LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – Although critics of the Biden administration’s Build Back Better plan to increase funding for U.S. education, healthcare, and action against climate catastrophe say the United States can’t afford it, there are no such qualms about ramping up funding for the U.S. military.
ALISTAIR CROOKE – A huge geo-political event has just occurred in Afghanistan: The implosion of a key western strategy for managing what Mackinder, in the 19th century, called the Asian heartland. That it was accomplished, without fighting, and in few days, is almost unprecedented. As a consequence, among other “seismic shifts,” China is more determined to shape the region than many analysts realize.
NORMAN SOLOMON – Some foreign-policy specialists with progressive reputations now extol potential Cabinet picks who’ve combined pushing for continuous war and hugely expensive new weapons systems with getting rich as dealmakers for the military-industrial complex.
WILLIAM D. HARTUNG and BEN FREEMAN – Although he has expressed skepticism, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) is open to further discussion on how much Pentagon spending is needed to protect us, as he noted in a recent meeting with the organization Win Without War. Savings, reductions, elimination of duplicate contracts overlapping with other government agencies can amount to billions of dollars. Let the discussion begin.
DAVID SWANSON – The past month’s activism has changed a great deal. One thing it’s helped with is brushing aside the tired old argument over whether government should be big or small. In its place we have the much more useful argument over whether government should prioritize force and punishment, or focus on services and assistance.
CAROLINE HURLEY – Security, claim peace scientists, is the experience and expectation of well-being. Analyzing management of the major 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa is instructive given Covid 19’s global rampage. Despite internal UN dysfunction, especially the veto system pitting members at cross-purposes, that organization proved its worth.
WILLIAM D. HARTUNG and MANDY SMITHBERGER – There are at least 10 separate pots of money dedicated to fighting wars, preparing for yet more wars, and dealing with the consequences of wars already fought. So the next time a president, a general, a secretary of defense, or a hawkish member of Congress insists that the U.S. military is woefully underfunded, think twice. A careful look at U.S. defense expenditures offers a healthy corrective to such wildly inaccurate claims.
DAVID VINE – Editor’s Note: Although this article is long, it provides an excellent overview of what we actually pay to project our national power around the world. For this reason, it is required reading for all peace people.
TOM ENGELHARDT – Americans may feel more distant from war than at any time since World War II began. Certainly, a smaller percentage of us — less than 1% — serves in the military in this all-volunteer era of ours and, on the face of it, Washington’s constant warring in distant lands seems barely to touch the lives of most Americans. And yet the militarization of the United States and the strengthening of the National Security Complex continues to accelerate.
PATRICK HILLER – In 1951 the U.S. gs partovernment’s Civil Defense Branch produced the film Duck and Cover. … Even at that time the usefulness of the proposed duck-and-cover maneuver in the face of the utter annihilation arising from a nuclear blast was questioned.
CHRIS HEDGES – Attorneys Carl J. Mayer and Bruce I. Afran filed a complaint Friday in the Southern U.S. District Court in New York City on my behalf as a plaintiff against Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to challenge the legality of the Authorization for Use of Military Force as embedded in the latest version of the National Defense Authorization Act, signed by the president Dec. 31.
KEN DILANIAN – A computer hacking group has revealed email addresses and other personal data from former Vice President Dan Quayle, former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, and hundreds of U.S. intelligence, law enforcement and military officials in a high-profile case of cyber-theft.
DAVID SWANSON – The New York Times has posted seven super-short columns on how to cut the U.S. military. All seven seem to support cutting the military in one way or another. That’s excellent, and I don’t mean to complain, but . . . .
JOHN NORRIS – The United States is fundamentally getting it wrong when it comes to setting its priorities, particularly with regard to the budget and how Americans as a nation use their resources more broadly.
DAVID SWANSON – Did you know that the U.S. public wants military spending cut? Did you know that President Barack Obama wants to increase it for his third year in a row? Actually I already know that most of you didn’t know either of these things.
DINA FINE MARON – The Pentagon announced April 30 it is dropping its opposition to the development in eastern Oregon of what’s being touted as the world’s largest land-based wind energy project.
NORMAN SOLOMON: The new budget from the White House will push U.S. military spending well above $2 billion a day. This isn’t “defense.” Foreclosing the future of our country should not be confused with defending it.
Brief insights: 1) Website to Help High Schoolers Opt Out of the Military; 2) Former OPW Staffer Arrested; and 3) Sign of the Times.