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Military strength in the US - Essay Example

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Much of this funding is diverted into overseas contingency operations that include war on terrorism. According to the data from the Department of Defense (45), approximately $163 billion was channeled to overseas…
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Module Military Strength in the U.S The United s’ defense budget is the largest in the world. Much of this funding is diverted into overseas contingency operations that include war on terrorism. According to the data from the Department of Defense (45), approximately $163 billion was channeled to overseas contingency operations in the fiscal year 2010. The defense-related funding is at its highest since the World War II. In spite of its historical emphasis on being a global power and in spite of its economic and political dependence on military affairs, the U.S. economy of the 21st century calls for a decrease in the military budget. This is because of this continued increase in defense expenditure endangers the funding of an adequate level of domestic activity.
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND AND CURRENT STATE
Origins of the U.S. Military Strength and the Global-Power Image. The U.S. Military is the largest in terms of military personnel. The personnel are drawn from a wide pool of paid volunteers although conscription can be occasionally applied during certain periods of both war and peace. The military strength is enhanced by the government’s generous funding that enables efficient training of manpower and sophisticated intelligence operations. The U.S. military also possesses sophisticated and efficient military equipments alongside widespread and balanced global orientation. This gives the U.S a global power image.
Funding Afghanistan and Iraq Wars. According to Belasco (1), the accumulated total funding for Afghanistan and Iraq war as appropriated from 9/11 for the war operations, medical care for the war veterans and diplomatic operations is $1.283 trillion. This includes $806 billion for the Iraq war, $444 billion for the Afghanistan invasion, $27 billion for the tightened security and a total of $6 billion that is still unallocated but waits spending in military related activities.
Defense Department Base Budget of 2009-2013. The federal government has budgeted approximately $851 billion for security spending during the fiscal year 2013, compared to $ 523 billion for Medicare and $820 requested for Social security. The security funding includes the overseas contingencies, department of Defense and other internal security departments. The President requested $525.4 billion for the Department of Defense’s Base Budget. According to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, FY 2013 Budget Summary Table S-12 (230), this was $5 billion less than the amount approved in the 2012 fiscal year budget. The defense budget 2009-2013 develops a strategy that offers a smooth transition from the current wars to the preparation for the future challenges such as protection of the U.S national security interests. Some of the measures involved in budget cuts include cutback of troops, closure of domestic military bases, and weapons systems termination.
PROS OF DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE BUDGET REDUCTION
Positive Economic Consequences of Reducing Military Spending. Reduced funding makes sense because the war in Iraq has ended and Osama Bin Laden is dead. The resources should be diverted to other sectors. According to Amadeo, the Department of Defense is shifting the focus away from the outdated prolonged wars that are expensive, and investing in intelligence and surveillance. Investing in technology has already bore positive results such as the capture of Bin Laden without extensive military engagement. The reduction in military spending will enable the federal government to divert the reduced resources into other economic sectors such as social welfare security and Medicare.
CONS OF DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE BUDGET REDUCTION
National Security. Budget cuts will put the national security into jeopardy owing to factors such as reduced training for military personnel and lowered preparedness. This implies that effective measures to keep protecting national security are required.
Political Consequences. The negative political consequences of reducing military spending include weakening global influence as the U.S’s superpower status is related to her prowess in military technology. Reduced financial resources will require adjustment in military operations and revision of foreign policy.
Economic Effects. Reduced funding will have a negative impact on the economic stability through reduction in the purchase of the military equipments and reduced funding for military research. This curtails the Gross Domestic Product. Budget cuts will also lead to the loss of direct and indirect jobs as well as a decline in salaries and wages. Other economic impacts emanate from the behavioral attitudes of the public in response to the adverse effects of the budget cuts. Such behaviors include loss of consumer confidence and increased personal saving that reduces spending.
CONCLUSION
Among the efficient measures capable of having positive influence on the U.S economy, military budget cuts seem to be one of the most realistic. This measure is able to prevent the debt ceiling crisis and is much justified owing to end of the war in Iraq. However, if choosing to implement this alternative, the U.S. government has to decide upon effective measures to keep protecting national security as well as to adjust its image on the global arena and to revise its foreign policy.
Works Cited
Amadeo, Kimberly. “FY 2013 Military Budget: How Defense Spending Affects the Economy.”About.com. Web. 25, October, 2012.
Belasco, Amy. The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations since 9/11, PDF. Congressional Research Service Report for Congress. March 29, 2011.
Department of Defense (PDF). United States of America. 21 December, 2010. Web. 15 October, 2012. 45-49.
U.S. Office of Management and Budget, FY 2013 Budget Summary Table S-12, Web. 15 October, 2012. 203-245. Read More
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