With both Democrats and Republicans predictably falling over each other to increase US defense spending , what severe commentary and debate is available primarily focuses on how better to effectively allocate the additional vast amounts of taxpayer dollars to be left into the black hole from the Pentagon.
One analyst, at Reason , dared to claim that Congress wasn’t taking the matter seriously, complaining all these were concerned about was safeguarding the particular defense jobs in their areas and contributions to their personal campaigns.
Even though this has long been demonstrably correct, the fact is the conversation regarding US defense spending actually serious because we face no serious threats to our real national interests— and haven’t in arguably more than a generation. As Richard Cummings described in “ Lockheed Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, ” and as political scientist John Mearsheimer has noted, US foreign policy in the post– Cold War era continues to be largely driven by corporate and institutional interests, along with domestic politics.
As the American public is definitely scaremongered into acquiescing in Cold War II, it is very important counter narratives of US military decline and incapability with the reality. Far from being evidence we have to spend more, the Russian performance in the invasion of Ukraine clearly shows we invest plenty— and should be spending less. With the most marginal of US help one of the poorest and weakest states in Europe will be effectively bloodying Russia, the supposed penultimate nemesis at the rear of Beijing.
Whether or not he actually believes it, or whether his close ties to the military-industrial complex obligate him to say this, US senator Mary Cotton surely is dreaming when he or she forecasts a Russian invasion associated with Ukraine means Russia poises the US homeland.
Imagine, Russia and Tiongkok, who between them barely have got two functional diesel-powered plane carriers, and together have a tendency spend half of what the ALL OF US does on defense, crossing the giant moats of the Atlantic and Pacific, escorting the largest flotilla of troop transports in recorded history, and facing off contrary to the United States’ eleven nuclear powered aircraft carrier strike groups— which in addition to having their own complete complements of over 50 high-tech jet fighters are escorted by two led missile cruisers and four destroyers. Already by far the most powerful surface navy in the world, underneath the ocean’s surface prowl the more than fifty nuclear-powered fast-attack and ballistic missile subs. Together it is estimated they will bring to bear ten thousand missiles’ worth of firepower in order to such a hypothetical fight— excluding the carriers’ own many hundred missile-armed fighters.
Apart from the fact that none China nor Russia possess ever threatened it, nor have any reason in order to, US military supremacy within our hemisphere is a foregone conclusion.
What else could American security possibly need?
What could the continual standing existence of over a million active US service personnel, several forward deployed at over seven hundred military bases within over sixty countries around the world, do but invite the involvement of the United States in every discord around the world forever?
How does this make Americans safer?
Since they can’t point to any productive interventions in the past twenty years— from Iraq to Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria, to name just a few— the foreign policy and media organization lean on empty tropes, such as “ safeguarding the rules-based international order” or producing the world “ safe for democracy, ” in order to justify the continuation of an incoherent and unrealistic policy of attempted permanent global hegemony.
Advocates associated with permanent US global supremacy conveniently omit, as they at all times do, that the US provides always rejected the application of individuals very rules to alone and, further, that many of the very most strategically critical US allies, now and in the first Cold War, either were not / are not democrats or have/are committing human rights violations.
From its rejection of a Entire world Court ruling against it for mining Nicaraguan harbors in the eighties to Congress passing legislation authorizing the US military to invade Belgium in the event The Hague attempted to try any Americans for the crimes committed in the invasion and occupation of Iraq, it is easy to see why many governments around the world are unwilling to join the US in imposing sanctions on Russia: to them it looks like just another illegal invasion of a sovereign country by a meddling great power.
Not only do our government’s policies make Americans much less safe and erode our own moral standing, but they also cost a fortune. Doug Bandow is surely right when he says it is past time for our wealthy Western allies to start taking care of their own security. To those who question why Europe opted to forgo an independent course adopting the end of the Cold War and instead remain basically a junior partner within the existing US-dominated security architecture, consider that the base salary of a US Army enlistee is over $1, 500 the month— while the cost of just operating the particular army’s aircraft carrier hit groups costs US people $21 billion each year .
Instantly the generous model of the postwar European welfare state looks less tenable.
The coming many years may tell.
But just as sure as debate within Europe about the actuality of its changing security environment will be deadly serious, concerning major policy shifts, argument in the United States will be anything but— focused on how best to spend another billion here and there, ignoring the obvious fact that the United States alone could be defended at a cheaper cost, and that every involvement and policy of the before generation was a complete failure and has made the world more dangerous, not less.