Lawrence Wittner: By scrapping plans for nuclear weapons “modernization” and for national missile defense—programs that are both useless and provocative—the United States would save $271 billion (well over a quarter of a trillion dollars) in the next ten years.
Rebecca Griffin: Depending on whom you ask, the Pentagon either got a free ride or the deal decimates the military budget. Given the leverage that Republicans had in this debate, it’s not surprising that the Pentagon got off easy in the first round of cuts.
Gary Corseri and Eric Shine: Today, the most disturbing sign of this take-over of all of the civilian commons by the military, at least in the U.S., comes in the form of a new, or reinvigorated, Department of War.
Jonathan David Farley: How I learned to stop worrying about where my academic research funding came from and love Raytheon
Sherwood Ross: Whatever Manning has done, if anything, the Pentagon has no right to reduce him to a vegetative state. Yet that is what it is doing, using methods similar to those for punishing dissidents under Stalin.
Tom Hayden: It is time for our most prominent liberal economists to broaden their analysis of the domestic crisis to include spending for these unfunded wars. Only Joseph Stiglitz has done so.
John Lasker: The mysterious deaths of female soldiers coincide with an increase in reported sexual violence against women in the military.
Norman Solomon: And so, the secretary of state condemns awful Iran, invoking “our sense of human dignity, the rights that flow from it and the principles that ground it.” But don’t hold your breath for any such condemnation of, say, Saudi Arabia — surely an “awful” government that “routinely violates the rights of its people.”
Mark Dempsey: The U.S. currently spends more than the rest of the world combined on its military but less than 2% of its budget on humanitarian aid, even if clean water would do more to promote peace.
Ivan Eland: Missile defense is an expensive relic of the Cold War, which the U.S. can no longer afford given its huge budget deficits and high debt levels. Keeping the program alive are Republicans who want to preserve this white elephant to realize the grandiose “Star Wars” dream of their hero, Ronald Reagan.
David Greenberg: Eisenhower’s speech itself has come to be romanticized all out of proportion to its merit, and the reasonableness of straightforward critiques of Pentagon spending cannot account for the mad embrace of Eisenhower in recent decades by anti-war leftists and so-called realists.
David Swanson: A poll last spring found that 85% of Kandaharis consider the Taliban “our Afghan brothers.” The poll was commissioned by the Pentagon. The same poll found that 94% favored peace negotiations, not war. So, out of the goodness of our racist hearts, we brought them more war.
Robert Reich: Has the President’s olive branch on extending the Bush tax breaks for the rich opened a new era in bi-partisanship? Doubtful.