If you want to know what is wrong about the entire approach to our nation’s military needs, consider that since 2009 when Obama took office, the Pentagon’s civilian workforce has grown about 7% to almost 750,000, while active-duty military personnel have been cut by approximately 8%. At the same time, dozens of military-equipment and weapons programs have been canceled, including a new Navy cruiser, a new search-and-rescue helicopter, the F-22 first-generation fighter, the C-17 transport aircraft, missile defense and the Marine Corps’ Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle. We are not prepared to fight a war and now you know why.
Letter to the Editor
There is enormous thought in Mr. Alan Canuba’s “America’s Military Power in a Steep Decline,” but there are also several oversights I wish to respectfully bring to your attention and the attention of your readers.
01 The US defense budget (Program 50) is the largest legalized cesspool of sustainable corruption on the planet. Absent a strategy and coherent force structure, the services fight for budget share, lie to the President and everyone else, and are criminally irresponsible in their cavalier disregard for both national security and the well-being of the individual solider on the front line. Waste is documented as being from 45% in weapons acquisition to 75% in Afghanistan. The infantry, the 4% of the force that takes 80% of the casualties, receives 1% of the total budget.
02 From the Secretary of Defense to the Undersecretaries the prevailing culture has been defined by William Binney, NSA whistle-blower: “keep the problems going so the money keeps moving.” NATO is a thoughtless, godless, miscreant that has broken our promise to Russia to not enlist the Eastern European countries, and it exists solely to foster wars and sell US arms to dictators corrupt enough to sacrifice plowshares for weapons of dubious value. Made in the USA, as Edward Snowden has amply documented, generally means that deep defects, back-doors, and “off switches” are hidden throughout all complex systems. Anyone who buys American in this context is an idiot or merely corrupt.
03 Martin Luther King was assassinated for pointing out that the US Government was the greatest purveyor of violence on the planet. I have given eight of my nine lives for my country and would be glad to give my last if it helps in some small way to shock the public out of complacency. As Ambassador Mark Palmer and Chalmers Johnson and William Blum have documented, we are best pals with 42 of the 44 dictators on the planet, and the primary export of the US Government, acting illicitly in our name, is a mix of assassinations, bombings, civil wars, election interference, and regime change — the latter generally to steal gold (Libya, Ukraine) or to drive up oil prices (the swath of destruction from Afghanistan to Niger).
04 America (and America Lite to the north) do indeed need a strong military, but it should be a home guard with global reach. If I were Secretary of Defense I could, by merely demanding and enabling intelligence with integrity now lacking, cut the US defense budget by 30% as the President asked Secretary Hagel to do (he was betrayed from within and quit in frustration) AND I could create within 4-6 years a 450 ship Navy, a long-haul Air Force, and an air mobile Army, while closing all of our foreign bases without exception, bringing all of our troops — and their wallets — home.
It is disingenious or naive to believe any of the crap coming from the upper orifices of US politicians whether from the left or the right — none of them have the wit to itemize the ten high level threats to humanity (in this order according to the UN High Level Panel with both Canadian and US representatives: Poverty, Infectious Disease, Environmental Degradation, Inter-State Conflict, Civil War, Genocide, Other Atrocities, Proliferation, Terrorism, Transnational Crime) and none of them is remotely able to comprehend or attend to the public interest. They are all, including the so-called Independents, part of a theatrical troupe that sells its votes in bloc to 42 billionaires, passing legislation they neither write nor read.
A revolution is starting here in the USA. It is a non-violent revolution seeking to demand the Electoral Reform Act of 2015, in time to elect an Independent President with a coalition cabinet committed to a balanced budget, and a sufficiency of Independent and small party legislators so as to break the back of the two-party tyranny that has destroyed the USA much as the two-party and dominant single parties have destroyed good sense and prosperity in other countries. Your readers can learn more about that at http://tinyurl.com/OpenPower.
I agree with Mr. Caruba’s concerns, but not with his facts. Facts are not something governments, the media, or think tanks and universities are able to grasp these days. It is left to we few committed to the truth at any cost to do that. In America today the unemployment rate is 22.5%, not 5%; more people die at the hands of police in one year than will ever die at the hands of ISIS over the next decade; and the President is not in charge of anything — Washington is in enemy hands.
Robert David Steele