The fundamental distinction between a legitimate national defense and an aggressive global garrison imperium, escapes the political elites. The War Party’s entrenched power and control of their egocentric internationalist foreign policy, endangers the country. Military expenditures have increased substantially this century with little regard to The Real Threat to National Security.
The “War on Terror” is a tired excuse that keeps precision smart weapon dominance deployed, which shells suspect bombers with impunity. The technologists that develop and refine methods for more efficient killing machinery hardly earn the honor – defenders of the nation.
The mere suggestion that armed services cutbacks are unpatriotic or places the homeland in peril is an invented euphemism to disguise the true nature of the coercive global empire that has replaced our Constitutional Republic.
The Economics of Sequestration points out that, “while many auditors would agree that the bloated expenditures within the military-industrial-complex has much to do with an adventurist foreign policy, the architects of sequestration refused to do a straight across the board reductions in all budgets.”
For a detailed report on sequestration, download the GovWin analysis.
- Defense hit hard, but small elements of major accounts have been shielded
- Agencies’ working capital funds are largely protected
- Fund accounts with economic implications are largely exempted
- Senate and House member compensation is exempt
- Contractors and government employees will take hits, but how hard?
- States, and other grant holders, will be impacted
John Barnett presents the political difficulty of actually cutting the military budget in the Brookings Institution video, How Will Military Spending Cuts Affect Us Down the Road? You can always depend upon establishment mouthpieces to exculpate and argue for the military money machine.
However, when pressed, an alternative approach comes from Lawrence J. Korb, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, served as an assistant Secretary of Defense in the Reagan administration, who proposes a small down payment on How to cut $100B from the defense budget.
Implementing the following four politically feasible reforms to the defense budget would save $100 billion over the next decade. First, reduce the size of the U.S. nuclear stockpile to 1,100 weapons. Second, cancel the Navy variant of the F-35 and instead purchase the more affordable and effective F/A-18 E/F. Third, reduce the size of the U.S. ground forces to their pre-9/11 levels as we wind down the war in Afghanistan. And finally, implement sensible provisions to reduce the over-utilization of services in the military’s Tricare for Life health care program.
A modest $100 billion reduction will not be sufficiently to reverse the explosive, irresponsible growth in defense spending that has occurred since 9/11. In fact, the bipartisan group of 22 and the president’s own deficit reduction committee (Simpson-Bowles) both suggest much larger draw-downs. But these reductions present a politically achievable down payment to avert the fiscal cliff and buy the Obama administration and Congress more time to deal with the larger fiscal challenges facing the Department of Defense.
The typical response from the Top Pentagon Brass Lay Out Details of Sequestration Nightmare, begs even the appearance of balance or veracity. As federal budget deficits spiral, the DoD schemes to defend the only conflict that can win; namely, the budget battle.
Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter called the “twin evils” of sequestration and a year-long continuing resolution “more dangerous than it’s ever been” as the Pentagon faces its “biggest cut in history.” He warned that cuts of $42 billion by the end of fiscal 2013 would mean a “drastic shortfall in the funding we need to do training, which inhibits our capacity to fight.” The Defense Department, he added, “would have to go back and redo our national defense strategy.
The entire point of Secretary Carter’s appeal is that the national defense strategy is even more sacrosanct than the outlay on hardware budgets. The key mistake in the security equation is that this stratagem is a formula for unnecessary and excessive expenditures.
Now compare reality with the Pentagon hype. WAR PIGS – THE FALL OF A GLOBAL EMPIRE presents compelling condemnation that the Obama administration is no different from “so called” GOP hawks.
Any doubt that the Military Industrial Complex is as strong as ever should be removed after examining Obama’s 2012 Budget which has $900 billion dedicated to our military machine. We spent $370 billion in 2001, $620 billion in 2006, and now this liberal anti-war Democrat from Illinois is spending 45% more than that war monger Bush who was burned in effigy by the anti-war Democrats during Iraq War protests. It seems both parties are war pigs.
