Was Defense a lie during the Cold War?

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Was "Defense" a lie during the Cold War?

I believe that offense spending (calling it defense is a lie) is where the biggest cuts need to be made.

What was the provocation that justified any war we have been in since WWII? Every single one has been a waste of money and lives. The only real provocation I know of was the destruction of the world trade centers. That was not done by another government and only killed a few thousand people. Was that worth the billions we have and are wasting in Afghanistan? I can understand attacking the Taliban but we should have been out within months, not years, with the clear message left behind that we were willing to come back and kick their arse again if necessary. We go in and never leave. Our military spending is weakening us, not strengthening us. Nation building with our military is a crackpot idea.

I believe we are destroying this country with military spending and policies when we should be building it.
Was "Defense" a lie during the Cold War?
 
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  • #2
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WhoWee, during the cold war an interesting game was developed at the Rand Corporation (Rand comes from R and D) to model spending during the cold war. The game was called the dollar auction. In that game a dollar is auctioned off to the highest bidder. The auction is like any other auction except for one difference; the second to last bidder has to pay his last bid but gets nothing in return. That simulates how the loser in a cold war that turns hot has spent approximately the same as his rival but gets nothing in return.

In the game, bidding progresses to $.99 at which point the second to the last bidder must decide if he prefers to lose $.98 or buy the dollar for for a dollar. He almost always ups the bid to a dollar. Then the bidder who bid $.99 has to decide to lose $.99 or $.01 by bidding $1.01. In this way it seems cheaper to up the bid than to lose what one had already bid. When the dollar auction was played, the dollar usually sold for between $3 and $5.

The arms race works very much like the dollar auction. In an arms race there is motivation to maintain an arsenal larger than one's opponent regardless of how large it already is. It is likely we spent several times what we actually needed for defense. Whether that extra spending could truly be called defense spending could be argued either way. While the general consensus is that the Soviets couldn't keep up with our level of military spending and was forced to dissolve itself, it's just as likely that the communist economy was so inefficient that the Soviet Union would have to dissolve anyway even without a contest with the US in military spending.
 
  • #3
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WhoWee, during the cold war an interesting game was developed at the Rand Corporation (Rand comes from R and D) to model spending during the cold war. The game was called the dollar auction. In that game a dollar is auctioned off to the highest bidder. The auction is like any other auction except for one difference; the second to last bidder has to pay his last bid but gets nothing in return. That simulates how the loser in a cold war that turns hot has spent approximately the same as his rival but gets nothing in return.

In the game, bidding progresses to $.99 at which point the second to the last bidder must decide if he prefers to lose $.98 or buy the dollar for for a dollar. He almost always ups the bid to a dollar. Then the bidder who bid $.99 has to decide to lose $.99 or $.01 by bidding $1.01. In this way it seems cheaper to up the bid than to lose what one had already bid. When the dollar auction was played, the dollar usually sold for between $3 and $5.

The arms race works very much like the dollar auction. In an arms race there is motivation to maintain an arsenal larger than one's opponent regardless of how large it already is. It is likely we spent several times what we actually needed for defense. Whether that extra spending could truly be called defense spending could be argued either way. While the general consensus is that the Soviets couldn't keep up with our level of military spending and was forced to dissolve itself, it's just as likely that the communist economy was so inefficient that the Soviet Union would have to dissolve anyway even without a contest with the US in military spending.
On the other hand, they might have bombed us back to the Stoneage - if we didn't Defend ourselves?
 
  • #4
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On the other hand, they might have bombed us back to the Stoneage - if we didn't Defend ourselves?
Immediately after WWII during the short period when the US had the bomb and the Soviets didn't, there were a number of people, mostly military, who advocated attacking and destroying the Soviet Union before it could develop the bomb. One of more notable of the advocates was Bertrand Russell.

Why didn't we bomb the Soviets back to the stone age when we had the chance?
 
