(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
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
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:
- From static land-based nuclear missiles to a fully mobile platform.
- From vulnerable fleets of large ships and planes to “unstoppable” swarms of miniaturized lethal drones.
- From a preponderance of earth-based kinetic weapons to space-based energy directed weapons.
- From having to generally choose between speed or power to using the power of speed as an “unstoppable” force of nature.
- From projecting a time and space bound visible presence to a persistent invisible existence.
- From attempting to defend limited points of presence to establishing a “impenetrable” umbrella shield of multi-layered defenses.
- From reactively identifying and stopping cyber threats to proactively hunting and destroying them.
- From knee-jerk instinctive putting of human lives in harm’s way to matter-of-factly sending milbots (military robots) to the front lines.
- From relying on the heroics and genius of individual human brainpower to harnessing in realtime “the collective” augmented by artificial intelligence into a hive.
- 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. 😉
Wow, this was incredible.
Check out this photo of me (right) and my teacher and mentor Robert doing martial arts back in the day.
This was at the Jewish street fair on Johnson Avenue in Riverdale, New York.
Recently, in the last few weeks, I reconnected with Robert after almost 27 years.
He made Aliyah to Israel and I got married, but I always remembered how much I learned from him and the fun times growing up.
It was great to catch up on the phone with him for about 2 1/2 hours and I think we could’ve gone on schmoozing all evening.
Then just this weekend, I received 3 large wall photos in the mail from a friend from Riverdale–out of the blue–just like my reconnecting with Robert.
Both events came almost simultaneously after 3 decades!
Time and space are just fabrications, as G-d Almighty is eternal, and for me I am essentially the same person that I was back then.
My body is getting (a little) older, but my inner self is still me.
And the people who mean so much to me in my life, after G-d, that is everything to me. 😉
(Source Photo and with gratitude to Sura Jeselsohn)
Sure, we can travel space…from continent to continent, into the depths of the oceans, and to the far reaches of outer space.
But can we also travel time?
Yes, and we regularly do!
Whether individually, in our minds eye, we go back and forth in time–remembering poignantly the memories of the past with regret or with joy and thinking forward in time whether worrying what could happen or eagerly look forward and hope for a brighter future.
Similarly, as a human collective, we can travel back and forth in time well past our individual recollections and remember, celebrate, memorialize, or eulogize what came before us through generations and millennia and even plan great innovations, feats, and civilizations well into the future.
Time is but a shadow that is cast off us from the our great Heavenly Father who shines his grace upon us by his creation and is himself timeless.
In the shadow of time, we can glimpse the externalism of what supersedes our mortality and the significance of us as a speck in time amidst the greatness that lies across the reaches of space and time–that is the soul of the matter. 😉
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Thought these artist renderings of the Trappist-1 Star were awesome.
NASA discovered this star and 7 Earth-size planets around it that could conceivably have water and sustain human life.
As we continue to gobble up Earth’s resources and build incredibly powerful weapons that may one day soon destroy it, we need to have a viable Plan B.
Hence, the race to find another planet(s) with resources and environmental conditions where human civilization can survive and thrive.
I’m not sure what is more exciting than finding that magic planetary home of the future, where everything is new and pristine again like the Garden of Eden.
A place to go where hopefully we take not only the bits and bytes of our current world, but also the lessons learned to do it better again. 😉
So in near death experiences, it is common to see your life flash before your eyes.
Researchers believe that what you see isn’t necessarily in chronological order, rather there is no time or space, and people report that “it all happened at once.”
Additionally, people feel the experiences and pain from others’ points of view.
It’s like a melding of time and space in a single continuum.
This so-called life review experience (LRE) is eye-opening.
It’s almost like a G-d’s eye view of your life in the world.
In the worst case scenario, what we see at the end is what we failed to see during life–how far wrong we went and how much we hurt others.
If we wait until the end to open our eyes and see what’s right in front of us all along, then frankly, it’s too late to do anything positive about it.
Maybe you have to come back (reincarnated) for another try to do things better and make things right.
Hopefully, you learned something from this go around so that you are building incrementally and purifying your heart and your soul.
If though life experience, it’s ups and downs, and pains and suffering, you still learn nothing…then what you see in the end is your own blindness to the eternal lessons of the omniscient creator–all in 20-20 extra clear hindsight. 😉
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
May G-d bless the United States of America and our true friends and allies!
It doesn’t matter whether you are Republican or Democrat, Black or White, Jew or Christian, Male or Female–we need to unite and move this country forward and be great again!
Strength, Security, Health, Economy, Jobs, Education, Environment, Space, Jobs, Freedom, and Human Rights.
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal via Fox News)