NOTE FROM THE EDITOR:
Today I share with you this article written by Finian Cunningham, which showed me how important it is for all of us who love this country, to create and build awareness and consensus about how the United States elite is endangering this great nation by sustaining itself out of wars. – MR.
US needs to kick its cold war habit before it destroys itself and the world
“America’s war-driven economy is not only a threat to world security from the inevitable antagonisms it fosters, but also this economy is threatening the collapse of American society from exorbitant waste of resources”
by Finian Cunningham
The National Defense Strategy unveiled by Pentagon chief James Mattis illustrates once again the revanchist Cold War mindset dominating Washington which is the inevitable expression of the US’ destructive addiction to militarism.
More than a quarter century after the official end of the Cold War between the US and the former Soviet Union, Washington has the cheek to label both Russia and China as “revisionist powers.”
Policy and discourse dominating Washington shows it is the US that is the biggest “revisionist power,” trying to revive ideological tensions and antagonism with Russia and China.
Defense Secretary Mattis declared last week that fighting non-state terrorism was no longer the primary focus of US national security. He said the “great power competition” with Russia and China was the new priority.
Mattis’ National Defense Strategy echoed themes contained in the National Security Strategy document published in December, which was signed off by President Trump. The NSS also cast Russia and China as “rivals” and existential threats to America’s influence in the world.
As with the NSS paper, Moscow and Beijing condemned the latest Pentagon document as being stuck in Cold War thinking and dealing with foreign relations in an “imperialistic” manner. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said it was regrettable that Washington, “instead of conducting normal dialogue is trying to prove its leadership using such confrontational concepts and strategies.”
This is after the US government voted last year to increase annual military spending by $50 billion to a record high of $700 billion.
Not even during the Cold War was the US military budget anywhere near the current outlay, according to comparative data cited by respected US economist David Stockman.
The US military budget is about 14 times that of Russia and four times that of China.
Simply put, in order to justify this stupendous largesse with American tax dollars, the Pentagon is compelled, out of logical necessity, to constantly portray the world as a threatening place.
“We are facing increased global disorder, characterized by decline in the long-standing rules-based international order – creating a security environment more complex and volatile than any we have experienced in recent memory,” states the National Defense Strategy.
Ironically, as Russian military intervention in Syria helped to destroy a Western-backed terrorist mercenary army, the US is now shifting its rationale for military spending from terrorism to Russia.
It is well documented that the US economy is largely dependent on the military-industrial complex. Over half of the nation’s annual discretionary budget is consumed by federal spending on military. This is, in effect, a massive taxpayer subsidized economy driven by militarism. Yet, American capitalism claims to be the paragon of “free enterprise” and “private ownership.”
Since the end of the Second World War, the characteristic feature of the US economy is militarism and the military-industrial complex. Arguably, without this annual massive injection of public money, so-called “American capitalism” would collapse.
That’s why it is vital for US economic survival, under its prevailing economic system, that the world is constantly presented to the American taxpayers as a threat to national security. It’s the equivalent of telling children scary bedtime stories.
US-based political analyst Randy Martin says America’s war-driven economy is not only a threat to world security from the inevitable antagonisms it fosters, but also this economy is threatening the collapse of American society from exorbitant waste of resources.
It is reliably calculated that the US has racked up its national debt by some $6 trillion from wars and military spending over the past 17 years alone. That “war debt” represents nearly one-third of the total US national debt of $19 trillion – making the United States the biggest debtor nation in the world.
Martin adds: “The US has been addicted to economic militarism for decades. It is destroying our economy and endangering global security by continually seeking out wars and enemies. The bitter irony is that Pentagon chief James Mattis claims to be keeping the homeland safe when in fact it is the Pentagon which poses the greatest threat to American society, not fictitious enemies like Russia and China.”
Another integral factor too is that disproportionate US economic exploitation of the planet’s resources is dependent on maintaining military superiority.
On that point, Mattis was perhaps more candid than he intended when he stated in the National Defense Strategy document: “The costs of not implementing this strategy are clear. Failure to meet our defense objectives will result in decreasing US global influence, eroding cohesion among allies and partners, and reduced access to markets that will contribute to a decline in our prosperity and standard of living.”
It is a pretty shocking admission by Mattis. He’s saying that America’s “standard of living” is purchased through a strategy of military dominance over the rest of the world. He also discloses, albeit unintentionally, that what is really bothering US state planners is their diminishing power to act unilaterally as before, owing in part to the growing power of Russia, China, and others in a multipolar world.
Mattis laments: “For decades the United States has enjoyed uncontested or dominant superiority in every operating domain. We could generally deploy our forces when we wanted, assemble them where we wanted, and operate how we wanted. Today, every domain is contested—air, land, sea, space, and cyberspace.” (This article was cut to fit space).