Last year's military spending, $711 billion with the base budget and Afghanistan and Iraq wars add-ons, was the highest in constant dollars since World War II. The U.S. and its allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization spent over $1 trillion on their defense budgets, approximately 70 percent of world military expenditures in 2011.
With the onerous constraints placed on third-party candidates' ability to get on the ballot and to gain exposure in the commercial news media, including the presidential and vice presidential debates, only one perspective is provided to the public: That of the Pentagon war machine.
A military colossus that is almost daily expanding its presence through the building of military partnerships and the acquisition of bases around the world and beyond Earth into space.
In the months preceding the presidential election the U.S. moved an X-band transportable missile radar battery into Turkey under the auspices of the Obama administration's European Phased Adaptive Approach missile interception program, cloaked under unconscionable euphemisms like missile defense and missile shield, though in fact the initial implementation of the Ronald Reagan administration's so-called Strategic Defense Initiative, in popular parlance Star Wars.
The interceptor missile program was endorsed and adopted by NATO at its summit in Portugal two years ago and was announced to have achieved initial capacity at the NATO summit in Chicago this May. It will include the deployment of 48 increasingly longer-range, higher-velocity and more lethal land-based versions of the Standard Missile-3 interceptor to Romania and Poland and the permanent stationing of U.S. Aegis class warships - cruisers and destroyers - equipped with the same missiles to the Mediterranean Sea and eventually to other seas like the Black, Baltic, Barents and Norwegian.
Last month U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Spanish Defense Minister Pedro Morenes signed an agreement at NATO headquarters in Brussels to allow the stationing of four U.S. Aegis destroyers at the Naval Station Rota in Spain.
Recent reports detail plans for the U.S. to move Army Navy/Transportable Radar Surveillance - Model 2 (x-band radar) systems into the Persian Gulf (where the U.S. is selling Patriot Advanced Capability-3 and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense [THAAD] missile batteries to the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and other local monarchies) and the Philippines and perhaps elsewhere in Southeastern Asia as components of what major Russian and Chinese officials have correctly denounced as Washington's global interceptor missile system.
Late last month the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency conducted what it described as the "largest, most complex missile defense flight test ever attempted" at the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site in the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands and the Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii, "resulting in the simultaneous engagement of five ballistic missile and cruise missile targets."
The tests incorporated the triad of American interceptor missile systems: Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense with sea-based Standard Missile-3s, Patriot Advanced Capability-3 and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (with x-band radar) assets.