Sunday, January 30, 2011

Defunding The In-Defense-Able

Secretary Gates' offer to reduce the alleged "defense" budget by merely trimming growth projections would be laughable if this issue weren't so serious. The other nations are leaving us in the dust because they finally agreed that war and mass murder are useless to the process of advancing humanity's goals. America is dying because we have an unsustainable national debt load which is primarily the result of the Bush tax cuts and excess funding of the Pentagon. How many more reports do we need to read about the Pentagon not being able to account for trillions of taxpayer dollars before we get the picture? This money isn't lost. It gets moved. But, no one has the courage or the congressional authority to open the defense department's books to a completely independent audit.

Most of all, we must get serious about removing America from the death and destruction business and into the life affirming business. When adjusted for inflation, the Pentagon's base budgets could be reduced by half over the next decade with no appreciable loss in our defense capacities. The infinite excuses as to why we can't critically cut our war expenditures must be overridden. America is dying because we refuse to do anything to prevent our drowning in a sea of red ink.

War has been obsolete since the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It makes no sense to maintain the ruse we must keep on pumping untold trillions into the bottomless Pentagon pit when there's no enemy to confront worthy of this insane waste of federal funds. Our defense and intelligence budgets are greater than that of all the other advanced nations combined. And terrorism is a matter which would be best handled as an international police problem. Terrorists are by definition lone operators or very small bands of criminals. They don't rise to a level of concern which requires a martial response. Outside of the US and UK, no other nation uses their defense forces to confront them. Terrorism can't be completely eradicated because there have been irrational hot heads ever since the days of Cain and Abel.

Humanity is rapidly reforming international relations to deal productively with the emerging Global Village. Issues of energy, industry and education are replacing the cold war stalemate. Russia refuses to play with us anymore. They're quietly abandoning the US dollar in cross border trades with China and many other nations in the region. Russia and China are writing contracts in their own currencies, cutting us out as the essential middle man and pocketing the transaction fees. The dollar isn't supreme anymore and there's no longer a rational reason why global contracts must be written in US dollars since we refuse to get our fiscal house in order.

During the president's State of the Union address, he never mentioned these serious issues, except by remote reference. For America to survive and compete effectively in the new global economy, we must prepare for the day China's economy will rule the world. This will happen and there's very little we can do about it, except honesty and vigorously compete -- just like all the other nations. The demographics all favor China, not us. There's no reason why America can't continue to be a beacon for peace, liberty and justice. We must start reordering our priorities. And there's no better place to start than our vastly over-funded defense appropriations.

Franklin L. Johnson


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