Department of Defense Should Further Reduce Its Budget

by Craig Cline

Last summer, Congress passed, and President Obama signed, a law that requires the DoD to reduce its enormous “budget” by close to $1 trillion over the next 10 years.

That sounds good to me; about $100 billion per year, a sum that my own research tells me should be doable.


Peace or War Looming?

We finally got out of Iraq.  We intend to get out of Afghanistan.  We’ve not yet gotten out of the economic mess that still plagues our own country; a mess that in my opinion we can partly attribute to our ill-advised wars.

Despite the never-ending needs for our monies, and jobs, to go towards the maintenance, repair, and rebuilding of our social and physical infrastructures, some members of Congress are trying to reduce or even eliminate the legally approved cuts to the DoD budget.

The word “cuts” is actually misleading.  Arguably, DoD spending has increased to such a degree over the years that cutting it essentially means just slowing down its rampant growth.

We have to see that the more money we allow the DoD to siphon off, the less we have for the unmet human needs in communities all across America.

With that vision comes the responsibility for us as citizens to lobby Congress for what “we the people” need and want.  The Constitution says:  “… provide for the common defense.”

Contractors Getting Rich…

Collectively, we have people power; maybe even enough power en masse to overcome the thousands of lobbyists that work for DoD contractors.  We should be alarmed that “since 2003 more than half of all spending on U.S. national security has gone to Department of Defense contractors.”  (Source:  Friends Committee on National Legislation/FCNL)

At the very least, we cannot afford to become engaged in yet another war.  Wars kill our own country.  The possibility of war with Iran should trouble us deeply.

Remember, in 1953 the U.S. and England engineered a coup that replaced Iran’s elected leader, resulting in what has since been described as “disastrous consequences” for America and the rest of the world.

Ian Harris points out that our failed war policies should have taught us that we cannot control what happens in other countries simply by invading them militarily.  The “Law of Unintended Consequences” is the only result that we can count on.

I don’t want Iran to have nuclear weapon capability any more than you do, but war is not the answer to that dilemma.  Instead, our country should lead the world — by example — away from war, and away from nukes.

Heaven forbid that war ever again becomes nuclear war.  That is reason enough for us to get rid of our war mentality — a threat to almost everyone everywhere.

Speak up, fellow citizens.  Ask Congress to stay out of war, meaningfully cut DoD spending, and redirect our “savings” towards protecting our homeland against further deterioration from within. Φ

Craig Cline is active in progressive peace campaigns throughout Oregon

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