W.J. Astore: Throughout my life, the U.S. “defense” establishment has consistently inflated the dangers presented by foreign powers, which brings me to the current Pentagon budget for 2020, which may reach $750 billion.
The Military Industrial Complex
President Eisenhower warned against the dangers of developing a military industrial complex. It appears that when all you have in your toolbox is hammers, everything looks like a nail. The articles below give a sense of the many ways we use all of the hammers we've invested in.
Steve Early: Unfortunately, going to war—or even just training for it—can be a life-changing experience in ways never mentioned by military recruiters with a quota to fill.
William J. Astore: Any ambitious government project to help improve the plight of working Americans is quickly dismissed as profligate and wasteful, unless, of course, you’re talking about national security.
Kathy Kelly: We, in the United States, have yet to realize both the futility and immense consequences of war even as we develop, store, sell, and use hideous weapons. The number of children killed is rising.
Hakim: With your reason and compassion, you see through all the current peace negotiators of the Afghan conflict: beneath their emperor’s clothes, you see that they are naked war executioners.
WJ Astore: Despite all the harsh realities of U.S. history, such as periodic bouts of anti-immigrant fervor, the inhumanity of slavery, murderous labor strife, and so forth, America nevertheless had an ideal, however imperfectly realized, of openness.
Kathy Kelly: Impoverished people living in numerous countries today would stand a far better chance of survival, and risk far less trauma, if weapon manufacturers such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, and Raytheon stopped manufacturing and selling death-dealing products.
WJ Astore: For North Korea, nuclear WMD is a sort of insurance policy—a rational arsenal to deter the U.S. from launching a regime-change war.
Ted Rall: There is no evidence that non-nuclear bombing campaigns, no matter how ferocious or sustained, have ever accomplished more than leaving craters where people once lived.
Robert Koehler: At the refugee camps, the musicians made music with children and performed again the beautiful folk songs from the region.
Kathy Kelly: U.S. efforts to improve Afghanistan’s decaying education institutions have been woefully inadequate. Reconstruction projects have been riddled with corruption.
Lawrence Wittner: The rulers of nations, especially “the great powers,” are rarely interested in limiting their access to powerful weapons of war, including nuclear weapons.
WJ Astore: Whereas American pilots want to stand up and be recognized as the pilots of their “remote aircraft,” the Pentagon doesn’t want to think about the targets of these drones as human beings.