  • #5
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Immediately after WWII during the short period when the US had the bomb and the Soviets didn't, there were a number of people, mostly military, who advocated attacking and destroying the Soviet Union before it could develop the bomb. One of more notable of the advocates was Bertrand Russell.

Why didn't we bomb the Soviets back to the stone age when we had the chance?
Because we were focused on Defense - not Offense - the basis of my response in this discussion.
 
  • #6
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Because we were focused on Defense - not Offense - the basis of my response in this discussion.
My point was that if we didn't attack the Soviets when we had the means and motive, why would the Soviets attack us?
 
  • #7
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My point was that if we didn't attack the Soviets when we had the means and motive, why would the Soviets attack us?
Before anyone else waded in - I responded to this comment by moejoe15
"I believe that offense spending (calling it defense is a lie) is where the biggest cuts need to be made. "

Again, we built our Defense capabilities.
 
  • #8
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On the other hand, they might have bombed us back to the Stoneage - if we didn't Defend ourselves?
That is republican hawk baloney. Our ICBM's and MIRV'd subs are what kept the USSR from attacking us. All other military spending, including Reagan's crackpot Star Wars money pit (which any engineer with half a brain knew wouldn't work) was a waste of money. Speaking of which, there are very credible theories that Reagan had almost nothing to do with the fall of the USSR which republicans don't want to hear surprisingly.

Did the Korean war make us safer? Did Viet Nam make us safer? Has Iraq made us safer? Is staying in Afghanistan making us safer? And only a fool wouldn't know that the idiots that run this country, both parties, will start another as soon as these are done. There is no point to having a massive military unless you use it.

It's dishonesty to call it defense spending, defense against what? Some low lifes in grass huts?

The only enemy we face now is China and we are doing our best to make them rich enough to justify more military spending eventually. They are collecting interest from us. They are filling our stores with garbage and making massive profits from it (a double threat weapon since most of it ends up in our landfills). They have an aggressive space program. They are building aircraft carriers and their military.

The leadership of this country is a freakin disaster.
 
  • #9
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That is republican hawk baloney. Our ICBM's and MIRV'd subs are what kept the USSR from attacking us.
Were these items factory samples (maybe a gift?) - or was there a cost attached (for Defense)? You can't have it both ways.
 
  • #10
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Were these items factory samples (maybe a gift?) - or was there a cost attached (for Defense)? You can't have it both ways.
Pretty clueless for an MBA aren't you? We could have stopped military spending on subs and nuclear weapons a long time ago for 'DEFENSE' (did you think it stopped after the dissolving of the USSR?). Or don't you know how many weapons we built, how many times we made them more lethal, how much military spending there is on everything else, the black budget, etc. and it is still going on today. We reportedly have around 5000 nuclear weapons right now. That's about 5000 too many. (notice the word 'about' before you reply with more hawk baloney)

Yes, you can have it both ways whatever that means. I don't advocate leaving us defenseless or armed to the teeth in a never ending arms race as you evidently advocate.
 
  • #11
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Pretty clueless for an MBA aren't you? We could have stopped military spending on subs and nuclear weapons a long time ago for 'DEFENSE' (did you think it stopped after the dissolving of the USSR?). Or don't you know how many weapons we built, how many times we made them more lethal, how much military spending there is on everything else, the black budget, etc. and it is still going on today. We reportedly have around 5000 nuclear weapons right now. That's about 5000 too many. (notice the word 'about' before you reply with more hawk baloney)

Yes, you can have it both ways whatever that means. I don't advocate leaving us defenseless or armed to the teeth in a never ending arms race as you evidently advocate.
Why the personal attack?

When someone makes statements like "I believe that offense spending (calling it defense is a lie) " - they should be challenged. Btw - why don't you fill us in on "the black budget, etc." - just for fun?
 
  • #12
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This thread makes me lol. It's strawman vs. ad hominem in an epic war to the death!
LOL, it's lucky I don't have any nukes to use.

And a LOL to WhoWee, if we knew all about it it wouldn't be black would it? Not personal, you just seem clueless. Ever heard of a search engine or Wikipedia?

