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In today's society, military spending is on the minds of American citizens more than ever. With the constant threat of terrorism and imminent war on the horizon, the United States government is spending billions of dollars on drastic measures to fight a large-scale war as well as to continue to combat terrorism. Critics against increased military spending argue that the funds set aside for such defense measures could be better utilized in other areas that directly affect Americans, including education, healthcare, and economic stimulus packages. However, supporters of increased military defense spending argue that such expenses are critical for the United States to reassure Americans in their fears concerning terrorism and other threats against the homeland. Furthermore, the continued threats from Iraq have triggered strong concern for American safety in areas all over the world, and the only possible solution is to engage in warfare with Iraq and its allies in dramatic fashion with a loaded arsenal of weapons and well-trained soldiers. Each of these measures is quite costly, but more importantly, their benefits outweigh the costs because they provide Americans with a sense of pride, liberty, and security in a world occupied by sheer chaos. Furthermore, increased military spending performs a twofold process as it contributes to the economic growth of some industries through increased defense contracts to firms that make weapons, machinery, technology, and other military requirements. The following discussion will demonstrate the importance of three significant issues in relation to military defense spending: efficiency, equality, and liberty.
Efficiency in Increased Military Spending
The importance of efficiency in military spending is essential to the welfare of all Americans. U.S. human and financial interests span the globe, and as a result, they must be protected as best as possible, but also as economically as possible. It is widely known that the volatility of many smaller governments and their citizens plays a significant role in the amount of military action that takes place at any given time. Furthermore, the United States has always played the role of dominant leader, particularly over allied countries in the United Nations, in the development of comprehensive military technology and weapons. Currently, the U.S. is faced with a delicate situation in regards to homeland security. In response to existing feelings of apprehension and continuous threats against U.S. soil, a new department of homeland security was established. Now it is up to U.S. lawmakers and the President to maximize its potential while maintaining a cost-effective budget. The FY 2003 military budget was almost $400 billion, an increase of $48 billion over FY 2002, with the majority of those funds ($29 billion) allocated for pay raises for troops, excessive health benefits for retirees, and the purchase of outdated or unneeded weapons (Isenberg & Eland 10). The remaining increase of $19 billion was specifically designated for war activities and other areas related to global unrest. Since military spending is likely to continue to rise in the same fashion as tensions increase in the Middle East, U.S. lawmakers must spend those funds wisely, perhaps earmarking more funds for war activities and eliminate allocations to wasteful activities such as pay raises and excess benefit packages for retirees. Increased military spending is absolutely necessary in today's tumultuous society, but it must be demonstrated that lawmakers can utilize their resources wisely on the issues most concerning Americans.
Equality in Increased Military Spending
The United States government is gaining support in its efforts to increase military spending to combat terrorism and other global issues, including a likely war with Iraq. Both male and female residents are demonstrating their support for war initiatives, including missile defense, homeland security, and bioterrorism measures. In the past year, public support for a missile defense system increased from 56% to 64% (Society 2). Furthermore, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has responded to public opinion and enemy surveillance by establishing a plan to transform the military to become better equipped for today's ever-changing society (Economist 8). Many critics of increased military spending do not possess the knowledge of the requirements to fight a large-scale battle. The weapons and equipment that operate successfully in one battle may not work for another (Easterbrook 3). Therefore, it is critical that spending is carefully planned in order to provide U.S. forces with an equal chance to conquer the enemy.
U.S. military spending is designed to develop the best possible strategies for the protection and comfort of all citizens. Although the policy utilizes taxpayer dollars, it is a fair and equitable tradeoff that if successful, results in the saving of many countless lives. Most U.S. residents with little or no inherent knowledge of the military process are likely to support increases in spending to combat the enemy and terrorism because the existence of 24-hour media has placed additional anxiety and stress on Americans, who fear for their safety and their lives. After the September 11 terrorist attacks, Americans were dismayed to realize that their homeland was invaded by rebels who loathe Americans and that thousands of lives were lost. As a result, increasing support for the military and its cause naturally ensued. Americans wanted revenge on their attackers by using military force. Since this historical day, U.S. citizens have been increasingly cautious regarding their own safety. In response to these fears, drastic measures have been taken in many areas, including a dramatic increase in airport security and vaccinations for diseases that may be transmitted by bioterrorism activities. However, many Americans still feel that the increased efforts are not sufficient enough to suppress their fears, and they are willing to endorse an increase in military spending to witness additional security measures that may improve the overall safety of the homeland.
Now that a crisis in Iraq has been escalated and there is no end in sight, many Americans continue to support the military in order to collapse an Iraqi government that is corrupt and deadly. Potential combat with Iraq will cost billions of dollars, and efforts are already underway to prepare for the worst, including loss of lives and the destruction of weapons. Although lives may be lost, the general public believes that this is a small price to pay to obtain a renewed sense of security and comfort. The military is designed to protect all Americans, regardless of race, religion or economic status, which corresponds with the laws defined in the U.S. Constitution.
The overall military plan is fair and equitable to all parties, and those who have dedicated their lives to the military are willing to engage in combat to preserve others. Therefore, increased spending allows the military to fulfill their objectives utilizing the best technology and manpower that is available.
Liberty and Increased Military Spending
Military spending provides the United States government with an arsenal of tools to combat hostility and other acts of aggression. In order to remain an independent nation with the greatest freedoms ever given, antagonism must be fought directly without fear. It is widely accepted that in order to protect American freedom, the occupation of territories all over the world is a critical need. Therefore, those who are strongly committed to preserving freedom will often enlist in the armed forces to fulfill their duties as an American citizen. Fortunately, in today's society, there are substantial allocations for military activities and ample numbers of men and women currently classified as soldiers. Therefore, the concept of nonvoluntary enlistment through a draft is not necessary. However, the time may come someday that the reinstatement of a draft will be the only option from which to recruit qualified military personnel. This action strongly depends on the loss of casualties in combat. If the numbers are significant, then the draft may be the only option. In this case, males within a specific age group who qualify based on personal circumstances would have no choice but to enroll in the armed forces. It is only at this time that liberty and the right to choose can act as limiting factors. However, the onset of advanced technology and weapons has made this a very remote alternative for governmental leaders. Increased spending that is used wisely will permit the creation of technologically advanced weapons, equipment, and computers that eliminate a significant amount of face-to-face combat.
U.S. intelligence measures are highly regarded as the most sophisticated techniques and minds in the world. However, this position of authority and knowledge did not occur by accident. Billions of dollars have been spent to create and constantly improve on existing intelligence in order to remain ahead of the rest in regards to military intellect. As intelligence has improved and now leads the rest of the world, these measures have not gone without notice, particularly by the enemy as a result of a worldwide media frenzy. Therefore, the United States must continue to spend the available dollars wisely in order to remain ahead of all others in their attempts to remain the top military authority in the world. This distinction reassures Americans that the enormous spending and efforts are…[continue]
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