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Subject: US Forces 'black' budget = 2nd biggest military on Earth
Duubz    5/8/2009 6:10:50 AM
There's controversy already in America regarding the first Obama administration detailed Defense budget plans, announced yesterday. Some are painting the plans as a cuts package, others disagree. What's clear is that the US military's top-secret (or "black") budget is now on the same level as the whole of UK defence spending - and the UK has the second biggest defence budget in the world. According to veteran black-budget watcher and secret-plane journalist Bill Sweetman, editor of Defense Technology International, the planned black budget for fiscal year 2010 is just over $50bn. That's about £33bn at current rates, a bit less than the total UK defence budget - but only a bit. It wouldn't be inaccurate in money terms to say that one could rank the top few armed forces in the world thus: 1) Mainstream US armed forces $490bn-odd 2) UK armed forces $60bn 3) Chinese armed forces $58bn 4) French armed forces $54bn 5) "Black" US forces $50bn+ 6) Japanese Self-Defence forces $44bn And indeed there's probably more secret US military funding than this. The US government declines to disclose exactly what the CIA's budget is, but both the Agency and other non-military spooks do get money of their own. Some of this is spent on military or quasi-military activities: for example the CIA were heavily involved in development of the famous SR-71 "Blackbird" turbo-ramjet spy plane back in the Cold War, and it was sometimes flown by CIA pilots. Likewise the CIA is known to have deployed significant numbers of armed "paramilitary" operatives on foreign soil from time to time - sometimes local mercenaries, sometimes US personnel. It's an open secret that the agency has a significant fleet of armed Predator drones which it uses to eliminate people in places like Yemen and Pakistan. So one could probably add at least a few CIA paramilitary billions to the Defense black budget, putting the US secret forces up in the number three or even two spot. To be sure, much of the secret cash - probably a majority - is nowadays spent building and operating spy satellites, which aren't weapons in a conventional sense. Even so, that in itself is fairly jaw-dropping. Say $20bn or $30bn for the black space programme, then - and compare that to the entire NASA budget for 2008, at just over $17bn. However you slice it, America's secret services alone are a fairly high-ranking world power in their own right - and nobody except them (and perhaps a few politicians in Washington) has a good handle on what they're doing. ® Article from
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french stratege       5/10/2009 12:09:59 PM
Regarding purchasing power parity, the USA is not getting an absolute 400 billion dollar advantage over China or Russia. I believe a sizable portion of the US military budget is spent on salaries, benefits and healthcare to spouses/dependents, housing, retirements, and education.
Of course but like in all armies including Russia or China or even Iran...and according to local level of purchasing power relatively to local civilians.
But also the internal cost of equipement in Russia or China or even Iran is much lower since it is proportional to internal manpower cost since these countries produce their equipement or most, excepted from the raw materials (including oil and tooling purcahsed abroad at international market price at best.
A Russien fighter cost 30% of its US equivalent.Just for lower manpower costs.
We can say that Russian or Chinese budget are closer to 30% of US budget in fact.
However they are backward on technology from few years for Russian (close to the french or UK but a little behind), to 10 to 15 years for China.
Chinese have a problem since to be a few years later to USA ( like 3 to 6 years behind) is not a big problem since USA need several years to introduce their best tech like F22 in significant numbers, but for China 10 to 15 years late means that new equipement is equivalent to non updated legacy US equipement so is likely to be only target in a real war.
But with a lower budget in real, China can not achieve the necessary superiority in numbers to compensate.
However China is working hard to close technological gap by indigeneous effort plus spying USA and others, byt it will need maybe 2 decades to get an affordable gap.And still would not be so easy to beat wihtotu significant losses, like Iraq.
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Jimme       5/15/2009 4:11:36 AM
With respect nations like China that steal tech and have slave labor to offset their military budgets, I wonder how much can the US off set costs with the advantage of superior computing power. Like completely computer developed designs save a ton of money on time, labor, the costs of building endless prototypes, the costs of having those prototypes destroyed and costs of much trial and error as opposed to getting it right the first few times.
I mean computing power is the main reason why the US has stealth and the Russians do not.

I would also bet with the hacking warnings the Feds have been giving a lot of that black budget will be spent on even more sophisticated computing tech. (hopefully not Skynet) .
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french stratege       5/15/2009 7:46:45 AM
I mean computing power is the main reason why the US has stealth and the Russians do not.
Half true
computing power is the main reason why the US is more advanced on stealth than France and UK , then the Russians
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