I'm tired of the insultingly low level in some contributions to 'security policy' debates. Again, minutes of my life were wasted by reading just another pointless text on how "interests" -> "sea" -> "ships" -> "win!" without any logical connections, merely pretending to make any sense.
Thus here's a beginner's guide for how to make a coherent, logical and waterproof argument for an increase in military spending:
Identify something dissatisfying in the distant future in a scenario with the baseline budget. Past, present or near future issues don't matter, for budget increases take effect slowly.*
Monetarise the issue. You cannot possibly make a logical, conclusive, uninterrupted case for more spending when you don't convert from "issue" to "currency" at some point.*
Discount the issue using the long term government bond real interest rate as internal interest rate. Money in the far future isn't the same as money right now, after all.
Get an idea for how the military could lessen the issue (by doing ...).* Put a price tag on it, discounted.*
Execute an ethics check. Benefits from bullying are unethical, drop any such plans.
Reason and justify by how much the change in military spending could lessen the future troubles.* We're not stupid enough** to fool ourselves into thinking it could be a 100% cure, right?
Discount the extra military spending.
Now you can compare the discounted reduction of troubles with the discounted extra expenses. Stop right here if the latter is higher.
Identify alternative uses for the extra budget. Infrastructure investments, civilian foreign policy, education, disease prevention, crime fighting, whatever. Identify how much benefit could be gained* by the most promising alternative.
Quantify the economic benefit from keeping the people in civilian jobs instead of hiring them as extra personnel for the military.* Discount this benefit.
Compare the future benefits from more military spending with the most promising non-military alternative.
STFU about more military spending if it doesn't show a superiority over the most promising civilian opportunities.
Now consider the damages done to society by government revenue.* This puts an extra 1-30% price tag on government spending; administrative expenses of revenue gathering, judicial expenditures, cost of tax advisers, monetarised damage from suboptimal behaviour of dodging taxes with otherwise inefficient exploitation of tax loopholes etc.
Compare the pro-more military funding net benefit left over from Step 11 with the costs from step 12.
STFU about more military spending if the "more military spending" case doesn't prevail.
You may wonder why not compare the extra military budgeting with the least efficient civilian spending already in the budget and then possibly shift the resources. They reason is simple; you may argue for the wasteful spending's removal separately, for it has no justification independent on what you do with the military budget. And when you did so with all wasteful spendings, you would have no such wasteful spending as benchmark left.
This isn't how wannabe advisers do it, of course. The just like the idea of the military having this or that additionally. They don't make an uninterrupted, logical case for more. They just prefer more, from gut level.
The many uncertainties involved in these steps prohibit a conclusive, uninterrupted case for a particular proposal for more military spending. Only god-like knowledge could build such an uninterrupted case for it. Nobody who argues for more military spending can prove his/her point. It's impossible. They may fake to have a strong case, though. And that's why there are so many phonies, so many "much style, little substance" types involved in this, and why officials with supposed authority of being insiders can fake making a good case for more military spending so well.
And that's why they all talk and write nonsense when the pretend to have a strong case for more military spending.
*: Uncertainties involved in here.
**: Huge uncertainty involved in here..