The major problem with America today is its militarism. No-one stops to ask why the Pentagon needs to spend four hundred billion dollars a year, when other nation’s defense budgets are only a fraction of that amount.
Of course, we all know the reason. The US struggles to maintain its superpower status, still viewing China and Russia as major threats, and India waiting in the wings.
Americans, in the main, are happy to support such crazy and expensive ideals. They’ve grown up being top dog of the pack and any possibility of relegation is anathema to them. Unfortunately, this attitude may feed the greedy arms dealers and weapons researchers, but produces that age-old problem of being unable to see the forest for the trees.
American’s are barraged by the threats from without, yet no-one defines the reality of this supposed menace. Fashion is important. Today, Iran (military budget around $6 billion, or 1.5% of America’s) is the most glamorous model on the catwalk of threats. Yesterday, it was North Korea (also around $6 billion)
Just who is America’s enemy today? In real terms there’s only one, and it’s not a nation but an extremist ideal. The terrorists who make up al Qaeda and other extreme Islamic factions around the world, spend only a few million dollars a year on their military budget. Russia’s is only a fraction (18.00%) of America’s, and China’s is even less.
So where do all these American dollars go?
Once the maintenance of the armed forces is paid for, most go on research and development of new, and usually not needed, weaponry and equipment.
Take a look at this BBC Website page. It illustrates just one of many Pentagon research projects, this one costing millions and millions of dollars and unlikely to be available for at least eight years, if at all (large numbers of these experimental projects are shelved after years of work and expense). The ‘robot suit’ is hoped to make soldiers in the field stronger and able to lift great weights with ease. It mimics Hollywood’s fictitious characters like Robocop, Universal Soldier, and Iron Man.
Will it help in the fight against terrorism? Hardly.
The macho Hollywood image is a symbol of America, but at what price? U.S. society is gradually crumbling from lack of services, poor schooling, prohibitively expensive healthcare, scarce jobs, lack of care for the old and infirm.
All so the little boys at the Pentagon can play their expensive games and have the biggest and the best toys in the world.
Filed under: Alms or arms?