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WAR PIGS - COST OF A GLOBAL EMPIRE

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Generals gathered in their masses
Just like witches at black masses
Evil minds that plot destruction
Sorcerers of deaths construction
In the fields the bodies burning
As the war machine keeps turning
Death and hatred to mankind
Poisoning their brainwashed minds, oh lord yeah!
                                   

Black Sabbath – War Pigs


You know civilization is in danger when I find more wisdom in the words of Ozzy Osbourne than in the words of any elected U.S. official. The U.S. war machine keeps turning. As we enforce our will on foreign countries, we produce more people who hate us. Just when you think the U.S. government is beginning to make sense by withdrawing troops from Iraq, they make the terrible decision to shuttle 21,000 more troops into the Afghan calamity. At a cost of $3.2 billion per month, we will throw another $38 billion down a rat hole in a country that has no vital strategic importance to the United States. Barack Obama is doing this to prove that he is a true statesman. The Soviet Union killed over 1 million Afghans, while driving another 5 million out of the country and left bankrupted and defeated after ten years. Young Americans will continue to die for who? for what? Our foreign policy during the last eight years can be summed up in one military term, SNAFU – Situation Normal All Fouled Up. These foreign interventions are a smoke screen for what is really going on in this country. When a government has unsolvable domestic problems, they try to distract the public by creating foreign conflicts. General Douglas MacArthur understood the danger.

 I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.”

 Economic Opportunity Cost

“You can't say civilization don't advance... in every war they kill you in a new way.”

                                                                                                            Will Rogers

 Any doubt that the Military Industrial Complex is as strong as ever should be removed after examining Obama’s 2010 budget just put forth. It calls for 26% more in spending on Defense than President Bush spent in 2006. The Soviet Union collapsed in 1989, leaving the United States as the only remaining superpower on earth. Since 1990, the United States has depleted the U.S. Treasury of $7 trillion for spending on Defense. With no military on earth capable of challenging us why would there be a need to spend this much on the military? Over this same time frame the U.S. spent $360 billion on science, space & technology and $52 billion on energy, a mere 6% of the spending on killing machines. Military expenditures benefit humanity in no way.  If these trillions had been invested by the private sector or devoted to energy and scientific research, our economy might not be a hollowed out shell dependent on China and oil exporting countries. Nationalists argue that the Defense industry employs millions and benefits the country. These companies employ brilliant engineers and scientists who spend their days developing things that kill people more efficiently. If they had been employed developing electric cars, solar power, wind power, nuclear power, an efficient electric grid, infrastructure upgrades, or finding a cure for Alzheimer’s, would the United States be better off today?

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The National Debt in 1990 was $3.2 trillion. Today, it is $11 trillion.  This is a 343% increase in nineteen years. What benefit has $7 trillion of spending on Defense produced for the United States or the world? In 2001, spending on Defense was 17% of total governmental spending. In 2008, Defense, Homeland Security, and war spending accounted for 26% of government spending. In the meantime, major cities have had blackouts due to an overloaded electrical grid, our 156,000 structurally deficient bridges crumble, one hundred year old water pipes burst under our streets every day, and we send $500 billion per year to foreign countries for oil. The 19 terrorist hijackers who implanted their plan with knives spent less than $500,000 to pull off their 9/11 acts of terror. The United States has spent over $1 trillion in response, without capturing the mastermind of the attacks.

You would think we must be trying to keep up with our enemies by spending $765 billion per year on the Military. But one look at the following chart reveals that the United States is spending as much as the rest of the world combined. The two countries considered potential rivals, Russia and China, spent $192 billion combined in 2008. This is 27% of U.S. spending. From a foreign perspective, one must wonder why the U.S. is spending such vast quantities on our military. They can only conclude that it is for offensive intentions rather than defensive. The United States soil has not been attacked by a foreign power since December 7, 1941. Prior to that surprise attack, a foreign power hadn’t attacked the U.S. since the War of 1812. With this level of spending, our leaders feel compelled to interfere in the business of sovereign nations.    

  

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Other countries, such as China and Russia, feel they have no choice but to increase their expenditures on the military. On a percentage basis, they have more than doubled their expenditures in the last ten years, and still are a drop in the ocean compared to the American Empire spending. The fact is that the U.S., China and Russia all have enough nuclear weapons to obliterate the world – mutually assured destruction. The United States could realistically protect itself with the 18 ballistic missile nuclear submarines that we have in commission.

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James Quinn is a senior director of strategic planning for a major university. James has held financial positions with a retailer, homebuilder and university in his 22-year career. Those positions included treasurer, controller, and head of (more...)
 

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