Its good to know that the politicians are doing one thing right. The US has and is maintaining the world's best military, reaffirmed by this financial times article stating that Europe's defense industry is lagging far behind (20-30% of) the US in new tech. investments. The paper had another article on the same page about Rumsfeld's admonishment of China's rising military spending, apparently now the world's third (what's the second?) highest. Thus although we're safe today, look out for tommorrow, especially since a nation can't just have a good military and be set. In order to keep us secure, we've got to have political and economic security. Right now both are imperilled, the first by our foreign diplomacy and terrorism, the second by deficits, energy, and internal problems, and both by China. China's boost in military spending is in direct correlation to its rising economy. If its economy surpasses us, as many say it will, we're in big trouble. Yet another reason to push ahead the practical agenda.
On a similar note, our military won't be of much use if it always costs so much to execute a war. Iraq is costing somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 billion dollars a year, and that's just an occupation. Honestly, that equates to roughly .5 million a soldier a year. I know we can't short-change our soldiers, but I also know that we can't afford to cough up this much for every war we go to. I think we've got some inefficiencies along the line, and I suspect we're getting ripped off. There is no way we're paying the lowest price plausible when truck drivers are getting 100,000 a year, but then again, the entire idea of contracting out military work is a bad one.