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Our Military Is A Bargain

James Carafano properly frames the Right Way to View US Defense Costs. And he does so with a remarkable economy of words.

"Smart" weapons and battlefield medical advances, to take two examples, cost more in real dollars. But they dramatically reduce the cost in lives - civilian and military. Our all-volunteer force also is better educated and better trained than yesteryear's conscript forces.

What's more, the US economy of previous decades can't begin to compare with today's. It cost almost 50 percent of gross domestic product to fight World War II. The Korean War consumed about 14 percent of GDP, Vietnam about 9 percent. Even with supplemental spending for Iraq and Afghanistan, the president's defense budget is about 4 percent of GDP.

It's a short column as it is, and excerpting more would defeat the purpose of linking it. But his concluding paragraph simply nails it.

Our military is a bargain, especially given its global responsibilities. Over the long term, looking at defense spending as a share of GDP is an appropriate way to measure the true cost of keeping America safe, free and prosperous.

Please do read it all. It won't take long, a real bang for your chronological buck.

1 Comment

Steve, you are so right! This modern war is being fought in the "knowledge age." What I have seen first hand can make you marvel at the spirit of our country in bringing innovations to reality. Technological advances are happening at a dizzying pace, allowing today's "future warfighter" greater flexibility in the field and providing more information than ever before. This saves lives.