FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

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.

More articles by:
June 30, 2016
Richard Moser
Clinton and Trump, Fear and Fascism
Pepe Escobar
The Three Harpies are Back!
Ramzy Baroud
Searching for a ‘Responsible Adult’: ‘Is Brexit Good for Israel?’
Dave Lindorff
What is Bernie Up To?
Thomas Barker
Saving Labour From Blairism: the Dangers of Confining the Debate to Existing Members
Jan Oberg
Why is NATO So Irrational Today?
John Stauber
The Debate We Need: Gary Johnson vs Jill Stein
Steve Horn
Obama Administration Approved Over 1,500 Offshore Fracking Permits
Rob Hager
Supreme Court Legalizes Influence Peddling: McDonnell v. United States
Norman Pollack
Economic Nationalism vs. Globalization: Janus-Faced Monopoly Capital
Binoy Kampmark
Railroaded by the Supreme Court: the US Problem with Immigration
Howard Lisnoff
Of Kiddie Crusades and Disregarding the First Amendment in a Public Space
Vijay Prashad
Economic Liberalization Ignores India’s Rural Misery
Caroline Hurley
We Are All Syrians
June 29, 2016
Diana Johnstone
European Unification Divides Europeans: How Forcing People Together Tears Them Apart
Andrew Smolski
To My Less-Evilism Haters: A Rejoinder to Halle and Chomsky
Jeffrey St. Clair
Noam Chomsky, John Halle and a Confederacy of Lampreys: a Note on Lesser Evil Voting
David Rosen
Birth-Control Wars: Two Centuries of Struggle
Sheldon Richman
Brexit: What Kind of Dependence Now?
Yves Engler
“Canadian” Corporate Capitalism
Lawrence Davidson
Return to the Gilded Age: Paul Ryan’s Deregulated Dystopia
Priti Gulati Cox
All That Glitters is Feardom: Whatever Happens, Don’t Blame Jill Stein
Franklin Lamb
About the Accusation that Syrian and Russian Troops are Looting Palmyra
Binoy Kampmark
Texas, Abortion and the US Supreme Court
Anhvinh Doanvo
Justice Thomas’s Abortion Dissent Tolerates Discrimination
Victor Grossman
Brexit Pro and Con: the View From Germany
Manuel E. Yepe
Brazil: the Southern Giant Will Have to Fight
Rivera Sun
The Nonviolent History of American Independence
Adjoa Agyeiwaa
Is Western Aid Destroying Nigeria’s Future?
Jesse Jackson
What Clinton Should Learn From Brexit
Mel Gurtov
Is Brexit the End of the World?
June 28, 2016
Jonathan Cook
The Neoliberal Prison: Brexit Hysteria and the Liberal Mind
Paul Street
Bernie, Bakken, and Electoral Delusion: Letting Rich Guys Ruin Iowa and the World
Anthony DiMaggio
Fatally Flawed: the Bi-Partisan Travesty of American Health Care Reform
Mike King
The “Free State of Jones” in Trump’s America: Freedom Beyond White Imagination
Antonis Vradis
Stop Shedding Tears for the EU Monster: Brexit, the View From the Peloponnese
Omar Kassem
The End of the Atlantic Project: Slamming the Brakes on the Neoliberal Order
Binoy Kampmark
Brexit and the Neoliberal Revolt Against Jeremy Corbyn
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Alabama Democratic Primary Proves New York Times’ Nate Cohn Wrong about Exit Polling
Ruth Hopkins
Save Bear Butte: Mecca of the Lakota
Celestino Gusmao
Time to End Impunity for Suharto’’s Crimes in Indonesia and Timor-Leste
Thomas Knapp
SCOTUS: Amply Serving Law Enforcement’s Interests versus Society’s
Manuel E. Yepe
Capitalism is the Opposite of Democracy
Winslow Myers
Up Against the Wall
Chris Ernesto
Bernie’s “Political Revolution” = Vote for Clinton and the Neocons
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail