In a great piece of irony the Pentagon has expressed concern that China is increasing their military spending.
Check out this great quote from the Pentagons report:
“China does not now face a direct threat from another nation. Yet it continues to invest heavily in its military, particularly in programmes designed to improve power projection.”
Now, substitute the word US for China and see what you get. Amazing isn’t it? The US doesn’t face any “direct threats” any more than China does. China is a heck of a lot closer to those US-deemed “rogue nations.”
Look at it another way. China has about 4x the population of the US. The US spends at least 4x on it’s military than it’s estimated that China does. The US spends approximately $1,500/citizen/year on their military while China spend about $75/citizen/year (actually, that’s the number that’s currently believed, by the numbers China officially claims it’s about half that).
Also, from the US side those numbers don’t include all kinds of “special” military spending like wars and possibly money for nuclear weapons.
This is all to say that the US really shouldn’t be saying anything about the military spending of any other country. The US spends more than the next 20 largest spenders, combined. Here’s some info Wikipedia – Military of the United States. The US spends around as much on research and development of new weaponry as the next biggest spender spends on their entire military.
It’s also been pretty shocking for me living here in the US. The culture seems so military and war-oriented it’s suprising sometimes. A lot of the tourist attractions here in Texas are related to wars or battles, etc. Like the Alamo and the Texas Capital which is full of paintings of wars. When walking around these places you really get the feeling that nothing else matters.
What took the prize recently was some show I flipped through talking about soldiers returning from the Iraq war. One of them made the comment “our military is what made this country great.” What a sad statement. Either people like this think it’s a great thing to be going around the world killing “other people”, or they can’t think of anything better about their country. Sad either way. Thankfully I know there’s at least 50% of the population here that doesn’t think the same way, and can think of better things about their country.