One World Power?

Another NYT post spurred me into thinking again why must the US be THE world power. Who decided that and how do we get out of it? That is what this post is all about.

I love how the article opened up with the fact that President Biden will never figure out how to eliminate or even control one of our biggest annual expenses, and that is our war machine. Like the virus we are now fighting, our military expenditures far exceed the world average. Also like the virus we are now fighting, all our weapons seem useless for today’s version of hostile threats. Even as we try to pull ourselves away from military entanglements’ congress passes bigger and bigger defense budgets. It gets to the point that the generals just can’t figure out how to spend all the money congress gives them.

As just mentioned when Biden becomes the Oval Office occupant in thirty days, this issue will likely not be addressed. Biden like most of the aged leaders doesn’t recognize that that military spending is a problem. It has been completely out of touch with reality for the last 50 years or more. No congressman wants to be labeled as putting our kids that we put in harm’s way.

I am hoping that 2024 will bring about wide changes in congressional leadership that is needed to get us out of our world power fixation. When Millennials and Gen-Zs finally take control of our government processes this will start to change, and I hope the change is as rapid as our world has seen because to this pandemic.

The article gives a pretty full explanation of how we got into our current mode of being policemen of the world. It is worth a full read if you have the time. (Click here to see the full article). I can’t even count the times in my lifetime that we have become entangled in other people’s problems. For me, it started with Vietnam. 55,000 of my generation lost their lives early on for no obvious gain of world consequences. I lost more than one good friend to that useless engagement.

If you are wondering how the rest of the world has managed to give all their citizens universal healthcare and superior infrastructure, look no further than comparing their military budgets to ours. Historians say that the primary reason for the fall of the Roman Empire was that they also got into too many wars and military expenditures dwarfed almost everything else. They spread themselves so thin that they eventually imploded.

America’s wars have cause untold mayhem across the Middle-East and brought militarized violence home to American streets.

4 comments

  1. Excessive spending on the military endangers national security in two obvious ways. First it plunges us further and further into debt. Debt can easily lead to the downfall of a nation. Second is having access to that much power with no one to stop you from using it. The most recent example was Bush’s pre-emptive war on Iraq. It was too darn easy to pull the trigger. Having to build up forces and equipment for a couple of years prior to war probably would have killed this stupid idea. Now we have an area that will be more unstable than before and debt we will not be able to repay. Refer back to consequences under the first national security issue. Too many people unfortunately believe more spending on the military makes us more secure. Nothing could be further from the truth. Patriotism does not always mean blindly following a bad idea. Sometimes it requires standing up to an ignorant idea.

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    1. Thanks for the thoughts, Fred. Yeah, all the wars in my lifetime, and I suspect yours, have been because we could do it. The GOP seem to itch for a fight if we haven’t had one for a while. Reagan is proof of that the only place he could find to invade was a small island of Granada. It bothers me greatly that we spend millions of dollars to protect one pilot in our military but don’t life a finger to protect thousands in nursing homes during this pandemic. I just saw from AARP that although nursing homes only account for 1% of the population, they account for 40% of the deaths. Trump called that unfortunate but never was really concerned about it.

      Somehow or another we need to reign in our war machine budgets before we too go the way of the Roman Empire.

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  2. Ships, planes, bombs, and bases cost beaucoup bunches of money. computers to hack a country’s cyberspace…not so much. ‘Nuff said.

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