Monday, November 11, 2013

Talk of the Town: Shrink the Military

People are talking about cuts to the military.

It couldn't happen to a more deserving half of our national budget.

The New York Times yesterday, in an editorial entitled "Reality Sets In" had a few choice words:
"Skepticism is essential when it comes to the military’s promises and projections."

"[To modernize the submarines, bombers and missiles that carry nuclear weapons] would seem especially ill advised given that nuclear weapons are being reduced and should be reduced even more."

"It has been clear for some time that America can no longer afford unrestrained military spending. There is no alternative to making tough decisions about what is essential for the country’s defense and doing a more ruthless and creative job of controlling costs."
What about the substance of the cuts being advocated?
* management reforms: $22.4 billion (SOUNDS GOOD)
* reduction in active-duty forces and nuclear forces: $21.4 billion (OKAY)
* reduce purchases of jets, submarines, missiles: $5.7 billion (CHECK)
HOWEVER . . . we need a lot more people jumping into this debate, because the cuts being talked about are too timid . . . AND because the most dangerous and illegitimate (and frequently illegal) forms of military force are being advocated for the "efficiency" and "cost-effectivneness":
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Tuesday that future investment should focus on Special Operations forces, unmanned surveillance aircraft and cyberweaponry.
Moreover . . . there is no mention of the big structural problem: the web of bases that spans the globe and assures that the U.S. will always need more military stuff to put on those bases, and more people to take care of the stuff, and more people to take care of the people, and yet more stuff for all those people. (And then we need to give them missions . . . because we just have to use it, right?)

Shrinking Defense: Welcome to the real Tea Party.

Related posts

In the past several weeks, the President of the United States tried to undertake an attack against a foreign country, but the American people said "Hell no!" and the Congress let the President know they couldn't support it. How often does that happen?

(See When THE PEOPLE Take Control: "Anything Can Happen")

Isn't now a moment when, instead of falling back into our existing habits of trying to change America's war-making ways, we should put our recent experience under a microscope? And ask what we can learn from this experience? Can we make 2014 the year that we sort the wheat from the chaff in Congress? And get the control over war and peace back into our own hands?

(See Election 2014: The Moment of Truth for the US Antiwar Movement?)

What would happen if every member of Congress "adopted" a foreign military base and demonstrated what would happen if all the money spent there were brought home to local districts? Do you think the constituents would welcome THAT initiative?

(See How About a REAL (Tea) Party? SHUT DOWN THE MILITARY BASES! )