The news services were buzzing today, 2/24/2014 about cuts in military spending. I have been advocating this for years. The U.S. spends five times more than any other nation on its military. We all now know that much of it is in the form of waste and lack of oversight by the Pentagon regarding its defense industries. However, these cuts are not the ones that the Pentagon should make.
The majority of the deductions will be from those who serve, and who have actually served in wars for our nation. Benefits and pay cuts for soldiers simply emphasize the fact that they are only appreciated during the wars in which they served. Once they come home, they become unimportant to our government, while many of them became wealthy because of defense industry investments. (Just ask Vietnam veterans.)
I have been campaigning for years to close obsolete bases in dozens of countries. Virtually none of them are critical to our national defense. I featured the fact that we continue to maintain bases in such countries as the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Japan. Why?
Our military signs off on billions of dollars of waste. I worked for a company in my twenties that was supported entirely by the military and space programs. I remember the cost of many items in our warehouse. It was not uncommon for a single screw to cost 38 dollars each. And that was in 1965. Imagine what our military pays for the same screw today.
The Department of Defense is lowering our military forces by 90,000. That is understandable because modern wars will never be won on the ground. However, cutting pay increases and benefits for our existing military is equal to cutting benefits for the Nation's poorest and in need the most. That's what our government does. Those who live comfortable lives, with no worry about maintaining a home, feeding their families, health care, and an opportunity to provide a good education for their children will continue to benefit from the proposed budget. A soldier returning from one of our illegal wars with a debilitating injury, and expected his country to care for him and his family after his return, will find that "necessary funds have been cut from the budget.'
Lowering our military budget is the right thing to do. But let's do it correctly. A complete audit of Pentagon spending would find hundreds if not thousands of areas that could be eliminated, saving hundreds of millions of dollars. Our government should do the right thing at least once.