U.S. Defense Spending — False Comparisons

Rachel Zissimos and Thomas Spoehr over at the Heritage Foundation have done a service to American national security. They recently published a paper debunking, one hopes finally and forever, the oft-used argument that the American defense budget is adequate because the United States spends more on its armed forces than the next eight nations combined. The English language, rich as it is, is inadequate to describe the falseness of that mode of comparison. I am not accusing those who use it — or most of them, anyway — of deliberate deception. The argument has a facial appeal, and most of those who succumb to it do so in good faith. But the comparison is completely, and I mean completely, misleading. The reasons rehearsed in the paper are so extensive and well documented that I cannot possibly do them justice here. But here is a summary. First, many other countries, and especially the authoritarian regimes who are America’s chief adversaries and peer competitors, hide much of their military budgets. To put it bluntly, they lie about their spending. The Chinese, for example, do not count their research-and-development expenditures, the considerable amount they pay for foreign military purchases, the huge subsidies for their defense industry (which is composed mostly of enterprises owned by the state), or their spending on the Chinese coast guard despite many of their “maritime law enforcement” ships being in effect naval vessels.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/449582/united-states-defense-spending-false-comparisons-china-other-countries-heritage-foundation-report


Author: Lisa the Infidel

I am an #Infidel - born and bred North Carolina.

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