Questions tagged [military]

Questions related to the military. This may include questions about the actions or inaction of the military, the armed forces themselves or government action related to the military.

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64
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11answers
20k views

Why don't the other countries of Europe maintain as massive a military as Russia does?

The countries that are in my inquiry list are: --------+----------+-------------+-----------+--------- SN | Country | Population | GDP | DefExp --------+----------+-------------+---------...
44
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12answers
16k views

Why isn't demilitarization used as a defensive strategy?

If a country was to disband any and all of its military, and sell off its military assets, wouldn't it be an effective way to prevent an invasion? Because after this, it's clear to anyone that this ...
43
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9answers
18k views

What threat, if any, does Iran really pose to the US?

The US army absolutely dwarfs the Iranian army in terms of military might. Realistically, Iran cannot attack mainland US, whereas the US could nuke Iran into oblivion at a moment's notice. They ...
42
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10answers
16k views

How is Russia able to maintain the 2nd most powerful military in the world at a fraction of the cost of the US & China?

The 2020 Military Strength Rankings list Russia's military as #2 in strength: United States Russia China However, their defense budget rankings show that Russia's only #8 in spending: United States ...
42
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5answers
6k views

What authority does the Vice President have to mobilize the National Guard?

After the attack on the US Capitol by pro-Trump groups, the DC National Guard was eventually called in to restore order. Strangely, it is being reported that Vice President Mike Pence was the one who ...
40
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7answers
13k views

Why does the U.S military use mercenaries?

With a defense budget now totaling ~686-billion dollars a year – which is about the size of the next 8 largest defense budgets combined (figure) – why does the U.S military see the need to ...
39
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2answers
12k views

What medical costs burden the military enough to warrant banning all transgender people?

Reported in Donald Trump bans transgender people from serving in the military President Trump tweeted: “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United ...
39
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3answers
9k views

What was Eisenhower's warning about?

Eisenhower in his farewell address warned the American people about the United States Military Industrial Complex and its emerging power. According to Wikipedia The US spends more on the military ...
36
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9answers
10k views

Why would Assad use chemical weapons in the civil war as of 2018?

The US has recently accused the Syrian government of using chemical weapons in the civil war. However it seems to me that Assad has little to gain from doing so: Chemical weapons give a casus belli ...
35
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4answers
9k views

Could the US military legally refuse to follow a legal, but unethical order?

For example, if the president ordered the military to launch nukes to attack a country that poses no real threat, assuming its legal, can the military refuse to follow through on it on the grounds ...
32
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2answers
10k views

Why was Congress able to create an Air Force without a constitutional amendment?

Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution enumerates the powers of Congress and includes the creation of military forces: To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use ...
30
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3answers
9k views

How true are Trump’s claims about NATO spending?

Over President Trump’s term in office, he has been very vocal about the spending commitments made by many NATO countries, and their frequent failure to live up to them. He now seems to be taking ...
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6answers
6k views

How do countries justify their missile programs?

I will use India as an example. India seems to have only two real enemies: China and Pakistan. The longest range missiles India would need to launch an attack on China should be roughly around 5000 km ...
27
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5answers
8k views

Why do veterans skew right in the US?

I know the military is supposed to be apolitical to a certain degree. But I have found a Pew poll saying that military veterans lean right. This is more pronounced when comparing younger vets to ...
27
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2answers
2k views

How can a state governor send their National Guard units into other administrative districts?

As part of yesterday's insurrection response, VA Governor Northam sent his National Guard into D.C.: Virginia is sending reinforcements to help law enforcement in Washington, D.C. Gov. Ralph Northam ...
26
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4answers
2k views

Is President Erdogan of Turkey staging a coup attempt?

With the currently unfolding events in Turkey (attempted coup by the military) one of my first harsher reactions is this: Is President Erdogan trying to have a quasi coup (or quasi terrorist plot) ...
26
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1answer
9k views

Do POWs typically get paid for their prison time?

