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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Why are the Taliban winning against the Afghan army?

According to the Wikipedia page on the current Taliban offensive, the combined Afghan army outnumbers the Taliban by roughly 3:1. The Taliban have less or worse equipment and vehicles, and the Afghan ...
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67 votes
11 answers
21k 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 0 Russia 143,439,832 1,267,750 66.4 bn 1 Germany 80,682,351 3,494,900 39.4 bn 2 UK 65,111,143 2,649,890 55.5 bn 3 ...
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54 votes
5 answers
13k views

Why did the US military leave Afghanistan in such a rush that they left so much equipment behind?

One would think that if the US military were to leave Afghanistan, they would surely take any equipment that might fall into the wrong hands, especially since there were reports that the "wrong ...
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44 votes
12 answers
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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 ...
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44 votes
10 answers
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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 ...
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43 votes
9 answers
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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 ...
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42 votes
7 answers
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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 ...
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41 votes
4 answers
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 ...
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41 votes
5 answers
8k 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 ...
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40 votes
11 answers
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Why does the USA have such a large military?

In terms of protecting their borders the USA have one to the south with Mexico and one to the north (or east if you're Alaska) with Canada, neither of which seem like likely invaders. Contrast this to ...
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39 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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38 votes
7 answers
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Why are other countries reacting negatively to Australia's decision to deploy nuclear submarines?

Recently Australia decided to acquire nuclear-powered submarines, attracting several negative comments, such as: Malaysia said on Saturday that Canberra's decision to build atomic-powered submarines ...
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36 votes
4 answers
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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 ...
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36 votes
9 answers
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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 ...
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35 votes
4 answers
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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 ...
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30 votes
4 answers
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What is the motivation for the expansion of NATO in Eastern Europe, including Ukraine, at the risk of starting a hot war with Russia?

My understanding is that due to its overall economic conditions today, Russia, a country much weaker than Soviet Union, does not have enough military power to defeat NATO in a hot war without invoking ...
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30 votes
6 answers
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Why doesn't U.S. use "strategic ambiguity" on whether or not to send troops to Ukraine just like they do for the Taiwan situation?

United States has been using strategic ambiguity on Taiwan Strait issue by not clearly saying whether they would aid Taiwan with U.S. troops should Mainland China attack Taiwan, which intimidates ...
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30 votes
6 answers
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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 ...
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30 votes
3 answers
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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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29 votes
4 answers
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Why was Australia willing to pay $3.0 B/unit for the French diesel-electric submarines?

Note: All dollar values are USD. One of the great advantages of diesel-electric attack submarines over nuclear-powered versions is that the former typically cost far less, so countries can purchase ...
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27 votes
5 answers
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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 ...
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27 votes
2 answers
3k 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 ...
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27 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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26 votes
5 answers
8k views

Why does the United States make it public knowledge as to which generals are in charge of various operations?

Inspired by the question, Who is the Russian military commander in charge of the war on Ukraine?; this made me wonder why the United States makes it known who its generals are and what operations they ...
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26 votes
5 answers
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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 ...
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26 votes
5 answers
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Has Russia recognized land currently held by Ukraine as sovereign territory of the LPR/DPR?

In the context of the recognition of the Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic by Russia, I cannot seem to find whether the territories of said republics correspond only to what ...
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26 votes
4 answers
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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) ...
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25 votes
5 answers
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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 ...
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24 votes
7 answers
11k 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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24 votes
5 answers
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Is the U.S. military bound by the same environmental laws as the country being occupied?

Is the U.S. military bound by the same environmental laws as the country being occupied? Let's say that the United States is still occupying Afghanistan, to what extent does the U.S. military have to ...
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23 votes
7 answers
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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 ...
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23 votes
4 answers
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 ...
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23 votes
3 answers
8k views

Why would Russian troops in Ukraine fly the flag of the USSR? And why would the Russian MoD advertise this?

From this video which appears genuine: I'm miffed at why the Russian soldiers are flying the flag of the USSR. And why would the Russian Ministry of Defense advertise this? A little more search ...
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22 votes
3 answers
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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 ...
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22 votes
5 answers
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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 ...
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21 votes
2 answers
4k views

What are the flags being flown by this column of Russian tanks?

I just saw this video of Russian tanks on a video on Twitter. I can see four different flags flown by the soldiers but I can't make out what they are apart from the last one which just looks like the ...
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21 votes
1 answer
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 ...
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21 votes
1 answer
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 ...
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20 votes
3 answers
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Was there risk that Speaker Pelosi's aircraft could have been shot down by the People's Liberation Army?

I was reading a New York Times article today and was struck by a particular passage. Here is a quote: Then, as Ms. Pelosi’s plane was touching down in Taiwan late Tuesday night, some social media ...
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  • 311
20 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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20 votes
5 answers
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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 ...
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20 votes
3 answers
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Who is the Russian military commander in charge of the war on Ukraine?

It seems like we are only hearing from Putin about the military operations. When we hear about Russian generals it's about them getting killed, like Sukhovetsky, deputy commander of 41st Army. Which ...
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19 votes
3 answers
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 ...
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19 votes
3 answers
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] ...
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19 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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18 votes
10 answers
3k 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 ...
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  • 1,105
18 votes
3 answers
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 ...
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18 votes
1 answer
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 ...
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18 votes
3 answers
4k views

Has any Western leader articulated how NATO would benefit from admitting Ukraine?

NATO sees itself as a defensive alliance, so its members are expected to benefit from banding together and deterring attacks. No doubt Ukraine would greatly benefit from membership in its recurring ...
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17 votes
6 answers
4k views

Did the U.S. lose the war against the Taliban? [closed]

We know that the U.S. has a much stronger military than the Taliban, they could have deployed more troops in Afghanistan to beat Taliban, but they consciously didn't. This makes me wonder, does U.S. ...
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