Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Article: Peace, Not Russia, Is Real Threat to US Power | OpEdNews

Article: Peace, Not Russia, Is Real Threat to US Power | OpEdNewsThe monstrous US military budget is a classic illustration of the proverb about not seeing the wood for the trees. It is such an overwhelming outgrowth, all too often it is misperceived.

In recent years, Washington's military expenditure averages around $600 billion a year. That's over half of the total discretionary spending by the US government, exceeding budgets for education, health and social security. It's well over a third of the total world military annual spend of $1.7 trillion.

The incipient military-industrial complex that President Dwight Eisenhower warned of in his farewell speech in 1961 has indeed become a central, defining feature of American society and economy. To talk of American free-market capitalism is a staggering oxymoron when so much of the country's economy is wholly dependent on government-funded militarism.

Or put it another way: if the US military budget were somehow drastically reduced in line with other nations, the all-powerful military-industrial complex and the American state as we know it would collapse. No doubt something better would evolve in time, but the impact on established power interests would be calamitous and therefore is trenchantly resisted.