Pentagon black budget stuff:

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/02/pentagons-black-budget-tops-56-billion

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/3.11/patton_pr.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_budget

You don't like me calling it offense? Was Viet Nam defensive? Was Nicaragua defensive? Is Iraq defensive? Is Afghanistan still defensive? Was Grenada defensive? Was Korea defensive? Other than a few rag heads attacking us, no country has attacked us since WWII. I must be forgetting something, maybe you can refresh my memory on which country it was that attacked us thus activating our 'defenses'.

Here is a list of our military 'interventions' which you would also call defensive I suppose:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US_Wars

Pretty darn active for defense isn't it?
 
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  • #13
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And a LOL to WhoWee, if we knew all about it it wouldn't be black would it? Not personal, you just seem clueless. Ever heard of a search engine or Wikipedia?

Pentagon black budget stuff:

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/02/pentagons-black-budget-tops-56-billion

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/3.11/patton_pr.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_budget
Let's see, you label me clueless (yet another personal attack) - but (correct me if I'm wrong) you really don't know what you're talking about (specifically)? The only thing you know for sure is the Government has secret programs (according to wiki and Wired and if I want to know more - I should consult wiki or a search engine?:rofl:
 
  • #14
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I think it might be best if a veteran of one of these conflicts responds to you.
I'm a Viet Nam veteran clueless. How bout you? Have you been forced to join the service and fight an unjust and unnecessary war since you're so fond of our military spending and excursions? Do you have dead childhood friends who would be alive today otherwise? In case you don't believe it I was born 1/15/51. My draft number when I was 17 was 18, when I was 18 it was 15, a guaranteed induction. They were drafting army AND marines at the time. A trip to Nam was a 90% chance of not coming back.
 
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  • #15
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I'm a Viet Nam veteran clueless. How bout you? Have you been forced to join the service and fight an unjust and unnecessary war since you're so fond of our military spending and excursions? Do you have dead childhood friends who would be alive today otherwise?
Another personal attack - with your little "clueless" name calling? Accordingly, forgive me if I didn't assume you were old enough to have served in Vietnam.

While you might have been drafted and lost friends - perhaps you shouldn't assume you're the only one that has lost friends or family in wars?

The fact that you have a personal axe to grind aside - grouping every conflict since WWII as being the same is nonsense. I'm referring to this post specifically:

"You don't like me calling it offense? Was Viet Nam defensive? Was Nicaragua defensive? Is Iraq defensive? Is Afghanistan still defensive? Was Grenada defensive? Was Korea defensive? Other than a few rag heads attacking us, no country has attacked us since WWII. I must be forgetting something, maybe you can refresh my memory on which country it was that attacked us thus activating our 'defenses'."

You've clearly over-simplified the causes/reasons of our involvement in each example and completely glossed-over the Cold War as if the risk was low or irrelevant (throughout this thread).
 
  • #16
apeiron
Gold Member
2,013
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I'm referring to this post specifically:

"You don't like me calling it offense? Was Viet Nam defensive? Was Nicaragua defensive? Is Iraq defensive? Is Afghanistan still defensive? Was Grenada defensive? Was Korea defensive? Other than a few rag heads attacking us, no country has attacked us since WWII. I must be forgetting something, maybe you can refresh my memory on which country it was that attacked us thus activating our 'defenses'."
Are you really claiming to be answering the point of this post? I haven't noticed your argument for how these are all defensive operations in the usual meaning of the word.
 
  • #17
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Are you really claiming to be answering the point of this post? I haven't noticed your argument for how these are all defensive operations in the usual meaning of the word.
I have addressed the point - the Cold War required the US build Defense systems. After WWII, the US was the only country positioned to protect/defend Western Europe from the Soviets. This build-up had a cost, but it also helped the economy to recover and technology to advance - label this IMO.

Both Korea and Vietnam involved Cold War strategies - with the threat expanding to include Red China.

