We've got a huge area to cover with a very small number of people (compare to Japan/JSDF or Israel/IDF). Our closest ally has all but dismantled their forces (I think they're supposed to be able to defend the country for a week?) and there's a big, unpredictable, war-waging neighbour on the other front (Chechnya, Georgia, military-political pressure towards ex-USSR states).
True, you are next door to Russia but then the risk of reprisal from other nations is much greater than it is in the cases of Chechnya and Georgia. Although Finland keeps a non-aligned status on some fronts, it does have a partnership with NATO even though it is not a member. It is also an EU member and aggression against an EU member state would be regrettable for Russia. They simply wouldn't try it in the modern age. I'm not totally against conscription or totally for it, it's just a dying trend amongst EU countries with even France and Germany having formally dropped it relatively recently.
It does hardly anything for employment figures, during or after service - it's nothing special as everyone does it
So less people in the job market so lower unemployment than if you did not have conscription. Indeed, when British troops began being demobilised at the end of WW2 they were very careful about how many people they let back onto the job market at once. Demobilising all troops at once would have created chaos so in 1945 only those who had previously worked in key industries were released, then many more in 1946 but some remained conscripted until 1948. This was all for economic reasons.
It is arguable that army service can help some people longer term by giving them a puprose and a duty to fulfill. It teaches teamwork and that hard work is worthwhile, plus it stops people being couch potatoes.
Yeah, it's also going to imperialism and terrorism.
I don't think you were going for some kind of Marxist argument so what was your point?
My point was that for those on the political right in the US military expenditure is seen as a good thing. It has the result of putting many people in jobs and piling a lot of money into the US economy, this is a side effect but one that also comes off as good with some sectors of voters, in particular the working classes in areas where there is not much to do except join the military. You put someone in a job, they're more likely to vote for you for life. In the UK we have a similar thing with the public sector which votes en masse for the Labour party as they are the party which creates public sector jobs.
The other big rockets claim to be roughly as capable. Maybe those are empty claims. But since we don't have security clearances, unless there is public information somewhere about the mass and orbit of the biggest Delta payloads, any claims about the Delta's capabilities are just as empty.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison ... ch_systems
Here you'll see that the Delta IV heavy lift can put over 50% higher weight into geostationary orbit than the heaviest Ariane 5. It's not that the Ariane 5 is bad, far from it, it's very good, it's just that there is a limited market for putting things that big and heavy into orbit and the US military is one of the few customers for things that big. As such all but one launch has been for the US government. They don't need to make satellites that big I'm sure, it's just that that's what they do.
As we're on to launch vehicles perhaps I should mention the James Webb Space Telescope which will replace Hubble in a few years. James Webb was the second NASA administrator and oversaw the Appollo program. Oh the irony that the JWST will be launched on an Arianne 5.
I for one am not bothered by a former ally of Nazi Germany giving special dispensation to a group that was so horribly persecuted by the Nazis precisely because they were pacifists.
Hmm, contraversial. Finland was allied with Germany but then declared war on them in 1944 so you could think of them as being enemies just as well as you could allies. Finland is notable in being the only democracy to have allied itself with Germany but this was really more against the USSR than for a like of the Nazi's. The UK declared war on Finland because of their alliance with Hitler, being the only time in history that a democracy has declared war on another democracy.
If you're going to look at WW2 and any guilt that a country might have then there are plenty of others as well, Ireland for example, or some of the arabic states. The istuation is complicated for many states where it is not so simple as a battle of 2 sides.