The US Military Catch-All Thread


Not too far off some of the workouts you do for athletes in power events (shot/hammer)



Think about how many nukes we haven’t lost! You can’t really be upset about a handful being unaccounted for, can you?


OK lets keep going there Admiral. Let’s put your same context over the square mileage the ocean covers. Ohhhh yikes. 1 ship per 1 million square miles looks pretty terrible don’t it?


Think about the dozens and dozens of countries that aren’t threats to the US. Why do we need such a big military?


The primary reason is that our military has, as a primary component of its mission, is the ability to operate globally, and simultaneously fight in two separate theaters.

That’s something that no one else really does.


True. It’s also something that, arguably, we don’t need to be able to do, either. There is room for reasonable disagreement about what the scale and scope of the US military commitment should be, but we never have that discussion (at the policy/political level in DC, I mean). We just keep going on autopilot.


Yes, i agree with all this. A rational discussion could be had regarding whether we need to do this, but it’s very rarely ever had. Most folks either believe we should do what we are doing just because, or on the flip side, simply do not consider what should happen if we suddenly stopped doing what we are doing.

If we want to change, so be it, but we cannot make drastic reductions in our military spending and expect the status quo to remain as it is. It will not.


Well, Trump kind of campaigned on no longer being the World’s Policeman. Of course, he also campaigned on increasing our military to much bigger because we’re falling behind. And he also said everyone we help should pay us more. So I guess he was saying that instead of being the World’s Policeman, we should be the World’s hired mercenary army?

He’s not smart enough to articulate these ideas in an actual serious way, so I guess no policy discussion actually got started as a result of him actually getting elected.


Let’s have it here.


Well, we already have more rational discussion than 99% of what goes on in DC, so we’re a leg up!


That is also true. Of course, if no one in power actually looks at what the status quo is, whether we want/need/like the status quo, or how we got to the status quo, the whole thing is kind of moot. And it’s also probably good to do some thinking about what kind of changes we want to see, and how to go about getting them. It’s entirely possible that we might find we need to increase efforts and resources in some areas, and take effort and resources from other areas, etc.


Yes it’s a different world, but I imagine the founders would be appalled to discover that the essence of the US had become we need to be able to destroy anyone anywhere in the world as a basic tenet of public policy.


Maybe, but they also hadn’t witnessed the European powers start global conflicts, twice, in a span of a few decades, that cost the lives of millions.

They also didn’t exist in a world of modern global trade.


That’s the ‘yes it’s a different world’ part.

So, what sort of Navy do we need to prevent piracy?


It’s more than simple piracy at this point. We have Nation states like Russia blockading foreign ports. China is consistently trying to seize control of the international waters in southeast Asia.

And beyond actual naval conflicts, our Navy is a key element of our ability to project force on land.

If you reduce our naval power, other actors will fill that void. And maybe you think that’s fine, and thinking that is ok, as long as you are actually considering what will happen, and agreeing that it will be ok.


Given that we spend more than the next 7 countries combined, I think there’s a bit of leeway there without yielding supremacy to China or Russia. We could do a hell of a lot of good with that money instead of pouring it into weapons.


The Navy is mostly fine other than F-35 related boondoggles, imo.


I’m not sure if I think it’s fine or not. That’s the discussion we’re supposed to be having.

If the purpose of the Navy is to e.g. prevent Russia from blockading foreign ports, are we actually using the Navy to do that? I think the answer is ‘no’, right? And if we were to try, how would we do that? Would we engage the Russian ships blockading the foreign ports? Since that 1) means bottling naval assets up in the Black Sea and 2) likely leads to an escalation that could end up in a nuclear exchange, I’m guessing the answer is ‘no’, and that’s why we are not actually doing it. So arguably, that is not what our Navy is for.

Same question about China. Will we actually use our Navy to engage Chinese naval vessels in the South China Sea to prevent them from ‘seizing control’ of international waters?

As for projecting force, how much force do we need to project, where, and why? That is supposed to be the point of this discussion, after all. At the moment, the US Navy is easily more powerful than that of the next five to ten countries combined (depending on how you assess power), and most of the other countries on the list are our nominal allies. So how will other actors fill the void if we decide to be 10% smaller, or 20, or 30?

More practically, we’re spending more than $150b on our Navy this year, and have spent more than $1.4t in the last ten years. Who is going to spend enough to ‘fill that void’ if we decide to spent less, and why?


Naval Warfare 2019:

Use naval assets to fire missiles at a cave in the mountains.
Counter: Fire missiles from Gobi Desert.

Isnt the entire US navy in the Korean region undertrained, poorly commanded, badly stretched and over-extended and constantly crashing into things?