Speaking at the Maryland CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) meeting this morning President trump returned to his campaign claims that the media is crooked, the country is in terrible shape, his great wall, the US military is very weak, and he is the only one who can fix things.

CNN said it was a campaign speech - again.

How weak is our military?

If the military forces of the United States are weak we need to take drastic action, but it would be good to see some evidence of that weakness before spending trillions of dollars on military buildup if it isn’t needed.

First, a look at the budget would be a good place to start. How much does the US spend on the military each year? In 2014 it was $711 billion (during two active wars) but also under Obama, it was reduced to $597 billion when much of the military was no longer involved in major combat. But raw numbers mean little without some comparison. At $84 billion in 2015, Saudi Arabia is the country which spends the second largest amount on their military.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) says that 5 years ago the United States spent slightly more than the next strongest largest military powers, including US allies, the BRIC countries, and NATO, combined. And, if that weren’t enough power, consider whether those countries are likely to gang up on the US together even with the President attacking allies and NATO.

Candidate Trump also said we are doing more for the Ukraine than closer companies. But didn't say just what we were doing against Putin's aggression.

On the ground, sea, and air

The main force on the ground is the main battle tank so one way to measure military strength is to look at how many heavy tanks a country has.The US Army has approximately 11 times more Abrams M1A1 tanks than China's most advanced tank.

The M1A1 was undefeated in the Iraq war because with advanced equipment they were able to engage and destroy the enemy tanks before the Republican Guard tank battalions even knew the Abrams were in the area.

Attack helicopters are another big force multiplier.

In the air - the US has 13,400 military aircraft, including 957 attack helicopters (Russia 428), 5700 transports (R.

1100), 2700 trainers (R. 370), and 2300 fighters (R, 751).

At sea - there are two major components, first is the submarine, which Candidate Trump didn’t know about (missile submarines are part of the nuclear triad, the other parts being land-based missiles and bombers), and the second is the aircraft carrier group. There are 10 giant nuclear aircraft carriers flying the US flag. The entire rest of the world has 1, with 9 mini-carriers, of which the US also has 9.

Contrary idea

The conservative think tank Heritage Foundation calls the US military weak across the board, but that is based on the doctrine that the US will at some point need to engage in two full-blown wars against major military forces simultaneously in different parts of the world.

That is probably true, but what are the other major military forces? Saudi Arabia has the second best-funded military and the US has already shown how capable it is in desert warfare, wiping out Iraq’s entire military and command and control infrastructure in a few days with minimal casualties. And, since we have a strong military presence in SA (a major reason Muslim fundamentalists object to us in their holy land) and we train and sell weapons to the Saudi’s, we probably know everything we need to know to defeat them in a couple of days.

China and Russia are the only credible threats and they hate each other. What are the chances that both will attack the US at the same time?

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