63

This is a great question about both politics and history. It relates directly to the changing nature of what a "country" is. First, let me directly answer your questions: Given that France, Germany and the UK have larger economies than that of Russia, why do they spend less in defense than that of Russia and always seem to be scared of Russia? ...


57

The US public opinion is highly sensitive to casualties among US troops. They are much less concerned about casualties to contractors, especially if they are not US citizens. At times the US government has more money than available troops. At times deploying contractors is easier under domestic US law. Legal oversight is mostly designed with the official ...


55

Medical If your question is: Would the military be obliged to pay for the transition? Then the answer is yes. Prior to Donald Trump's tweets, the US Military had promulgated guidance on how it would support members transitioning. Following a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, the Military member would be supported through medical treatments, to include ...


55

Chemical weapons give a casus belli for the Western governments to increase their presence on the ground That's true that the use of chemical weapons galvanizes the west against Assad, but, I think the best way to put it is like this. "They're going to hate me anyway, I may as well go all out". There's a body of people in the west who don't want war no ...


47

The reason is the same for any country, not just the US. And it is rarely money. It can be roughly grouped like this: public opinion damage control: the population of a country cares about the death of their military personnel. This is especially true for the military conflict with no clear goal for a population (whom are we saving in the conflict in X?). ...


46

A single missile delivering a nuclear payload can wipe out a city. Needing to deliver hundreds or thousands of bombs or missiles to "simulate that" is a much more difficult proposition, in terms of delivery. I could, with fifty cases of aerosol deodorant spray and thousands of matches, replicate a flame thrower's output. That's a lot of work, effort, and ...


44

Your basic assumption seems to be wrong, that countries are attacked because they're perceived to be threats. While this is sometimes the reason (e.g. the Iraq War was supposedly to prevent Saddam Hussein from making use of weapons of mass destruction -- although this is a gross simplification), it's not the only reason countries invade other countries. ...


40

Let me tell you a story as an example of why demilitarization is not an effective strategy. It's 1991. Ukraine had the third-largest nuclear arsenal in the world following the fall of the USSR. However, they have very little else going for them, and immediately begin to fall into economic decline. This concerned world leaders, because a failing country ...


39

In a dissent in the case of Laird v. Tatum, Justice William Douglas argued tangentially that the creation of an air force is legal as per Article of 1, Section 8 of the Constitution: The Army, Navy, and Air Force are comprehended in the constitutional term "armies." Article I, § 8, provides that Congress may "raise and support Armies," and "provide and ...


38

It is impossible to understand Russia's preoccupation over seven decades with military power without understanding the country's experience in WW2. The war had a huge impact on the national psyche of all participants, including the US, Britain and France. But if you look at the cost in terms of lives lost, the western losses bear no comparison whatever to ...


38

Eisenhower's speech isn't strictly about the military-industrial complex, I at least read it as a general warning of how great concentrations of wealth/power in a construct (in this case, he uses the military industrial complex as an example, but it also mentions academia infused with government directed research funds) can lead to that construct having ...


37

It takes a long time and a lot of money, infrastructure and expertise to build military aircraft. Take the Eurofighter Typhoon as an example: In 1988, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Armed Forces told the UK House of Commons that the European Fighter Aircraft would "be a major project, costing the United Kingdom about £7 billion". ...


35

TL:DR; Some states still do have militias. Realistically, in the modern era the U.S. states are not expected to require defense from the federal government, nor would such a defense seem possible if the entire U.S. military was willing to robotically follow unlawful or tyrannical orders (something which their oath to the Constitution forbids). At the ...


34

First, They already have, and that is part of the reason for the conflict in the first place. What it seems like you are suggesting is that they go in and remove the existing inhabitants from Palestine all together. The truth is none of the other Arab nations want the Palestinians either. They are from Arab tribes that have a history of conflict with ...


