Source: email from Friends Committee on National Legislation “Until our policymakers start recognizing that clinging to visions of global military domination only undermines security, we’ll be stuck with the same old war mentality wrapped in a shiny new strategy document.” — FCNL’s Bridget Moix …
If the US really wants to shift to a new, more effective strategy for promoting national and global security – as Obama and Panetta claim – then policymakers should get serious about planning to prevent wars, not fight them. After all, decades of planning to fight various numbers and forms of warfare at any given time has led to, well, various numbers and forms of warfare at any given time. Go figure.
This unquestioning reliance on military hammers as the tools of choice for dealing with security threats, and the enormous expense in lives and money of doing so, has sapped the imagination, human resources, and funding for alternative approaches. Approaches that are based on the realities that our security in this country is inextricably linked to the security of others. In other words, the fewer wars that are fought, the safer everyone is. (Not rocket science really.) And we need a strategy that faces the fact that the threats the Pentagon itself identifies – violent extremism, weapons proliferation, climate change and regional instability – require non-military tools to manage.
What will it take to get our politicians off our old line war mentality? That is perhaps the question of the century. We spend much much more of our government income on our war machines than anyone else on the earth. So here we are getting ready to pull out a significant portion of our military from the Middle East. The “Arab Sunrise” which the citizens pretty much accomplished themselves has made our presence for the most part unwanted in that area of the world.
This would seem to be an excellent opportunity to draw down our military and its bloated budgets. But the “hammer makers” (when all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail) has it appears even convinced Mr. Obama, despite his rhetoric in 2008, not to do that. Instead we are planning on just moving it to the Pacific rim area. Let’s hope that we don’t antagonize China by this move. They have ten times as many young people available to be soldiers and of course they are awash with U.S. dollars as we now depend on them for almost all our consumer goods. What would happen if they became our next enemy?
I know the century is pretty young yet but if we can’t get beyond spending so much of our assets on “military hammers” then we will eventually be in big trouble with or without riling China. Eventually is a relative word but it can come on us much faster than many believe. Let us all pray that someday our representative in congress take to heart the God-given idea of beating our swords into plowshares. That idea comes from a source worth listening to.
But what do I know….
4 thoughts on “New Military Strategy, Same Old War Mentality”
Instead of harping on the defense department itself, you might consider voicing the dislike of big business in defense contracts. They are stripping the military and making us into mercenaries.
I wish that everyone would hand over ever gun and bomb and play nicely, holding hands. It just does not happen this way. No problem that you can choose not to serve, because you live Ina country who has others who will protect you.
China is not our friend. Many Chinese people are- not the government. Heck the
Chinese government is not even the friend of most of their own people- much like North Korea and many countries in Africa.
China figured out long ago that they would much more likely to defeat the US by stealing intellectual property and making us dependent on them. This is the focus of the “new” defense department. Money is being pulled from big tanks and guns and being put into the increase in intelligence.
Unfortunately, congress loves those contractors and fight the movement into intelligence instead of big ships and planes.
Hi Jan, So you are suggesting I voice dislike for the one selling the weapons instead of the one buying them. I think there is plenty of dislike to go around to both groups. But, then again I don’t dislike any of those yahoos, I just dislike the decisions they make. I’m sure they are all decent but just misguided folks.
I don’t know where you got the idea that I haven’t served my country? I have served it in many ways throughout my long life. I agree that many Chinese people are not the government, heck you can say the same thing about some of us in the U.S. But, of course our constitution protects us for the most part from being jailed for expressing dissent and China’s doesn’t. Can you imagine the courage it takes for someone from China to speak out against their government. You gotta respect them for that.
But in some ways I am kind of like you; I can’t understand how our government allowed them to control so much of what we use in our daily lives. Putting so much of that in any one country is dangerous, especially given our history of naming so many of our past friends as present enemies. 🙂
I am not defense crazy. My attitude is more along the lines of Ron Paul -defending our own soil. US has long defended their trade practices with blood of soldiers- cite almost any war. Until the citizens can get their act together use only items in the US (including people who say that they are anti war), then corporations will continue to corrupt the ability of the military to defend the products we so desire.
The conclusion being that if you are anti war- you should be anti any foreign policy that places civilians in harms way gaining souls, oil, sugar, or anything else. WE should not care for others in a humanitarian way- for if there is an US citizen in harms way- it is up to the defense department to get them out…..
Let’s start with Israel! Cut all foreign aide along with bringing all of our troops home! then move on to cutting all trade with China. That should make those quiet Chinese soooo happy!
I think on some level you and I agree; we shouldn’t stick our nose in other people’s business. If we just got that one policy to the light of day much of what both of us are talking about would disappear. Thanks for the discussion.