DoingHomework wrote:Yes, we pay low taxes. And all the while we spend generously on the military to fight all over the world and on many other things that benefit the entire world such as scientific investigation and application (think tsunami warnings and communication satellites).
Seriously? You do that so the rest of the world benefits? I always thought that the USA did that to benefit themselves and hopefully there wouldn't be too many casualties along the way. Not that's a bad thing, every country does that. But looking from outside of the USA it surely does not look like doing the world a favour, that's just a happy accident.
My point was not that we are doing anything altruistic. Personally I do not think we should be fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq, and many other places. But let's take the situation in Mali right now. The US has very little "interests" in Mali. I think it is hard to make a case for why we are helping the French there. Yet we are because we have resources that can be helpful and US taxpayers are footing the bill for what we are doing.
In the 90s when one religious group was trying to exterminate another in the former Yugoslavia we were there helping. Of course there was also a strong European presence there as well and I think the whole operation was under NATO and UN authority for which we have treaty obligations. But still, I think we were "doing Europe a favor" in some sense to help stop a horrible situation.
You will not hear me waving the (US) flag and saying that we are the world's savior/police force or that we should be. But I do think we spend an awful lot of money fighting and providing defense resources all over the world that a lot of other countries benefit from. You are in the Netherlands. Your country gets a LOT of support in terms of intelligence and surveillance that we pay for and your military benefits from. Whether that is a good or bad thing is a matter of opinion. But if we stopped doing it then it would clearly help reduce the deficit in the US.