The recent release of Craig Bergdahl has me wondering about the status of prisoners of war from a strictly economic standpoint. When a soldier is POW, he is clearly not in a position to be able to ...
25
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5answers
4k views

Why do (some) dictator colonels not appoint themselves general?

I get the distinct impression that many dictators bear the military rank of colonel - for example, Muammar Gadaffi held the rank of colonel while ruling Libya (and is indeed more commonly known in the ...
25
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5answers
6k views

What incentives (or stated motives) did the US have to attack Syria?

What were the motives stated for for the US attacking Syria or incentives to do that? It doesn't seem like there was any immediate threat from Syria to the US. (After all, they neither have ICBM's ...
24
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7answers
10k views

Why does Germany have such a rather small defense budget?

This article deals with Germany’s Armed Forces status in the context of Trump's decision to reduce US troops stationed in Germany. Besides the main topic, the article also mentions that Germany spends ...
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4answers
8k views

Are members of the military allowed to wear civilian clothes when testifying in Congress?

The question is sparked by the attention that media has to military personnel wearing dress uniform when testifying in front of a US Congress committee, calling it "pulling the soldier card" in regard ...
22
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3answers
3k views

What's the point of having thousands of nuclear missiles?

According to Wikipedia, the US and Russia have close to 8,000 nuclear warheads each. Other known nuclear powers, the UK, France, China, India, Pakistan and Israel has a couple of hundreds each. The ...
22
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5answers
2k views

Why does the United States still keep substantial numbers of soldiers in Europe?

If I recall correctly, the US maintains about 30,000 men in Germany alone and thousands more in different European countries. I understand the need to project power and to rapidly deploy to any ...
21
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1answer
10k views

What were the military men doing behind Donald Trump when he began his speech?

Shortly after Trump was sworn in and began giving his speech there was a group of military men that lined up in formation behind him. They stood there for a short time before walking back. What were ...
20
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2answers
8k views

Have US anti-ballistic-missile capabilities been used and were they effective in countering the recent Iranian missile strike on US bases in Iraq?

This is breaking news, so it may not be answerable right away but probably will be in a reasonably short term... Iran has launched (from its own territory) ballistic missile strikes against US bases ...
19
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5answers
8k views

Can the U.S. president make military decisions without consulting anyone?

Looking on Wikipedia, we learn that: It is generally agreed that the commander-in-chief role gives the President power to repel attacks against the United States[3][4] and makes the President ...
18
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7answers
9k views

Why won't Israel just capture Palestine?

There are many small-scale conflicts currently going on around the world between two countries,where one or both deny other's right on some piece of land. like India vs Pakistan on Kashmir. N.Korea ...
18
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3answers
4k views

What happens to rank-and-file law-enforcement after major regime change [closed]

The question is inspired by the current situation in Myanmar, but since at the time of writing what will happen remains to be seen and obviously people on here can't predict the future, but surely ...
18
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3answers
3k views

Politicians to remove sexism in registration for potential conscription in the USA?

According to Wikipedia, only men are required to register for the draft with the Selective Service System in the US. Some feminists want equal conditions for men and women. Are there any USA ...
18
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3answers
5k views

Why does Trump want to increase military spending?

From what I understand, Trump is an isolationist / non-interventionist, at least more so than previous presidents. On the other hand, Trump wants to massively increase military spending: [Trump] ...
18
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1answer
3k views

Does nuclear propulsion applied to military ships fall under civil or military nuclear power?

From what I know very few countries are authorized to possess nuclear weapons, although a few others might secretly have some. But using nuclear power for civilian use (to produce electricity) is ...
17
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10answers
2k views

How could it happen that Ukrainian soldiers did not try to defend against the invasion?

What I do not understand about the current crisis in Crimea is how this invasion could be successful without anyone firing a gun. Weren't there Ukrainian soldiers stationed in Crimea? Maybe the ...
17
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4answers
9k views

Why is the US president commander-in-chief?

