Monday, January 9, 2012

Okay, Now I Finally “Get it”

I had the U.S. military pegged all wrong. I thought the function of the military was to preserve our national security by maintaining sufficient firepower to repel any foreign invasion, and to keep a nuclear deterrent force that would assure the destruction of any foreign nuclear power that attacked us. But dumb me. Now I know that this picture is SO cold war. Threatened by defense budget cuts, Panetta and his Republican toadies have given us a true picture of our military strategy— which is indistinguishable from our foreign policy. We need 800 billion a year, not just to stay safe, but (in Panetta’s words) to “maintain our foreign commitments.” We have a military presence in 130 nations, which is 60% of all the nations on the planet. These are not Marines guarding an embassy. These are American troops and weapons meant to assure the security of foreign countries so they won’t need to waste their own money and resources to provide strong armies and weapons systems and military infrastructures of their own.

There’s a high school analogy for everything in life. I used to think that the United States was analogous to the high school bully who threatened others with force and intimidation to get his own way. That’s the wrong analogy. The United States is the smarmy but clueless rich kid who buys lunch for everyone else and bribes schoolmates with whatever it takes to make him popular. Now that I know my tax money goes to buy American popularity in the world community, I have a solution for the problems of Iran and North Korea. Why don’t we just ask them how much we need to pay them to be our friends?

1 comment:

The God Gene said...

Dwight Eisenhower warned us of the evils of the growing "military-industrial complex" almost 60 years ago. It is now synonymous with "Pentagon budget."