As for attacks on the US, we've certainly had Embassy, ships, and Marine barracks attacked - haven't we?

This is the wrong thread for a debate regarding Defense or Offense - why don't we move it?
 
  • #18
RudedawgCDN


I have addressed the point - the Cold War required the US build Defense systems. After WWII, the US was the only country positioned to protect/defend Western Europe from the Soviets. This build-up had a cost, but it also helped the economy to recover and technology to advance - label this IMO.

Both Korea and Vietnam involved Cold War strategies - with the threat expanding to include Red China.

As for attacks on the US, we've certainly had Embassy, ships, and Marine barracks attacked - haven't we?

This is the wrong thread for a debate regarding Defense or Offense - why don't we move it?
You could argue that all American incursions have been "defending someone" against something.

At what point do you realize Americans are almost universally hated by everyone because you're always "defending someone" and arrogant as hell - sure you can argue that people move to America to have a better life - but that's just like saying Hugh Hefners g/f's love him or Charlie Sheens g/f's love him - being used by someone for power/wealth/protection - doesn't mean they like, love or respect you.

To a large degree what crushed the old USSR was it's economy - the US seems destined to make the same silly mistakes.

Which is great - I mean really as a Canadian I hope you guys spend yourselfs into poverity, it certainly makes my trips down to the US cheaper as your dollar tanks. My home is worth twice as much as it's US counterpart.

China spends 116 billion a year on their military - the US 660 billion.

To answer the OP's question - "how much does the national debt cost us"

Everything.
 
  • #19
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You could argue that all American incursions have been "defending someone" against something.

At what point do you realize Americans are almost universally hated by everyone because you're always "defending someone" and arrogant as hell - sure you can argue that people move to America to have a better life - but that's just like saying Hugh Hefners g/f's love him or Charlie Sheens g/f's love him - being used by someone for power/wealth/protection - doesn't mean they like, love or respect you.

To a large degree what crushed the old USSR was it's economy - the US seems destined to make the same silly mistakes.

Which is great - I mean really as a Canadian I hope you guys spend yourselfs into poverity, it certainly makes my trips down to the US cheaper as your dollar tanks. My home is worth twice as much as it's US counterpart.

China spends 116 billion a year on their military - the US 660 billion.

To answer the OP's question - "how much does the national debt cost us"

Everything.
I've traveled enough to realize the US isn't loved by everyone - quite the opposite - IMO.

Accordingly, do I support ALL Defense spending - of course not! This is a complicated issue - everyone seems to agree eliminating waste and duplication should be a priority.

I do think we should maintain a technological superiority and a well armed and trained special forces capability. I'm also in favor of charging the countries we protect - not paying to maintain bases.

IMO - we need to re-think our level of participation in NATO and the UN in the next decade.

If protecting and feeding the world - including people who hate us - will result in bankruptcy of the US, then we need a new long term plan. The strategy should not include eating the "Golden Goose".
 
  • #20
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I do think we should maintain a technological superiority and a well armed and trained special forces capability.
In fact WhoWee isn't that the whole point in having a war about every 10 years so we can use up all our old weapons, test the new ones under combat conditions and keep our troops trained?
 
  • #21
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In fact WhoWee isn't that the whole point in having a war about every 10 years so we can use up all our old weapons, test the new ones under combat conditions and keep our troops trained?
I'm surprised you didn't mention the marketing aspects of demonstrating weapons capabilities in the field.
 
  • #22
russ_watters
Mentor
20,127
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I haven't decided whether to open this back up yet, because the basis of this discussion is just plain stupid. And WhoWee, shame on you for not recognizing it: the spending referenced is for the "Department of Defense". That's the name of the department! Saying "Defense spending" like saying "Obama" instead of "Barack Hussein Obama" every time. It is perfectly accurate. To nitpick a name in this way is an OT/hijack/troll -- and a pointless one at that. Be that as it may, with 21 posts, I'll have to think about/consult with the other mods about whether to open this or leave it locked.
 

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