79

The Uniform Code of Military Justice (articles 90-92) state that a service member will be subject to court martial if he or she "willfully disobeys a lawful command of that person’s superior commissioned officer." The operative word is here is 'lawful' which must be explicitly interpreted during court martial proceedings. Any service member who has ...


64

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? ...


64

The 2% goal for defense spending of all NATO countries originates from the Wales Summit of 2014. However, the people who made that commitment are heads of governments, many of which don't actually have the authority to make budgeting decisions. This includes the German Chancellor. The Bundestag (German parliament) which actually has that authority never ...


61

They don't need to be able to strike the US mainland directly. All they need to do is go to war with allies of the US in the region, and they have ample allies to hide behind Iran says it is not behind Saturday's attacks on oil plants in Saudi Arabia, denying accusations from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Tehran was responsible for "an unprecedented ...


58

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 ...


56

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 ...


56

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 ...


56

First, who is #2 is highly subjective, if you discount nuclear arsenals. Second, this question is like asking Compared to a Ferrari a Mustang outruns tons of Priuses, Civics and SUVs. And it costs a lot less. Does that mean a Mustang is anywhere close to a Ferrari in speed? The US is, by virtue of its spending, #1, no question. It deliberately has ...


56

The modern US military is self-selecting — a professional army, not a conscripted one — so I doubt this effect would hold true historically. But as a rule, the political Right tends to value military service as a symbol of deep patriotism. As a consequence, those who lean politically Right who want to serve the nation will be more likely to think of the ...


51

Longer range missiles could conceivably be sea-launched, as an SLBM, from a standoff position. Having a more capable platform would give that option. (India does have SLBMs but not necessarily of same family) as others have pointed out, a longer range allows India to site its missiles in safer areas, rather than on their borders. Current geo-politics can ...


50

Mostly true First claim: exaggerated In the three decades before Trump's election, NATO spending declined by two-thirds. On page 4 of this 1987 report(pdf) on NATO military spending, we learn that in 1987 they were globally spending 5.0% of their GDP on defense. More precisely: USA: 6.6% Canada: 2.1% (Western) Europe: 3.4% In 2016, i.e. year 1 before ...


48

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?). ...


48

Iran doesn't pose any threat to the US or its allies. The US, Israel and some of the Gulf countries see Iran as a threat because Iran is supporting certain militant groups that can pose a threat in case of an armed conflict. That Iran would (and currently does) pose a threat to the US when there are military tensions is a completely normal situation that ...


48

Absolute and relative amounts Germany has come much closer to the 2% goal due to the COVID crisis -- the GDP went down, the defense budget stayed the same, so the percentage went up. Similarly, good years reduced the percentage without any defense cuts. Rejection of war as a means of policy. Germany has spent 40 years at the frontline of the Cold War, a war ...


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 ...


46

It is not necessary. The army generals are OK taking orders from "Colonel X", because he is the head of state, whether or not he is a higher rank. (If they weren't, the Colonel wouldn't be head of state). Generals are used to taking orders from civilians outside the military chain of command. A dictator's power doesn't depend on his rank. ...


46

What authority does the Vice President have to mobilize the National Guard? Apparently, none. However, the acting defense secretary does. Because the District is not a state, the D.C. Guard answers to the president, but he has delegated authority to command the capital’s guardsmen to Miller and McCarthy — two of the top officials at the Pentagon. — ...


45

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. ...


45

The Governor of Virginia sent VA National Guard members to assist in handling the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the request of the Mayor of the District of Columbia. The DC Mayor was authorized to make this request and the VA Governor was authorized to honor this request thanks to the Emergency Management Assistance Compact. The state of Maryland also ...


42

In his farewell speech of 1961, Eisenhower warned of growth of the 'military-industrial complex' and the 'potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power.' It was a speech he began working on two years earlier and went through 21 drafts - which perhaps indicated the importance he placed upon this. Originally the phrase was 'military-industrial-...


42

Unknown, but unlikely. 1973, during the end of Nixon's reign, Harold Hering, twenty-one years into his Air Force career, while serving as a Minuteman missile crewman and expecting a promotion to lieutenant colonel, posed the following question during training at Vandenberg Air Force Base: "How can I know that an order I receive to launch my missiles ...


40

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 ...


39

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 ...


38

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 ...


37

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 ...


36

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 ...


36

There is a lot of confusion regarding the French Gendarmerie, fueled by descriptions like “military police” or “military force with law enforcement duty” which are technically correct but do not fully reflect the nature and tactics of the force. Its members are indeed military officers, which has some legal consequences (trade unions are strictly forbidden, ...


36

Coups by the army - 4 since inception Wars lost by the army - 4 out of 4, all of which it seems to have instigated. Budget used by the army - Accounting for 18.5% of national government expenditure in 2018, after interest payments, Pakistan's military absorbs the largest part of the country's budget. I kinda recall there was an earthquake in which the 18% ...


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