US military spending is indisputable because indefensible – OpEd – Eurasia Review
Spain, Thailand, Germany, Japan, Netherlands – The word has been said that every government can buy many more weapons with no debate at all or with one word drowned out by one word: Russia. Do a web search for “gun buying” and you’ll find story after story of American residents solving their personal problems like their government does. But look for the secret code words “defense spending” and the headlines sound like a united global community of nations, each doing their important part to enrich the merchants of death.
The arms companies don’t care. Their stocks are skyrocketing. U.S. arms exports exceed those of the next five major arms-trafficking nations. The top seven countries account for 84% of arms exports. The second place in international arms trafficking, held by Russia for seven years, was taken over in 2021 by France. The only overlap between the significant arms trade and the areas where wars are present is in Ukraine and Russia – two countries affected by a war widely recognized as extraordinary and deserving of serious media coverage of the victims. Most years, no nation at war is an arms dealer. Some nations have wars, others profit from wars.
In many cases, when nations increase their military spending, it is understood as fulfilling a commitment to the US government. The Japanese prime minister, for example, promised Joe Biden that Japan would spend a lot more. At other times, it is a commitment to NATO that is discussed by arms-buying governments. In the mind of the United States, President Trump was anti-NATO and President Biden pro-NATO. But both advanced the same demand from NATO members: to buy more weapons. And both have been successful, although neither has been able to strengthen NATO the way Russia has.
But getting other countries to double their military spending is pocket money. The big money always comes from the US government itself, which spends more than the next 10 countries combined, 8 of those 10 being US arms customers pressured by the US to spend more. According to most US media. . . nothing happens. Other countries are increasing their so-called “defense spending”, but nothing is happening in the United States, although there was recently this small gift of $40 billion “aid” to Ukraine .
But in arms-company-advertising-space stores Politics, another big increase in US military spending is coming, and the question of whether to increase or decrease the military budget has already been decided in advance: “The Democrats will be forced to either support Biden’s plan, or – as they did last year – pour a ladle of billions more in military spending. Biden’s plan calls for another big raise, at least in dollar terms. Inflation is the favorite subject of “news” generated by weapon-funded stink tanks and ex-Pentagon employees and the military media.
So let’s look at US military spending over the years (data available goes back to 1949), adjusted for inflation and using 2020 dollars for each year. In these terms, the climax was reached when Barack Obama was in the White House. But the budgets in recent years far exceed any other point in the past, including the Reagan years, including the Vietnam years, and including the Korea years. Returning to pre-Endless War on Terror spending levels would mean a cut of about $300 billion instead of the usual $30 billion increase. Returning to the level of that golden day of conservative justice, 1950, would mean a cut of about $600 billion.
Reasons to cut military spending include: the ever-higher risk of nuclear apocalypse, the immense environmental damage caused by weapons, the horrific human damage caused by weapons, economic drain, the desperate need for global cooperation, and the environmental and health and welfare spending and the Democratic Party’s 2020 platform pledges.
Reasons for increasing military spending include: many election campaigns are financed by arms traffickers.
So, of course, there is no debate. A debate that cannot take place must simply be declared closed before it begins. The media unanimously agree. The White House agrees. All of Congress agrees. Not a single caucus or member of Congress is organizing to vote No on military spending unless it is cut. Even peace groups agree. They almost universally call military spending “defense,” despite not being paid a dime to do so, and they issue joint statements against increases but refuse to even mention the possibility of decreases. After all, this has been placed outside the acceptable range of opinion.