Cut military spending

America spends ten times as much on its military as the world’s second biggest spender. America spends almost as much on its military as all other nations on Earth combined. According to SIPRI’s 2008 Yearbook:

The USA’s military spending accounted for 45 per cent of the world total in 2007, followed by the UK, China, France and Japan, with 4–5 per cent each. Since 2001 US military expenditure has increased by 59 per cent in real terms, principally because of massive spending on military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, but also because of increases in the ‘base’ defence budget. By 2007, US spending was higher than at any time since World War II.

Instead of a “peace dividend” after the collapse of the Soviet Union, we’ve hiked military spending 59% in real dollars since 2001! Who’s the enemy? We never captured the purported perpetrator of 9/11, Osama bin Laden, so what have we bought for untold trillions of dollars flowing into the Pentagon, besides 4.7 million Iraqi refugees and more than a million Iraqi deaths?

With massive budget deficits and a financial crisis and 4 ½ million newly unemployed Americans desperately needing jobs, health care and financial assistance, why aren’t we slashing military spending?

As Chris Hedges' book review of Sheldon Wolin’s Democracy Incorporated notes, “even in the midst of our economic collapse, the two main political parties refuse to challenge the right of the military-industrial complex to gorge itself on taxpayer dollars.”

Posted by James on Sunday, March 15, 2009