Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Support Our Annual Fund Drive! CounterPunch is entirely supported by our readers. Your donations pay for our small staff, tiny office, writers, designers, techies, bandwidth and servers. We don’t owe anything to advertisers, foundations, one-percenters or political parties. You are our only safety net. Please make a tax-deductible donation today.
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:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

Weekend Edition
September 30, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Henry Giroux
Thinking Dangerously in the Age of Normalized Ignorance
Stanley L. Cohen
Israel and Academic Freedom: a Closed Book
Paul Craig Roberts – Michael Hudson
Can Russia Learn From Brazil’s Fate? 
Andrew Levine
A Putrid Election: the Horserace as Farce
Mike Whitney
The Biggest Heist in Human History
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Sick Blue Line
Rob Urie
The Twilight of the Leisure Class
Vijay Prashad
In a Hall of Mirrors: Fear and Dislike at the Polls
Alexander Cockburn
The Man Who Built Clinton World
John Wight
Who Will Save Us From America?
Pepe Escobar
Afghanistan; It’s the Heroin, Stupid
W. T. Whitney
When Women’s Lives Don’t Matter
Julian Vigo
“Ooops, I Did It Again”: How the BBC Funnels Stories for Financial Gain
Howard Lisnoff
What was Missing From The Nation’s Interview with Bernie Sanders
Jeremy Brecher
Dakota Access Pipeline and the Future of American Labor
Binoy Kampmark
Pictures Left Incomplete: MH17 and the Joint Investigation Team
Andrew Kahn
Nader Gave Us Bush? Hillary Could Give Us Trump
Steve Horn
Obama Weakens Endangered Species Act
Dave Lindorff
US Propaganda Campaign to Demonize Russia in Full Gear over One-Sided Dutch/Aussie Report on Flight 17 Downing
John W. Whitehead
Uncomfortable Truths You Won’t Hear From the Presidential Candidates
Ramzy Baroud
Shimon Peres: Israel’s Nuclear Man
Brandon Jordan
The Battle for Mercosur
Murray Dobbin
A Globalization Wake-Up Call
Jesse Ventura
Corrupted Science: the DEA and Marijuana
Richard W. Behan
Installing a President by Force: Hillary Clinton and Our Moribund Democracy
Andrew Stewart
The Democratic Plot to Privatize Social Security
Daniel Borgstrom
On the Streets of Oakland, Expressing Solidarity with Charlotte
Marjorie Cohn
President Obama: ‘Patron’ of the Israeli Occupation
Norman Pollack
The “Self-Hating” Jew: A Critique
David Rosen
The Living Body & the Ecological Crisis
Joseph Natoli
Thoughtcrimes and Stupidspeak: Our Assault Against Words
Ron Jacobs
A Cycle of Death Underscored by Greed and a Lust for Power
Uri Avnery
Abu Mazen’s Balance Sheet
Kim Nicolini
Long Drive Home
Louisa Willcox
Tribes Make History with Signing of Grizzly Bear Treaty
Art Martin
The Matrix Around the Next Bend: Facebook, Augmented Reality and the Podification of the Populace
Andre Vltchek
Failures of the Western Left
Ishmael Reed
Millennialism or Extinctionism?
Frances Madeson
Why It’s Time to Create a Cabinet-Level Dept. of Native Affairs
Laura Finley
Presidential Debate Recommendations
José Negroni
Mass Firings on Broadway Lead Singers to Push Back
Leticia Cortez
Entering the Historical Dissonance Surrounding Desafinados
Robert J. Burrowes
Gandhi: ‘My Life is My Message’
Charles R. Larson
Queen Lear? Deborah Levy’s “Hot Milk”
David Yearsley
Bring on the Nibelungen: If Wagner Scored the Debates
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail
[i]
[i]
[i]
[i]