Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The world is more than ready for us to kick the habit

I write thoughts like these often enough, but I don't expect them from a "respectable" senior writer at The American Prospect.
Why Everyone Wants the Military Budget to Be Bigger
... What's most alarming when hearing the Republicans [the aspiring presidents] talk is how removed their guiding principles are from reality. "Having a military equal to any threat," said Jeb Bush in a recent speech, "makes it less likely we will have to put our men and women in uniform in harm's way. I believe that weakness invites war." That seems to make some sense, until you stop and think about it for a moment.

Can you name me the war the United States had to fight because our military wasn't big enough? Iraq? Afghanistan? Panama? Grenada? Vietnam? We start wars when we want to, and nobody in this world is going to wage war on the global hegemon because they think our defense budget is so small they can defeat us bullet-for-bullet.

... So let's be honest: We build our military not to deal with threats to us, but to accommodate the myriad ways we'd like to project American power outward. Though we've referred to our military as "defense" since the Department of War was renamed in 1949, almost nothing our military does is about defending the United States from direct attack. If you joined up tomorrow, the chances that you'd be trained and deployed to stop foreign invasion would be almost nil.

... So how about some honesty for a change? We spend so much on our military not because that's what we need to avoid war, but because that's what we need to wage war. Whether you think any one of those wars is right or wrong, it's what we do. It's what we've done before, and it's what we're going to do again.
What I have learned in years of political struggle is that you have to be able to name what is going on before you can change anything. So I take it as progress that Paul Waldman is naming our imperial addiction.

And her record says Hillary is no less addicted than the Republican gaggle. She might, however, be smarter.

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