In a proposal to almost completely abolish the US military in order to balance the budget, Aziz Poonawalla makes this argument:
I think that the proposal above is a way to dial back on the military-industrial complex which President Eisenhower admitted was partly necessary, but which he rightly warned would have an undue effect on our national priorities. As he pointed out, we had no such industrial complex to rely on for either World War I or II, and yet we prevailed – the Greatest Generation were not professional warriors but men of our homeland who rose to service when the threat required.
Murdoc’s heard this one a lot over the years, often from those who try to portray the way that the US rose up and won the world wars as the way things should be done and a blueprint to follow.
16 million people died in World War 1. 62 to 78 million people died in World War 2.
World War 3 could have made those look like playground disputes, and even without anyone using strategic nuclear weapons would have been insanely devastating. And don’t think no one would have used strategic nuclear weapons.
Murdoc honestly thinks there’s a lot of room to maneuver when it comes to the military budget. And he is very willing to discuss changing the way we use our military. It seems that with a little waste cutting, a little bureaucracy trimming, and a little restraint when it comes to the nation building game, we could save a huge amount of money without lessening our capability at all. In fact, we would probably be far stronger in the long run.
But don’t pretend that the way we won the first two world wars is the way it should be done. Those were both disasters of previously-unimaginable scale.
The way we won the Third World War (1946-1991 by Murdoc’s reckoning) is the way it should be done. And it involves spending lots of money for lots of weapons that don’t get used.