As reported in my 4-24 blog, the top annual military materiel buyers in the world are as follows:
- United States … $596 billion
- China ……….…. $215 billion
- Saudi Arabia …… $87 billion
- Russia …………….. $66 billion
And, to repeat, a child born in Iraq or Afghanistan or Somalia in the last 10 years has no concept of what living in peace means. Our bombs teach them more about their way of life than any textbook ever could, assuming they even attend some semblance of a school.
The U.S spends $12 Billion per year operating and maintaining its 15 battalions of Patriot missiles. That is just one weapon system, and its necessity and effectiveness in today’s battle zones are as questionable as the sheer amount of them. How much is too much? It is like asking the same question to the 1%ers. There is never too much. One can just never have enough missiles and yachts, tanks and vacation homes, debt at home and dollars offshore.
At What Cost Peace?
Meanwhile, our military bloats with weapons they don’t need; no longer necessary bases overseas interrupt the centuries of culture they dwell within; and much needed domestic programs go unfunded or underfunded. I have found it impossible to find reliable figures for the costs, the actual costs in real dollars, of America’s wars. Too many variables.
The Pax Romana lasted about 200 years before the collapse of that empire. From where do we mark even the beginning of the era of American Peace? Did we become the “leader of the ‘free’ world” at the end of WWI or WWII, or was it during the Cold War which ended with the implosion of the U.S.S.R.? Is being able to and willing to spend obscene amounts of money what really makes us super? Or are we stupider because of the waste we create?
The military has so much overage in armored vehicles and such they give stuff away to municipalities across the country. Stop building, for Pete’s sake.
Somewhere along the line Americans–most specifically our politicians–convinced its citizens that we and our culture are superior to any other in the world. Moreover, because that is so, other countries need to emulate our “way of life.” Often we inject ourselves militarily into what are essentially civil wars, choose a side, and bomb the country into smithereens. Since WWII, think Korea, Vietnam, Serbia, Croatia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, among others. It never ends. We need to:
- stop listening to and believing fear mongering politicians
- question exhaustively each line item in the defense budget
- stop believing flag officers who claim the only way to end any war is to escalate it
- respect diversity
- embrace life
Let’s extend the premise of our Pledge of Allegiance to include “justice liberty for all” people on earth.