One might think this article wasn’t worth the trouble. Everyone knows the military is necessary, it’s a dangerous world, they need money to protect us, etc., etc. This article explores two different points of view, both reaching the same conclusion: no cuts to military spending. I lean towards the second.
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In an exciting, well-researched and gripping novella in the December issue of Popular Mechanics, author Erik Sofge concludes that the war between China and the United States in the year 2015 will be won by China.
It is August, 2015 and the fight is over whether Taiwan’s status as an independent nation will remain intact, or whether it will become, finally and forever, part of the People’s Republic. The big fight, however, is “between an old superpower and a new one.” Using the latest technology, the United States finds itself at a major disadvantage when China is able to render useless the high-tech and very expensive communications network relied upon by the United States. Says the author,
Chances are that a war between China and United States will not happen in 2015, or at any other time. Under normal circumstances a war for Taiwan would simply be too costly for either side to wage, especially given the chance of nuclear escalation. But circumstances aren’t always normal.
In 2000, the Rand Corporation released the results of a mock war and concluded that the U.S. would win in a walk. Nine years later, Rand’s updated results show that the United States would lose the air war, and that “the overall conflict would be more difficult and costly than many had imagined.”
What is America’s fascination with war games, and why is any discussion of serious cuts in military spending always “off the table?” Paul Farrell, writing in MarketWatch, concludes that Americans love war. Citing smash entertainment hits such as The Hunt for Red October, Star Wars, and others, Paul says it’s in the DNA, especially of the leaders of both countries. With the recent announcement of China’s new stealth bomber, the United States’ weakening economy and inability even to articulate a plan to extricate itself from Afghanistan, the chances for such a conflagration are, Farrell suggests, increasing.
But in the current climate of budget-cutting and debates about raising the debt ceiling once again, what else might account for the determination to continue to spend so much of the national budget on “defense”? The amount being spent is staggering. Officially the Department of Defense’s budget is approximately $700 billion annually. But the real number is far higher if costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are counted, along with the continuing healthcare requirements of those wounded. The number becomes stratospheric when homeland security and intelligence-related expenses are counted, with some estimates approaching 50 percent of the federal budget.
What else might be driving the demand for continued military spending aside from Farrell’s supposed “blood lust” of the American voters? The Daily Bell points to the influence, instead, of the Anglo-American establishment in its continuing efforts to collectivize the world:
America’s elites have commandeered the wealth of [the] nation; this massive resource … is needed to fulfill the elite agenda of ever-closer global governance. Nation-building is expensive; shaping a new global order even more so. The elite banking families and those corporate entities clustered around them prefer not to use their own resources.
The Daily Bell, however, thinks a war with China would not serve the interests of those elites very well. For one thing, China is not as “expansionist” as, say, the Soviet Union was. Secondly, China’s trade with its enemy is enormous, making it increasingly dependent on the United States as a substantial and increasing market for its goods and services. Finally, China is at the very top of an inflationary bubble the implosion of which would reveal its economy for the paper tiger that it is.
Instead, according to the Bell’s thinking, the Power Elite has much more to gain by fostering and then guiding revolts and insurrections in Middle East countries such as Egypt, Yemen, and eventually Saudi Arabia.
Whether the Bell’s explanation is any closer to the truth than Farrell’s, the hard reality is that there is so much vested interest in continuing and expanding military spending that there is little chance that anything more than token and temporary freezes of such spending will show up in serious discussions about deficits and the national debt.
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