Military Equipment, Counting The Cost

Military Equipment, Counting The Cost

Military Equipment, Counting The Cost

Security does not come cheap. There is hardly a budget discussion without mentioning the military budget, on top of that comes the money the Department of Justice needs for its police forces.

With all the expenses for administration, maintenance, research and hardware, just to name a few, one of the most important is the equipment that soldiers and officers use on a daily basis. The whole apparatus is actually there to support the individual soldier or officer, at the end of the day it comes down to the boots on the ground.

Military and police equipment does not come cheap. A 2007 AP report estimated the cost to equip a soldier at around $17,500, and predicted the costs to rise up to $60,000 in the near future.

In World War II it was only $170. even taking inflation in account, it is an enormous difference.

Why so expensive?

A modern day soldier is far better equipped compared to its predecessors. In average, a combat soldier carries some 80 items around with them. This ranges from the obvious clothing items and weaponry, up to night vision goggles and portable computers.

There are a few reasons why the costs for equipping soldiers is rising at such a high rate.

Public Opinion

The government cannot afford to lose lives. Since World War II a lot has changed and one of them is the public acceptance for casualties of war. Voters are willing to see more of their tax money spent on security as long as their family members are coming home safe.

Death tolls like World War 2, over 400,000, and the Vietnam Conflict, some 200,000, would be unthinkable today. In comparison the Gulf War had less than 400 casualties, with over two million serving in the conflict. You can read all statistics here.

It is also in the militaries interest to keep military service safe and attractive, since they are dependant on volunteers to fill the ranks.

Staying Ahead

There is not much use in fighting a war if you don’t plan to win it. Despite all the modern military hardware available, it is still the individual soldier that determines the outcome of a battle. The better equipped a soldier is in avoiding injury, staying in action and causing damage to the enemy, the better the chances of winning.

It is said that during the Gulf War, one of the coalitions biggest advantages was their advanced night vision technology. In the next conflict it might be mini drones or some kind of cloaking technology that makes the difference..


It doesn’t help if you have a tool for every occasion but they never work when they have to.

Quality is a matter of reliability, durability and functionality. If you are a runner you can’t perform properly if your shoe is uncomfortable, is too heavy or falls apart during a race.

For military personnel, and even law enforcement, it is essential for their security that their equipment functions when it should, how it should and as long as it should.

In our private lives we know how much good quality costs, but in combat, soldiers need equipment that is ten times more durable and reliable than the most expensive we can buy. There is a reason why the best quality label is “Military Grade”. Except for the occasional $10,000 toilet seat the high costs for military equipment are justified and necessary.