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The US is arguably the most advanced society on earth, economically, technologically etc. It is at least odd that if war is as destructive as it is thought to be that the US is also the most warlike nation.

I think the issue is that the US is the world's security Central Banker. The sheriff of last resort. Japan, Europe, etc. could count on America to be the security underwriter of last resort. They did not have to spend on the military because the US was.

There are non-economic benefits to maintaining a military. Aside from self-defense, one is necessary if you want to do anything about ethnic cleansing in the Balkans or genocide in Rwanda or Darfur.

The European forces, I believe, have only 11 heavy military transport planes; fewer than Australia. The U.S. forces have 250. The lack of heavy transport planes makes it essentially impossible for European nations to do anything in Darfur, for example.

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