Though he is not the first to try to do so, he has also sought to militarize space and so create a possible fifth branch of the U.S. military, tentatively known as the Space Force. It makes sense. War has long been three dimensional, so why not bring U.S. militarism into the stratosphere, even as the U.S. Army is evidently training and preparing for a new cold war (no pun intended) with that ever-ready adversary, Russia, around the Arctic Circle.
If the world as we know it is going to end, it will either be thanks to the long-term threat of climate change or an absurd nuclear war. In both cases, Washington has been upping the ante and doubling down. On climate change, of course, the Trump administration seems intent on loading the atmosphere with ever more greenhouse gases. When it comes to nukes, rather than admit that they are unusable and seek to further downsize the bloated U.S. and Russian arsenals, that administration, like Obama's, has committed itself to the investment of what could, in the end, be at least $1.6 trillion over three decades for the full-scale "modernization" of that arsenal. Any faintly rational set of actors would long ago have accepted that nuclear war is unwinnable and a formula for mass human extinction. As it happens, though, we're not dealing with rational actors but with a defense establishment that considers it a prudent move to withdraw from the Cold War era Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty with Russia.
And that ends our tour of the U.S. military's version of Planet Earth.
It is often said that, in an Orwellian sense, every nation needs an enemy to unite and discipline its population. Still, the U.S. must stand alone in history as the only country to militarize the whole globe (with space thrown in) in preparation for taking on just about anyone. Now, that's exceptional.- Advertisement -
Danny Sjursen, a TomDispatch regular, is a U.S. Army major and former history instructor at West Point. He served tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has written Ghost Riders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge. He lives with his wife and four sons in Lawrence, Kansas. Follow him on Twitter at @SkepticalVet and check out his podcast "Fortress on a Hill," co-hosted with fellow vet Chris Henriksen.
[Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.]- Advertisement -
Copyright 2018 Danny Sjursen