Why does the United States spend 48% of all military spending in the world?

http://www.globalissues.org/article/75/world-military-spending This means that, of every dollar spent on the military, the U.S. spends almost half of them. As a percentage of our GDP, we also spend the highest level by a significant percentage (10% versus around 5% for other major powers) while we obviously... show more http://www.globalissues.org/article/75/world-military-spending


This means that, of every dollar spent on the military, the U.S. spends almost half of them. As a percentage of our GDP, we also spend the highest level by a significant percentage (10% versus around 5% for other major powers) while we obviously face other significant economic crises as well as Demographic crises, with high levels of unemployment, homelessness, lack of health care, lack of sustainable food levels (even for children) etc.

So why exactly are we spending like WWIII is around the corner? Even if WWIII were around the corner, we're already the most high-tech country by far, what is the impetus for continued astronomical spending?
Update: Also interesting, 44% of our tax money goes towards military spending or funding of wars
Update 2: I'm fine with having the largest and most sophisticated military as well... so we can easily cut spending down to levels equal to other nations, as we've been outspending them for decades... surely they can't catch up
Update 3: So, Abby Burden, I'm assuming you agree with me that we should reduce military spending, as that's the only logical conclusion to your statement (I bet you don't though)
Update 4: catawhum, I'm not sure you know what GDP is... that would be "Gross Domestic Product" and America's GDP is FAR AND AWAY larger than any other country's in the world.
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