits..
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    (Original post by Weejimmie)
    "Direct conflict"? "Hostile"? That's rather overstating it: no standoffs, no corpses, which is what the terms imply.

    The problem the USA and Europe both face is how to get enough people in the military and the right kind of people. The advantage of conscription is it's cheaper and means that there's a full army. If the USA isn't going to conscript people it will have to pay a lot more for soldiers, lower the levels of ability or rely on foreign recruits..
    Europe has more people and can have more soldiers than US.
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    (Original post by IZZY!)
    Europe has more people and can have more soldiers than US.
    i dont think the combined economies are larger than the USA though
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    If you spent 20 million dollars every day since the birth of Jesus Christ, you would have spent less than the US has since 1945 on arms.

    Britain spends the same amount on its military as it does on pensions. Our military spending is 33% higher than the European average.
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    (Original post by Weejimmie)
    "Direct conflict"? "Hostile"? That's rather overstating it: no standoffs, no corpses, which is what the terms imply.
    The EU defense force has entirely the same goals as NATO. You cannot be a part of both and thus membership of one becomes a direct conflict of interest with the other, as recent examples have demonstrated.

    Any nation that is not an ally, should be by default considered hostile.
 
 
 
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