Dismantle the Military Goliath

by MIKE WHITNEY

 

The United States Military is the greatest destabilizing force in the world today. With over 700 bases in over 130 countries its tentacles extend to every corner of the earth. In its current incarnation, under the rubric of the war on terror, the military is being employed for the sole purpose of securing the world’s dwindling resources (primarily oil and natural gas) The devastation and human suffering generated by this escalation in violence has thrown entire regions into turmoil, leaving both Iraq and Afghanistan without any strong central governments and without any reasonable antidote to the massive security vacuum precipitated by the war.

Any platform for the Democratic Party is unacceptable if it fails to address the true needs of the world community by dramatically reducing the size of this military Goliath.

The Military now ingests $400 Billion per year of budgetary expenses; a 35% increase under George Bush. This does not include what will certainly be hefty allocations for ongoing activities in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Clearly, one half of all tax dollars collected is now being provided to a military whose budget exceeds its nearest competitor by ten fold.

A MILITARY THAT EXCEEDS ITS NEAREST RIVAL BY TEN TIMES IS NOT DESIGNED FOR DEFENSE, BUT AGGRESSION.

Judge for yourselves how the military is being used and whose interests it serves. The lack of WMD in Iraq hardly put a wrinkle in the Bush Administration’s slick public relations campaign. Their purposes were achieved without the bothersome proof of Iraqi weapons. The military was deployed to Iraq as a resource acquisition tool that serves the interests of international financial institutions, weapons manufacturers and big oil. In this regard they acquitted themselves quite handsomely. Other that that, no ones interest was served. Now, that same military is performing the requisite “mopping up” duties, providing security for the corporations that are “joined-at-the-hip” with our current administration.

We must consider this new paradigm when politicians suggest that the military functions in the interests of national security. It does not; Iraq and Afghanistan illustrate that convincingly.

The American citizen is directly complicit in perpetuating this military menace. The full weight of procurements is borne on the back of the American taxpayer. His function, in the Bush scheme of things, is to provide endless resources to facilitate the conquests and adventurism of those in power. He alone must see through this ruse and act accordingly.

The present trajectory of military spending is breathtaking. The programs added during the last three years have included, space based military systems, low yield “bunker busting” nuclear weapons and SDI (Strategic Defense Initiative). These programs are not designed for defense, but domination; domination that is threatening our standing in the world, generating more terrorism, and eroding civil liberties at home.

The path is clear. The leadership of the Democratic Party needs to expose this charade and chart a course for the systematic dismantling of the military. We must reduce our armed forces to a size that represents a realistic (not paranoid) appreciation of the threats we face and our basic security interests. We must reestablish ties with the world community to defend ourselves collectively against the challenges of terrorism and political upheaval, keeping in mind that the greatest contribution we can make towards stability in the world comes in the form of justice, not force.

The architects in Washington have engendered a Frankenstein that is putting the entire world in peril. We will either succeed in wresting this monster from the hands of corporate interests or suffer the consequences. Only our resolve will determine whether the aggression, instability and misery will continue.

There’s a better way.

MIKE WHITNEY can be reached at: fergiewhitney@msn.com

 

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
July 28, 2015
Harvey Wasserman
Will Ohio Gov. Kasich’s Anti-Green Resume Kill His Presidential Hopes?
Cesar Chelala
Effect of Greece’s Economic Crisis on Public Health
Mel Gurtov
Netanyahu: An Enemy of Peace
Joseph G. Ramsey
The Limits of Optimism: E.L. Doctorow and the American Left
George Wuerthner
Bark Beetles and Forest Fires: Another Myth Goes Up in Smoke
Jon Langford
Mekons Tour Diary, Episode 4, a Bowery Ballroom Blitz
July 27, 2015
Susan Babbitt
Thawing Relations: Cuba’s Deeper (More Challenging) Significance
Howard Lisnoff
Bernie Sanders: Savior or Seducer of the Anti-War Left?
Martha Rosenberg
Big Pharma’s Profiteers: You Want Us to Pay What for These Meds?
John Halle
On Berniebots and Hillary Hacks, Dean Screams, Swiftboating and Smears
Stephen Lendman
Cleveland Police Attack Black Activists
Patrick Cockburn
Only Iraq’s Clerics Can Defeat ISIS
Ralph Nader
Sending a ‘Citizens Summons’ to Members of Congress
Clancy Sigal
Scratch That Itch: Hillary and The Donald
Colin Todhunter
Working Class War Fodder
Gareth Porter
Obama’s Version of Iran Nuke Deal: a Second False Narrative
Joshua Sperber
What is a President? The CEO of Capitalism
Zoe Konstantopoulou
The Politics of Coercion in Greece
Vacy Vlanza
Without BDS, Palestine is Alone
Laura Finley
Adjunct Professors and Worker’s Rights
Jon Langford
Mekons Tour Diary, Episode Three, Where We Thrill Everyone by Playing Like “Utter Bloody Garbage”
Weekend Edition
July 24-26, 2015
Mike Whitney
Picked Out a Coffin Yet? Take Ibuprofen and Die
Henry Giroux
America’s New Brutalism: the Death of Sandra Bland
Rob Urie
Capitalism, Engineered Dependencies and the Eurozone
Michael Lanigan
Lynn’s Story: an Irish Woman in Search of an Abortion
Paul Street
Deleting Crimes at the New York Times: Airbrushing History at the Paper of Record
ISMAEL HOSSEIN-ZADEH
Making Sense of the Iran Nuclear Deal: Geopolitical Implications
Andrew Levine
After the Iran Deal: Israel is Down But Far From Out
Uri Avnery
Sheldon’s Stooges: Netanyahu and the King of Vegas
David Swanson
George Clooney Paid by War Profiteers
ANDRE VLTCHEK
They Say Paraguay is in Africa: Mosaic of Horror
Horace G. Campbell
Obama in Kenya: Will He Cater to the Barons or the People?
Michael Welton
Surviving Together: Canadian Public Tradition Under Threat
Rev. William Alberts
American Imperialism’s Military Chaplains
Yorgos Mitralias
Black Days: August 4th,1914 Germany and July 13th, 2015 Greece
Jeffrey R. Wilson
“It Started Like a Guilty Thing”: the Beginning of Hamlet and the Beginning of Modern Politics
Jeffrey St. Clair
Star Whores: John McCain, the Apache and the Battle to Save Mt. Graham
Pepe Escobar
The Eurasian Big Bang: How China and Russia Are Running Rings Around Washington
Charles Larson
The USA as a Failed State: Ta-Nehisi Coates’s “Between the World and Me”
Robert Fantina
Israel and “Self-Defense”
John W. Whitehead
The American Nightmare: the Tyranny of the Criminal Justice System
Leonidas Vatikiotis
Rupture With the EU: a Return to the Cave Age or a New Golden Age for Greece?
Murray Dobbin
Harper is Finally Right: the Canadian Election is About Security Versus Risk
Brian Cloughley
Meet General Joseph Dunford: a Real Threat to World Peace
Manuel García, Jr.
The Trump Surge and the American Psyche