Why Isn’t The U.S. Keeping Up Militarily?

The United States is ranked as the most powerful country in the world:


But the U.S. spends more than the next 7-8 countries COMBINED!(See below chart from Forbes 2016)


In fact, military spending is more than half of all U.S. federal discretionary spending. 


So the question is why are we spending so much more than everybody else, is the United States getting its money’s worth, and most importantly are we able to defend ourselves? 


The U.S. defense budget is going up and has been approved at $717B for 2019. 


All the other 28 NATO countries together spend less than half ($296B) as much as the U.S. alone. 


If you add NATO spending as a complement to the U.S. then the total spend on our mutual defense approaches $1 trillion!


Russia ($69B) China ($146B), North Korea ($6B), and Iran’s ($16B) military spending in total pales in comparison at just $237B.


NATO as a whole is outspending Russia + China + North Korea + Iran by a factor of 4 times yet these countries are still considered major threats to us!
Despite all the truly incredible brave, hard working, and excellent men and women that serve with distinction in our military, 


Therefore, again why is it that the U.S. is spending more on what others seem to get for cheaper?  Is there significant fraud, waste, and abuse in the system?  Are we as a rich capitalistic nation simply getting fat, lazy, and stupid?  


Notwithstanding the outsized spending by the United States, incredibly from today’s Wall Street Journal, there is another article about our inability to defend ourselves:

“These are admissions that the U.S. cannot proportionally and equally defend itself in space, cyber, and response to tactical and nuclear weapons except through the threat of escalation and intrusion into other domains.”

Some poignant examples given:

– Our stationary land-based nuclear missiles are no match for Russia and China’s mobile-based ICBMs.

– Our ten busiest U.S. ports do not have an adequate defense against an underwater nuclear missile launch.


China and Russia variously are beating us out in:

  • Quantum Communications
  • Anti-Satellite Weapons
  • Directed Energy 
  • Hypersonics 

In fact, it was just reported that China conducted its 8th hypersonic test of a plane–with this one said to capable of Mach 10–and that it is capable of carrying nukes! 

Further, our carrier group fleet and land forces are at risk with respect to Russia and China’s hypersonic weapons.


Of course, EMP weapons can fry our electrical grid and a large cyber attack could disable our critical infrastructure.


Let’s not even talk bioweapons–think Black Plague from the Middle Ages that wiped out 30-60% of Europe. 


Yes, some of these are asymmetric warfare, but why are we still thinking and fighting so kinetic and conventionally. 


If we are fighting the wars of yesteryear instead of the battles of today and the threats of tomorrow then what good is our military investments and assets.


To become a more capable fighting force that is less vulnerable, more capable of defending this country, and making better use of our large investment dollars here are 10-steps we need to take to transform our military; we need to transition as follows:

  1. From static land-based nuclear missiles to a fully mobile platform.
  2. From vulnerable fleets of large ships and planes to “unstoppable” swarms of miniaturized lethal drones. 
  3. From a preponderance of earth-based kinetic weapons to space-based energy directed weapons. 
  4. From having to generally choose between speed or power to using the power of speed as an “unstoppable” force of nature. 
  5. From projecting a time and space bound visible presence to a persistent invisible existence.
  6. From attempting to defend limited points of presence to establishing a “impenetrable” umbrella shield of multi-layered defenses.
  7. From reactively identifying and stopping cyber threats to proactively hunting and destroying them. 
  8. From knee-jerk instinctive putting of human lives in harm’s way to matter-of-factly sending milbots (military robots) to the front lines. 
  9. From relying on the heroics and genius of individual human brainpower to harnessing in realtime “the collective” augmented by artificial intelligence into a hive.
  10. From relying on escalation of a “bigger, badder gun” to being able to fight capably in every battle arena, win in each and dominate holistically. 

Over $700B per year should buy us a lot of defense, hopefully in the future we can really use it to defend ourselves. 😉

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Got Skills

I thought this was a very telling sign right off the highway in Washington, D.C. 


“Does your child have life skills?”


And then it lists things like:

“Cooking, budgets, sewing, ironing, time managment, communication, and fun”


The classes are offered by ActualLifeSkills.com.


I took a look online at what a typical 6-week class offered on Sundays for 3-hours at a time and at a cost of $345. 


It even covered things like:

“Handshakes, eye contact, and conversation starters
Voice projection and confidence
Party/guest etiquette, gifts and thank you notes”


And of course, aside from the cooking and budgeting already mentioned, there were more of the foundations such as laundry, cleaning, and grocery shopping.


I would suggest adding things like computer basics, child rearing, human relations, home maintenance, car mechanics, hunting, fishing, gardening, first-aid, fitness, and even self-defense. 


Since, we spend so much time teaching book skills, I have often thought why we don’t spend more time teaching these fundamental life skills. 


We are raising a generation of kids that can score 1500+ on the SATs, but they don’t know sh*t about real life and couldn’t survive a week without electricity, Internet, or mom and dad taking care of them. 


Back to basics. 


Back to life skills. 


Back to survival. 


Back to being self-sufficient. 


There is no reason that we can’t add these items to our broken school curriculums. 


You shouldn’t have to go to special classes to learn to live life. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Hunted Becomes Hunters

I was on the treadmill and on the TV was the movie Rambo First Blood with Sylvester Stallone–he’s incredible. 


There is an amazing scene where he is running, outnumbered, outgunned, and being literally hunted in the woods. 


But as he is a special forces trained warrior, he turns the tables on the bad guys. 


– The hunted become the hunter!


Life is not Hollywood.


Yet, miracles do happen, and good can overcome evil. 


Like the more than 150 brave women of the USA Olympics Gymnastics Team who testified and put the creep Larry Nassar away for the rest of his disgusting life. 


The hunted can be empowered through the justice system and do what is right and put the bad guys away–where they should stay and rot out their miserable days. 


The innocent women who suffered at his dirty hands prevail!  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Looking At It From The Perspective Of Others

Looking At It From The Perspective Of Others

This was a funny sign hanging on a tree on one of the hiking trails.

It’s a deer and it says “Please Don’t Kill Me!”

With it was a notice about hunters sparing the deer population.

It’s interesting that often we don’t look at things from the perspective of others.

In this case, the deer just wants to be free and alive–and is begging for his life.

As people, we don’t really think of what the deer wants or for that matter often what other people want–we just care about what we want.

Good to remember that we all have our perspective on life and that we should respect diversity of thinking, feeling, and being.

Hey, and unless those deers are bothering you… 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Don’t Eat Me, I’m Driving

Panda_seat_covers

The Guardian reported today the finding of a scientist in China that prehistoric people used to slash, kill, and eat pandas.

It is hard to believe that anybody would eat anything as cute as a panda bear, but when your prehistoric and starving–perhaps that’s a different story.

According to ABC News, when two giant pandas arrived in Washington D.C. in December 2000, people waited in line for 4 hours to see them.

There are only about 130-140 pandas in captivity and U.S. Zoos are paying China as much as $1 to $2 million a year to rent these huggable, teddy bear like creatures.

Personally, beautiful creatures like pandas, penguins, seals, turtles, lions, tigers and more are for marveling at and enjoying–not for calorie intake.

One creative individual found a noteworthy way to tell everyone just how adorable s/he felt the pandas are–by getting car seat covers that look just like they are driving around town. 😉

(Source Photos: Minna Blumenthal)