Economy Is Not Here to Pay for Wars
In a recent
speech at Wayne State University in Detroit, Americaís top military
commander, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen
declared that the most serious threat to Americaís national security
is the national debt. His argument for this was that the debt and
its deleterious effect on Americaís economy could hinder the growth
of military expenditures.
lamented that current estimates have the federal government paying
some $600 billion in interest on the debt in 2012 adding, "Thatís
one yearís worth of defense budget."
civilian economy isnít just something to be taxed to pay for war,
and Americaís civilian population is not just a collection of potential
recruits and sources of revenue for the military. The military is
supposed to be here to serve America, not the other way around.
downplaying the various serious economic consequences of Americaís
national debt, Admiral Mullenís comments betray a very disturbing
(and increasingly common) view of the American economy as little
more than fuel for its ever-growing war machine.
In fact the
$600 billion interest payment is coming in no small part because
Admiral Mullen and the rest of the militaryís leadership has been
pressing for unprecedented increases in military spending. Now,
having spent Americaís economy to the brink of ruin, Admiral Mullen
has the nerve to complain that the harm he has already done is hampering
the harm he intends to do.
It isnít even
true, incidentally, that the $600 billion is "one yearís worth
of defense budget." Not anymore it isnít. In fact President
Obama is seeking over $700 billion for fiscal year 2011, and that
is one budget item that, whether there is a Republican or Democrat
in office, we always expect to grow.
But just 10
years ago it wouldíve been two years worth. In 2000 America was
spending around $300 billion on its military. That was by far the
biggest military budget on the planet. If America still has a $300
billion military, it would still be the largest by far.
is barreling into the future with a military budget that rivals
the rest of the world combined, and an endless wish list of very
expensive new military goals. Is it really such a mystery that this
of Admiral Mullenís visit and his assorted talks in Detroit were
to admonish local industry leaders that the "patriotic"
thing to do was to hire more former soldiers, while insisting that
"industry, community and military leaders share the same goals."
One wonders how industry and community leaders feel about and endless
series of wars bankrupting the nation, but it can only be assumed
that they feel differently than the admiral does.
Americans are reluctant to openly criticize the nationís military
leadership in time of war, Admiral Mullenís comments make it very
clear how little regard he has for us and it is high time we, as
Americans, make it clear that this country cannot and will not be
sacrificed at the altar of a series of wars whose only goal seems
to be fleecing the American taxpayer of an ever growing portion
of what he produces. Weíve been down that road for the past decade
and we can all see where it has led.
September 8, 2010
Ditz [send him mail] lives
in Saginaw, Michigan and is the news editor of Antiwar.com
© 2010 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in
part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.