It is no secret that the American Military is the strongest in the world with an annual of $711 billion spent on defense. That is more than China, Russia, UK, France, and Japan combined. The American Military could also cut its budget by 80% and still have the largest budget in the world. So that begs the question, why all this spending?
First, the United States is funding expensive programs such as the Lockheed Martin F-35 which is years overdue and way over budget. It is also important to know that the United States has 800 military bases in over 70 countries. One can imagine the amount of money that is spent with such a widespread presence. However, countries such as Japan is now starting to militarize for the first time since WWII and the United States is starting to consider potentially moving out of the region.
This comes with much opposition and it is believed that American presence overseas should be maintained.
America is the global peacekeeper and that became true after WWII with the creation of the United Nations and its global involvement in global conflicts. A good example of this was when the United States decided to intervene in the Korean and Vietnam War to try and stop the spread of communism. The military has been working in the middle east to root out terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The United States now intervenes in regions with high levels of violence and works to install a peaceful functioning governments and low levels of violence. This can be seen right now as President Trump decides if military action will be needed for Venezuela, a struggling country with mass protests over the legitimacy of the presidency of Nicholas Maduro.
Also overseas, the United States Armed Forces act as a projection of force in foreign countries. The best example of this is the American Navy patrolling the Korean Peninsula and with American military bases all throughout South Korea with constant military exercises. The American military presence in South Korea protects South Korea from potential threats from North Korea because an attack on South Korea would likely be considered an attack on the United States.
The United States has been a global force and intervening in affairs around the world since WWII. After the war, America became the biggest military force in the world and one that keeps the peace and will use its armed forces to try and repel acts of hostility. It is also the lifeline of other countries. Without the help of the United States Armed Forces, some countries would be on the brink of collapse due to terrorism or other negative forces.
The American military presence around the world is vital even though countries are growing and developing their own military forces. So, one thing is clear, no American military means leaves countries around the world vulnerable.
Jude Choi, Grade 10
John Marshall High School