Democratic governments are often set up in such a way that no single person holds too much power, even the president/prime minister/etc. In the US, you e.g. have the Congress. This means that if the ...
17
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1answer
18k views

May the US president launch a nuclear bomb without any oversight on any target?

According to Article II, Section 2, Clause I of the Constitution, the President of the United States is commander in chief of the United States Armed Forces. Source: Wikipedia How does launching a ...
17
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3answers
2k views

When may the President of the United States order military action without congressional approval?

The USA has many times in the past taken military action with only the President's order to back it up legally. It was Jefferson that set the precedent of using the military to enforce foreign policy ...
17
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1answer
2k views

How are women integrated into the North Korean military?

Background Korean People's Army soldiers (per Wikipedia) About 25% of North Korea's population is in either an active duty role or a reserve/paramilitary role in the Korean People's Army, and North ...
16
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5answers
7k views

Do people in countries besides the US react negatively to “militarized police”?

A 2018 PNAS study concludes that militarized “special weapons and tactics” (SWAT) teams are more often deployed in communities of color, and—contrary to claims by police administrators—provide no ...
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9answers
12k views

How are states supposed to protect themselves when the National Guard is under the federal government?

Recall the second amendment: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. Great, so states have ...
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2answers
2k views

Under what circumstances has the USA invoked martial law?

The idea that martial law could be imposed by Trump to rerun the election is currently topical (see In what way would invoking martial law help Trump overturn the election?). In the interview where ...
12
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2answers
3k views

What are the arguments for the militarisation of the European Union?

Since Maastricht the European Union has been developing a military element. Firstly with the Common Foreign and Security Policy, then (via the Western European Union vehicle) the European Security and ...
12
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3answers
1k views

What is the “appropriate” civilian response to police abusing their power? [closed]

Police are tear-gassing civilians during a pandemic that exasperates respiratory conditions while there is a shortage of ventilators and hospital beds. How/why is this allowed? What is the “...
12
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2answers
609 views

What does it mean for the Pentagon to order a stand-down?

In order to combat extremism in the Pentagon's ranks, the new Secretary of Defense is ordering a stand-down in the next 60 days. Three questions: What is a stand-down? (Beyond the 'pause of military ...
12
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2answers
10k views

Who controls the British Armed Forces?

I am trying to research this for a friend. I understand that the Government of the United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy, in which the Queen is the head of state and the Prime Minister is the ...
12
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1answer
618 views

Could the US Space Force be dissolved when Trump is gone?

This answer to What are the factors exactly that will make missions like OTV-6 “Space Force launches”? which I've accepted includes the following: The US Space Force (USSF) is the successor to Air ...
12
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2answers
477 views

How did Turkey manage to create a springboard for its defense industry so fast?

As far as I recall, Turkey was mostly dependent on the USA and Israel for its defense needs until recently. Turkey sought Israeli assistance to modernize its large fleet of F-4 Phantoms and bought ...
12
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2answers
497 views

Why would a US armed forces branch not give back a property (it took over during wartime) for free?

Short context (inspired by a post on Aviation.SE): In 1941 the Navy took over Bennett airfield in NYC and banned all commercial and civilian flights. After WWII the airfield was meant to return to ...
11
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3answers
3k views

Why do people say the Pakistani government has failed because the army is interfering with politics?

I have seen people say that the Pakistani government is not strong enough because many governmental decisions are taken by the Pakistani army. Why do the people consider the involvement of the army ...
11
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1answer
1k views

Do countries inform each other about ballistic missile test launches?

Informing potential adversaries about intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test looks logical, to not trigger false alert. I can't find any info - do countries do it? Do some protocols exist for ...
11
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5answers
3k views

How does US manage to maintain such a high military expenditure?

Note: this is somewhat related to this question US clearly dominates the world when it comes to military expenditure, both in % of GDP and nominal value. This answer indicates that West European ...
11
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2answers
3k views

Why does the US still have military bases in Japan and South Korea?

Why does the United States still have military bases in Japan and South Korea? As far as I'm aware, the bases are large, active, and the source of a reasonable amount of controversy within the host ...

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