You would think we must be trying to keep up with our enemies by spending $900 billion per year on past and present military adventures. But one look at the following chart reveals the United States is spending almost as much as the rest of the world combined. The two countries considered potential rivals, China and Russia, spent $200 billion combined in 2010. This is 22% of U.S. spending. From a foreign viewpoint, one must wonder why the U.S. is spending such vast sums on our military. They can only conclude that it is for offensive intentions rather than defensive. The United States soil has not been attacked by a foreign power since December 7, 1941.
Prior to that surprise attack, a foreign power hadn’t attacked the U.S. since the War of 1812. With this stupendous level of wasteful spending, our leaders feel compelled to interfere in the business of sovereign states and dictate how they should govern their nations. When you have an enormous hammer, every country looks like a nail.
Reasonable observers know intuitively that continued increases for defense spending does not enhance security any more than feeding funds into a government school system produces better educated students. The argument that the world is a very dangerous place has merit if the State Department would reflect upon the role the imperial American empire plays in the growing hatred for our once great country.The article, Alternative to Establishment Foreign Policy Politics, states: “The reason why nothing changes to reverse the foreign policy of the imperial empire is that international globalists control the country.” As long as this takeover of authentic national security continues, the game of cooked up fear will persist and used as justification for bellicose military deployment.
What is the point of trying to bomb the world into submission, when the collateral damage of corpses, become nourishment for even more national hatred?
The sarcasm of the War Pigs sums up the irrationality and places the Pentagon budget into a much-needed perspective.
Laughably, the neo-con hawks and Fox News pundits declare that our military is a hollow shell and needs much greater funding to insure our safety from attack by our many enemies. Other countries, such as China and Russia, feel they have no choice but to increase their expenditures on the military. On a percentage basis, they have more than doubled their expenditures in the last ten years, and still are a drop in the ocean compared to American Empire spending.
Whatever form sequestration takes or a brokered compromise adopts, limiting the growth in military spending, would be the best expected. The mere thought of trimming back the budget is viewed as a defeat for the defense contractor lobby. Notwithstanding, such a sacrifice for the military-industrial-complex, the country will continue to adjust. Keeping Americans safe starts with defending our borders and not expanding the legionnaire footprint across the globe.
The proper role for international relations is to adhere to an America First doctrine. The essay, NATO a Dinosaur Overdue for Extinction, makes the point: “The superpower status of military projection has not brought the promised Pax Americana . . . NATO doesn’t secure an advance for our country, but only provides the military command and enforcement that imposes the will of global masters.”
Consider the burden placed on the DoD budget to facilitate the inadequacies of allied countries that beg for assistance. The recent French military intervention into Mali comes to mind. Now just, imagine the lurid consequences of aiding Israel in a first strike against Iran. The effort to derail the Chuck Hagel conformation for Defense Secretary is a regretful attempt to wreck an orderly adjustment in the “too big to fail” military supplier culture.
Intelligent military expenditures require comprehensive reform of a broken foreign policy mission. Enlistees are placed into harm’s way for wasteful operations. Abusing legitimate defense capacity,to wage foreign adventures is the norm. The budget pare down is an opportunity to force some hard love, that requires prioritization for the real national interest.
Abandon the failed objective of overseas nation building and start practicing the vital task of reconstructing our own declining society. An honorable country demands our foregoing the long history of fostering “A Splendid Little War“. A scale back of treasure and resources is prudent and needs to be administered in a manner that secures a cap on future extravagant spending.
SARTRE is the pen name of James Hall, a reformed, former political operative. This pundit’s formal instruction in History, Philosophy and Political Science served as training for activism, on the staff of several politicians and in many campaigns. A believer in authentic Public Service, independent business interests were pursued in the private sector. Speculation in markets, and international business investments, allowed for extensive travel and a world view for commerce. SARTRE is the publisher of BREAKING ALL THE RULES. Contact [email protected]