Remarks To the Committee for the Republic, Washington DC, February 2014 (6-part series)
Flask in hand, Boris Yelstin famously mounted a tank outside the Soviet Parliament in August 1991. Presently, the fearsome Red Army stood down—-an outcome which 45 years of Cold War military mobilization by the West had failed to accomplish.
At the time, the U.S. Warfare State’s budget— counting the pentagon, spy agencies, DOE weapons, foreign aid, homeland security and veterans—-was about $500 billion in today’s dollars. Now, a quarter century on from the Cold War’s end, that same metric stands at $900 billion.
This near doubling of the Warfare State’s fiscal girth is a tad incongruous. After all, America’s war machine was designed to thwart a giant, nuclear-armed industrial state, but, alas, we now have no industrial state enemies left on the planet. The much-shrunken Russian successor to the Soviet Union, for example, has become a kleptocracy run by a clever thief who prefers stealing from his own citizens. Likewise, the Red Chinese threat consists of a re-conditioned aircraft carrier bought second-hand from a former naval power—-otherwise known as the Ukraine. China’s bubble-ridden domestic economy would collapse within six weeks were it to actually bomb the 4,000 Wal-Mart outlets in America on which its mercantilist export machine utterly depends.
On top of that, we’ve been fired as the world’s policeman; al Qaeda has fragmented among local warlords hiding out in the armpits of the earth like Yemen and Somalia; and during last September’s Syria war scare the American people even took away the President’s keys to the Tomahawk missile batteries. In short, the persistence of America’s trillion dollar Warfare State budget needs some serious “splainin”.
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