The traditional role and mission of the military was to conduct combat operations against the military forces of an enemy nation. 20th century conflict was on a large scale, and traditional doctrine in the US was that our military should be capable of fighting in two widely separated theaters. China is large, but the theater would also include Korea, Mongolia, Japan, and other Western Pacific locals. My reference to "mission requirements" was not clear, but I was referring mostly to the the use of the military to break things and kill enemy combatants.
Alright, I guess this might be achievable due to US air superiority.
I guess I consider the possibility of any such major war negligible, I think that any such grand scale conflict would end up in cold war containment.
"Equalize or maintain current distribution of spending? Equalising would sort of disturb present trading patterns." I'm not sure I understand your point. The various States within the Union love to have military bases on their soil because they bring a lot of Federal dollars into local economies. Acquiring and keeping military bases within one's State is one of the most traditional "pork barrel" targets of those elected to national office. The result has been the creation and maintainance of many inefficient, costly military installations that disburse the military. That tends to reduce training opportunities, and makes the logistics of deployment more difficult. Efforts to trim military installations back to those that are more cost-effective and necessary have been difficult. My proposal that some effort be made to offset the loss of Federal dollars by funding other programs/projects is intended only to ease the realignment effort. Trade between the States should not be affected at all. Why would offsetting the cost to local economies of base closures have any impact on the trade between, say Main and Montana?
I agree with this. I wasn't quite sure what you meant with
To offset the economic loss of base closings, a strong effort to "equalize" military spending among the various States should be attempted.
so I asked.
I understood it to either mean realigning military spending to spend an equal amount of money in each state, which would offset trading patterns, or continuing to spend approximately the same amount of money in the same places, which would not. Now that you have explained what you meant, I agree fully.
National Guard and Reserve training needs to be altered by increasing its scope and extent. Both are intended to be "available in considerable numbers if necessary, while cheap to maintain in times of peace." The problem has been that not enough money and effort has been spent to insure that these troops are fully prepared for deployment into the sort of missions that are most likely in the 21st century. While the RA has been revolutionized, the Guard and Reserve are still caught-up in a timelock around 1958. Arms and equipment for these troops are obsolete and often inappropriate to their deployment. The gap between what they should be and what they are needs to be fixed without delay.
I guess we have a difference of opinion regarding what these forces should be, or rather what they are meant to be. I thought these forces were around to maintain a capacity for WWII type warfare. Then it would make sense, from a cost/benefit outlook, not to spend all too much money on training and equipment per person, but to prioritize volume and cost efficiency in terms of resources. Cost efficiency in terms of lives is a luxury which can be afforded for the career military, which should be reformed for the purpose of likely 21 century scenarios, but the state should also maintain the capacity to mobilise great numbers were this to become necessary. The lack of any conscription type backup for their superior but numerically few professional soldiers was perhaps the chief reason for the fall of the roman empire.
The military is still far better at combat operations against organizations that are clearly in arms, than it is in the sort of "nation building" missions that have been added in recent times. We are very good at taking out tactical targets and command structures, and we can take, hold and secure any bit of ground necessary. The problem is that our military is, and will be learning for some time, how to be diplomats, firemen, waste treatment operators, and etc. These aren't really appropriate uses of soldiers, marines, airmen and sailors, but they have been added to our tasking. It will take awhile before our military is as good at those efforts as they are at destroying military targets and opposition.
Nothing to add.
Yes, we need to be VASTLY superior to any possible opponent if the military is to be a full deterrent. Our nuclear deterrent is only useful against nations with the capacity to use nuclear weapons against our forces, or homeland. We also require "conventional/Special Forces" capable of clear superiority to any force put into the field against the interests of the US, or our allies. Those who are friends and allies today, may be enemies tomorrow, especially if they come to believe that they can win a military conflict against us.
I would think the capacity to contain should be sufficient for the giants such as the Chinese and the Russians. You should be vastly superior to any sort of 'rogue state', and you are. I think nationbuilding is the primary challenge for US troops in the 21 century.
Reduction in the amount of private debt would, I believe, improve our economy while reducing the risks to individual lives. Greater savings would provide the capitol for starting new businesses, and provide a hedge against economic downturns and adjustments. The idea that something can be gotten for nothing, that there is no intimate connection between earning and spending, is a dangerous path that far too many Americans have taken. People will spend, but they should not run up their personal debts far beyond what their income can support. I don't suggest that credit be "outlawed", only that the public be encouraged to save more. We need to promote the idea that individuals are responsible and that our personal fortune is in our own hands. Everyone wants to be financially better off, and the way to that goal isn't for the government to take care of us at the expense of others, but for each citizen to work, invest and save toward our own future.
I pretty much agree, I'm just pointing out that a sudden downturn in consumption would leas to businesses going bankrupt, which would lead to less consumption, which would lead to more businesses going bankrupt, and before you know it you have got a recession on your hands. Personally I belive that the US will have to suffer a major recession in order to deal with the trade deficit.
If you know a better governmental system than the U.S. Constitution, what is it? Finding and maintaining a balance between the power of society and the individual is a difficult thing to achieve, and few systems have had much success. The U.S. Constitution with its checks and balances makes it difficult for any interest group to hold power for very long, and has generally done a good job of protecting the rights of minorities against majorities. The Constitution encourages interest group competition, and competition between ideas. If you have a government you like, then keep it. I don't expect that there are many Americans who would like to abandon our system of government as defined by the Constitution.
I'll point out a couple of what I see as weaknesses in the American system of government.
Elections of a single individual at a time. While good argument can be made against allowing people in government who have not gotten elected on their own, electing one representative at a time makes things very personal. This contributes greatly to focus public debate on trivialities, diverting attention from genuine issues. In proportional representation type governments debate is focused more upon the issues, and parties can drop individuals who are holding them back, reducing the effect of smears.
The two party system allows powerful lobbies to suppress public debate of their pet issue by exerting pressure on all parties. In proportional representation type governments there will almost always be some small party who bring an issue up, even if it is not very popular among the population.
The personel nature of one on one campaining alows more to be achieved by large sums of cash. Swaying peoples oppinion of the candidates is a lot easier than swaaying their oppinion on the issues. This increases the influence of lobbies.
While I do find the system of constitutional amendments admirable, and wish such a system had been put in place in our own constitution, I prefer our own system in other respects. I think proportional representation systems do a better job at raising issues, focusing on issues, and casting light on all aspects of issues than do US style two party systems. It also denies wealthy interest groups much of the power they have in your system.
I do not think our system is perfect. I'm sure better sustems are operated by some country somewhere, and I'm sure better systems yet have been devised and not implemented. I do prefer our system over yours, though I would support some modifications, and I very much doubt that your system is the best ever devised.