33

Costs Yes the military provides health care for soldiers, which covers necessary medical treatment, including treatment for gender dysphoria (also including SRS if necessary). The costs to the military for this are negligible. RAND estimated the cost for transition-related care for trans people to be between $2.4 million and $8.4 million annually: ...


31

The treaty you're thinking of is the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (also known as the NPT or NNPT). The core of this treaty for non-nuclear weapon states is Article II, which says Each non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to receive the transfer from any transferor whatsoever of nuclear weapons or other nuclear ...


30

Bottom Line Upfront: If you don't allow the military to plan for maintenance, but keep them working, then it will cost more to fix them when you start giving them money. Part of it is most certainly about pandering to his base. 67% of Republicans believe too little is spent on defense. Though, there is room for universal appeal, where this could be an ...


28

Part of the reason is purely domestic political (which, of course, a lot of foreign policy reasons boil down to, in many countries). In case of Trump and Assad, there were actually several independent domestic factors: President Trump's base is the same people who criticized President Obama over setting 'red line' for Assad over use of chemical weapons and ...


28

Yes and no. The War Powers Resolution (sometimes known as the War Powers Act) is supposed to limit it. The War Powers Resolution requires the President to notify Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to military action and forbids armed forces from remaining for more than 60 days, with a further 30-day withdrawal period, without a ...


26

The US has recently accused the Syrian government (yet again) of using chemical weapons in the civil war. This is because Assad's government has used them in the past, as supported by overwhelming credible evidence, and is doing so again. Assad's government is doing so in hope of inciting fear and terror in a civilian population that is being targeted by ...


25

Not all nukes are the same. Nuclear weapons are designed for specific purposes. There are different launch systems like ships, submarines, intercontinental missiles, ground-based mobile launch systems, large bombers, small fighter-jets and even systems which can be carried by infantry. Each of these systems needs their own nukes when you want all of them to ...


24

Israel does not want to be in charge of those areas, and has already given most of the area to Palestinian sovereignty. Before 1993, Israel was in control over the entirety of the West Bank and Gaza. This was a result of the Six Day War. To summarize, Egypt blockaded the Strait of Tiran, and surrounding Arab nations prepared to invade Israel. Israel ...


24

Given that these countries spend so much on defense, Why do these countries seek US help/alliance to counter Russia? Because Russia has a cheaper military than Europe does. According to Wikipedia, Russia has 3,364,000 members of the military. By your numbers, the United Kingdom is second in military spending in that group, but they only have 248,250 ...


24

Russia is a much larger country, geographically. It has more border to defend and wants to maintain the capability to fight on two fronts. The UK and France maintain strategic nuclear defence capabilities, which are the final safeguard against an invasion. Despite the absolute spending values, the EU militaries are generally higher-tech than the Russian ...


24

In 2016, there was the Draft America's Daughters Act of 2016 which was proposing exactly that: Ammend the Military Selective Service Act (the legal base for conscription in the United States) to apply to both men and women. The bill was introduced by Duncan Hunter (Republican) and Ryan Zinke (Republican) who is now the Secretary of the Interior. The House ...


24

The following countries have no military: Andorra Dominica Grenada Kiribati Liechtenstein Marshall Islands Federated States of Micronesia Nauru Palau Saint Lucia Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa Solomon Islands Tuvalu Vatican City (Inclusion in this list is debatable. The Swiss Guard is under the authority of the Holy See, an entity which is much ...


22

Building supersonic stealth fighter jets is very, very hard. It requires cutting edge engineers in many different disciplines, processes to manufacture materials used nowhere else for stealth purposes, advanced computers and software, and much, much more. To make something like that you need not just a company to make the final plane itself, which is just ...


22

Depending on your definition of "actively", yes. Last year the Senate defense appropriation bill included a provision that required women to register for the Selective Service. The bill passed 85-13, with some of the opposition to the whole defense bill coming from legislators objecting to the inclusion of women in the draft (e.g. Ted Cruz, Mike Lee). The ...


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