The US Armed Forces
Is Less More, or is Bigger Better?
Learning Team C
(Nancy Anguiano, Toni Burket, Sherlen Drake, Stephen Eaton, and Martin Howard)
University of Phoenix
Business Communications 275
Jim Bingel, Instructor
Throughout all of history, civilizations have relied on the power of the strength of their militaries to overcome invasions from enemies or to expand their territories. Over time, technological advancements have allowed for the reduction of the number of people that are part of the country’s military while maintaining the power required to win battles and wars. However, technology has been a two edged sword; the more advanced a civilization became, ...view middle of the document...
Unlike conventional warfare where strategy and budgets possess well-defined parameters for planning, abstract warfare requires the ability to respond appropriately. Terrorists conduct abstract warfare; which is unpredictable. The aggressors who conduct abstract warfare must view the enemy as a viable target who doesn’t possess the ability and strength to respond. In short, if the terrorist believe their enemy is weak and incapable of retribution, they will attack. This concern was echoed by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta during the same press conference “That would force us to shed missions and commitments and capabilities that we believe are necessary to protect the core US national security interests. And it would result in what we think would be a demoralized and hollow force” (Panetta, 2012) (Margolis, 2012). The problematic challenge among experts, both for and against, is how much is enough?
Conversely, Republican Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, is in favor of a larger military. However, while wanting a larger military, his stance was also that he wanted to cut defense spending, which is contradictory, since cutting defense spending is, in essence, cutting the military. According to the Washington Post in October 2012, “[…]military spending is one more area where Mr. Romney’s math doesn’t add up” ("Mr. Romney’s Defense Budget: It Doesn’t Add Up ", 2012).
The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, or CSBA, printed a statement in September, 2012 requesting the leaders to use reasoned judgment and not artificial measures (Harrison, 2012). The article describes how the government military budget is often compared against the Gross Domestic Product, or GDP. Using this system demonstrated that “…a percentage of G.D.P. or past spending levels would set the budget with little regard for what is needed or what we can afford” (Harrison, 2012). The CSBA concludes that the debate on funding should focus on threats, strategy, and fiscal constraints and not specifically on how much defense spends compared to the G.D.P. Yet in another article by the CSBA, they surveyed the military and determined that the cost per active duty member increased by 46 percent. The Pentagon spends 75% of its $500 billion budget on personnel costs (Bennett, 2012). The CSBA determines if personnel costs continue at this rate, it will consume 100% of the budget by 2039. However, that is with the assumption the military budget remains the same. CSBA also warns that large cuts could create a military that can’t perform basic mission (Bennett, 2012).
One argument for a smaller military is that it keeps many American women and men out of harm’s way in battle zones, especially in places where the battles are not ours, but we have a vested interest. ...