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THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF OFFENSE - PROPPING UP THE EMPIRE

 

 


By David Brownlow

May 14, 2006
NewsWithViews.com

Many are unaware that at $500 billion a year, we Americans squander as much on our military as the rest of the world does on theirs - combined! This includes some of the (other) really cutthroat regimes, like China, Russia, and Iran. There is no one else even close.

Could it be possible that American defense needs are so unique that it takes $500 billion just to protect our country? No, that is not possible. Defending a country is relatively cheap. Building an empire is not. Somewhere along the way, we seem to have confused our military with a Department of Offense.

Without a doubt, we have created the most fearsome and ferocious military machine the world has ever known. Unfortunately, instead of being used as a defensive force, our military has become the global enforcement arm for the madmen who have seized control of our country - who wield this power like spoiled kids as they strut around the world, barking out intimidations and threats to any who refuse to bow down before them.

It is time to take away their toys.

Propping up the Empire requires a massive amount of firepower - which has left us with weapons systems that defy all logic. The new F-22 radar-evading fighter, at $280 million a copy, is a perfect example of how crazy things have gotten. Two hundred and eighty million bucks for an airplane, when a top of the line F-16 sells for about $20 million, is completely nuts. There will be no need for radar-evading fighters as soon as we start minding our own business - and quit trying to sneak around in places we do not belong.

The F-22 is just one example of the insanity. There are dozens of others. We can be confident of this - if we keep building the weapons of war, our leaders will keep finding ways to use them.

Even our Navy, which we have every right to maintain, has become an empire building force. Does it really take fourteen carrier battle groups just to protect our coastline? No, of course not. The same goes for most of the other 450 war ships in our fleet. Unless there is a foreign invading force lurking out there that we are not aware of, we could get by with a lot fewer ships. We just need to keep our sailors at home patrolling our own shores, instead of wandering around the world patrolling everybody else’s.

Our active troop strength is also completely out of whack with our defense needs. Why do we need 1.4 million soldiers in uniform? They are certainly not being used to protect our borders. Maybe that is because nearly 400,000 of them being used to protect somebody else’s borders!

On top of the 140,000 we have getting shot up in Iraq, there are over 200,000 American soldiers stationed in 140 of the worlds 192 countries. This includes 66,000 in Germany, 35,000 in Japan, and 30,000 in Korea. We beat those guys over 50 years ago, so what are we doing still hanging around in their countries? We even have soldiers stranded in some of the world’s most obscure places – 1,300 in Djibouti, 400 in Quatar, and 2,000 in Serbia, to name a few. It is unbelievable.

It is time to bring every one of them home!

Here is an interesting fact; if we add up the annual military spending for the entire western hemisphere, minus the U.S., it comes to less than $25 billion a year. How could it possibly take America twenty times that amount to defend ourselves? Well for starters, our neighbors tend to mind their own business and keep their armies out of other peoples countries. Canada, with a larger landmass to protect than we do, finds a way to defend their country for about $8 billion a year. Brazil, with a population of 186 million and 5,000 miles of coastline to protect, manages to defend themselves for only $15 billion a year. Mexico does it for only $4 billion.

Our military spending is spiraling out of control not because our defensive needs are so much greater than anyone else’s – it is because our offensive needs are so much greater.

What is the alternative to this huge military machine we have unleashed on the world? We could start minding our own business, and quit causing trouble in every corner of the planet. If we did that, a motivated, highly trained and well-armed (well regulated) militia could replace almost every one of our full time soldiers in the Army and Marine Corps. We just need to reset our priorities - and commit to keeping our men out of foreign entanglements.

By simply obeying the law, and getting out of the empire building business, we could dramatically trim back the size and scope of our Department of Offense – while making the "homeland," and the world, a much safer place.

© 2006 David Brownlow - All Rights Reserved

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David Brownlow, a regular columnist for NewsWithViews.com, is the Executive Director of Life Support, an Oregon based "No Abortion, No Excuses" anti-abortion organization that is focused on eliminating all government funded child-killing. David, an engineer, former Constitution Party candidate, and 25 year political activist, resides in Damascus, Oregon with his wife Suzanne and their four children.

Web-Site: www.lifesupportoregon.org

E-Mail: dave@lifesupportoregon.org


 

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Our military spending is spiraling out of control not because our defensive needs are so much greater than anyone else’s – it is because our offensive needs are so much greater.