The US is a net exporter of oil. Granted we weren't when we started pounding sand, but that choice has always be a strategic and environmental one.
>but from the opposite perspective what sort of man slaughters people without even giving them a chance to fight back?
I'm not speaking of the active terrorists, I'm talking about all the civilians getting slaughtered by our machines. Or more to the point, their surviving friends and families whose impotent rage makes them prime candidates for recruitment into the terrorist ranks. Remember, Al Qaeda was a mostly-irrelevant organization in the final stages of collapse before our entirely disproportionate response to their last gasp on 9/11 supplied them with a massive influx of new recruits.
As for the terrorists, I imagine they feel much the same way about our cowardice - they may hide as much as possible, but they still put their lives on the line with almost every attack.
The days when men won wars are mostly over - in a conflict between Major Powers it'll be all about who has the best and most hardware. And those costs aren't dramatically different around the world.
As for the difference in expenditure, Wikipedia if anything lists the least extreme numbers I've seen http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L...
for reference/ tldr : 2013 expenditures as estimated by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
US: $682 billion usd
China: $166 billion usd
next 13 nations combined: $585 billion USD