America’s Defense Spending and the Cost of War and Peace
In the eyes of a US Infantry veteran, defense spending in the name of war and peace still seems to baffle administrations and divide nations. As the largest ground war in Europe since World War II rages on, contemplation of the past may help unite those divided in the defense of democracies worldwide.
The Cost of War and Peace: An American Way
Looking back, it is difficult to compare the costs of defense spending to maintain peace versus the costs of wars, as the costs of both can vary widely depending on a number of factors. However, it is generally agreed that wars are much more costly than peace.
Cost of Defense Spending: An American Legacy
Defense spending, which refers to the amount of money that a country spends on its military and national security, is typically a significant part of a country's budget. In the United States, for example, defense spending accounts for a large portion of the federal budget, and it has increased significantly in recent years. The costs of defense spending can include a variety of expenses, such as the development and procurement of military hardware, the training and salaries of military personnel, and the operation and maintenance of military bases and facilities.
Cost of Wars: A Human Tragedy
On the other hand, the costs of wars are much higher than the costs of defense spending. Wars can involve a wide range of expenses, including the costs of military operations, such as the deployment of troops and the use of military hardware; the costs of supporting military personnel and their families; the costs of rebuilding and reconstructing infrastructure and other assets that have been damaged or destroyed in the conflict; and the costs of caring for wounded soldiers and the families of those who have been killed.
In addition to the direct costs of wars, there are also many indirect costs that can be difficult to quantify. These can include the economic and social disruption caused by the conflict, the loss of life and human suffering, and the negative impact on a country's reputation and relations with other nations.
America: Wars are Much More Costly Than Peace
While defense spending can be a significant expense for a country, it is generally a much smaller cost than the costs of wars. There are times when a just war is the beginning of the end of deplomacy.
"Only the dead have seen the end of war." Plato
The United States: A History of War
Some of the most significant wars that the United States has been involved in include the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In addition to these major wars, the United States has also been involved in numerous smaller conflicts, including military operations and interventions in countries around the world.
America: List of Wars and Conflicts Since Independence
American Revolutionary War (1775-1783)
Quasi-War with France (1798-1800)
First Barbary War (1801-1805)
Second Barbary War (1815)
War of 1812 (1812-1815)
Mexican-American War (1846-1848)
American Civil War (1861-1865)
Spanish-American War (1898)
World War I (1917-1918)
World War II (1941-1945)
Korean War (1950-1953)
Vietnam War (1964-1973)
Gulf War (1990-1991)
War in Afghanistan (2001-present)
Iraq War (2003-2011)
America: The Native American Wars and Atrocities
The United States has a long and complex history of conflict with Native American tribes, and there have been many hundreds, if not thousands, of battles and skirmishes over the course of this history.
Some of the most significant battles and conflicts between the United States and Native American tribes include:
Pequot War (1636-1637)
King Philip's War (1675-1676)
Yamasee War (1715-1717)
Cherokee Wars (1776-1794)
Blackhawk War (1832)
Second Seminole War (1835-1842)
Dakota War of 1862 (1862)
Red Cloud's War (1866-1868)
Great Sioux War (1876-1877)
Nez Perce War (1877)
This list is not exhaustive and only includes a few of the more significant conflicts between the United States and Native American tribes.
The United States: A History of Rebellions Protests and Civil Unrest
Here is a list of some of the most significant rebellions that have taken place in the United States, listed in chronological order:
Whiskey Rebellion (1794)
Fries's Rebellion (1799)
Dorr Rebellion (1841-1842)
California Bear Flag Revolt (1846)
Nat Turner's Rebellion (1831)
John Brown's Raid (1859)
New York City Draft Riots (1863)
Pullman Strike (1894)
Bonus Army Protests (1932)
Los Angeles Zoot Suit Riots (1943)
Civil Rights Movement (1950s-1960s)
Stonewall Riots (1969)
This list is not exhaustive and only includes a few of the more significant rebellions that have taken place in the United States.
In reflection, Plato's words still ring true. It is up to American voters and elected leaders to stand firm in the blood and treasure of their forefathers continue to invest and be willing to spend in times of war if necessary. It's our nature. It's our history.