DEFUND THE MILITARY
Spending Double Standards on Steroids
Despite the rise of Chinese power and influence in recent years, there is still
only one global super-power, and that’s the US. Year on year, the US spends
more on its military budget than the next ten countries in the list, combined.
So that’s more than China, Russia, the UK, France, Saudi Arabia, etc all put
together. Or we can put it another way – the only country that is capable of
militarily defeating the US is…the US.
Keeping that in mind, it therefore comes as no surprise that the House of
Representatives has recently approved a military expenditure of $778 billion
moving into 2022. How is this even a thing when so much needs to be put
straight in a country that is clearly in a financial, moral, political and socio-
economic death spiral?
Every year the US, as a matter of routine, spends eye-watering amounts of
money on its military. It never matters what threat, perceived or real, that the
country is facing, the Pentagon always gets what it wants. It is therefore no
coincidence that since 1776, it has been estimated that the US has been at war
for 225 years, and counting. In a recent poll spanning the globe, not only was
China identified as the primary threat to world peace, but so too the US.
It’s not just the Pentagon that is indulged every year. By extension, the
military-industrial complex that supplies the hardware of war to them, makes
profits to bring tears to the eye of regular hard working American men and
women. And that happens year after year with no end in sight. And guess
what? It never matters one iota if it’s a Democratic controlled Congress or it’s
Republican controlled, a Democrat in the Oval Office or from the GOP. It’s
always the same. Always.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) was mysteriously, yet utterly
predictably, absent from the latest military spending equation. No financial
oversight was needed for this little spending spree. Which is in stark contrast
to the forensic cost examination of the Build Back Better Act, echoed with
howls of indignation from the vast majority of Republicans and some
Democrats as to unaffordable cost. The military spend is always given a free
pass. When action is proposed to help the average man and woman, such as
healthcare, education or infrastructure, the question “how do we afford that?”
inevitably crops up. Conversely, very few ever pose the question if the country
can afford yet another aircraft carrier or stealth bomber.
The US is in a state of perpetual readiness for war that belies the reality of
whether that is coming or not. Sadly, a sizeable number of Americans accept
this as being the price of that go-to concept, “freedom.” Deep down in the
psyche of American political mind-set is a fixation with both the military and
law enforcement (which resembles the military with each passing day). This is
a paradox that to those outside of the US, borders on a mystery. The country
was born out of revolt and the over-throw of the established power structure
of the day – the King backed up by his Recoats. Yet since the Revolution, many
Americans now venerate their new power structure, with the military at its
beating heart, and turn a blind eye as to the cost of it all.
In no way do we diminish the role of the US military in pivotal wars such as the
First and Second World Wars. Their contribution was pivotal in both conflicts.
However, that is no way comparable to the Pentagon, right now, continuing to
give hundreds of millions of dollars of tax-payers money to Saudi Arabia so that
they can continue to arbitrarily attack neighboring Yemen.
military continues to have by far the greatest number of military bases outside
of the US. This year it has been estimated that that number is down from 800
to approximately 750. Hardly a huge reduction by anyone’s reckoning.
This all raises the question, just exactly what is the US trying to defend with its
colossal year on year military spending?
The country is a state of advanced
socio-economic dislocation, with wealth inequality like never before. Poverty
and mass incarceration are running riot. Is this what we as a nation are
prepared to spend nearly a trillion dollars a year to defend? Is this who we are?
It may be to some, but it’s certainly not us and we will call this hypocrisy out
every single time.