I find it ironic that some fiscal conservatives support the huge military budget & our military involvement in other countries. Military costs account for 25% of our budget. That's not much as a percentage, but when you factor in the enormous deficit spending, & the vast amount of fraud & waste, it is a tidy sum.. over $1T/yr, according to many estimates. When you add up the results of our massive spending in our military ventures, it is not worth it, neither in bringing peace to the world, nor in furthering the cause of freedom & self determination for all people. Is the world a more peaceful place with our military involvement? Or do we use Obama's justification saying it would have been much worse, had we not done the spending (or bombing, etc)?
We have ~ 130 bases throughout the world. Obviously they cost a lot, & what is their purpose? Our military are often used as an enforcement tool for businesses. The result is also loss of respect for american values in the countries we are occupying. The ugly american syndrome is furthered, taxpayer money is wasted, & the worst consequense of our military philosophy: lives are lost.
We also cannot afford the foreign aid we have been giving to other countries. Why should american taxpayers be giving money to other nations in the world? Certainly, if there is a catastrophe, americans can & do give to relief efforts. But most of our foreign aid is tied with military involvement, or buying the politicians in other countries. We pretend to be indignant with politicians' link to money & political corruption, but engage in the same practices on a policy level.
Here are some ideas for saving money & promoting the cause of freedom in the world:
1. Start at zero all foreign aid. Some of the new repub candidates are promoting this idea. I will take it one step further: Keep it at zero. Handing out money only breeds corruption. Corruption in the country we pretend to be helping causes resentment & usually reduces the freedom in that country.. corrupt dictators use american tax dollars to oppress their own people, & we have their blood on our hands. Propping up corrupt regimes should never be in our global interests. We could more easily justify sending these tyrants a few drones, rather than supporting them.
2. Close all foreign bases. Bring our troops home. Secure our borders, & use diplomacy & intellegence to secure our interests. Let businesses take risks when opening up ventures in unstable countries, & not look to the us military to reduce them.
3. Get out of nato & the united nations. These have become corrupt organizations controlled by either money people, looking to profit from military action, or ideologues using american tax dollars to promote their agenda.
4. Define American 'interests'. This term is used to justify military action & the massive wasting of american tax money. It is not in our interests, i submit, for us to be the world 'policeman'. We are a test model for freedom. 200 years ago, our forefathers fought for this experiment in individual freedom. The military was never intended to become what it is now. Many of the founders warned of this. I think our 'interests' should be protecting the american citizens' rights to life, liberty, & the pursuit of happiness. This is not a guarantee of any financial venture in foreign countries. If we have a vibrant, free society, with a solid financial basis in our economy, we have the power to exert tremendous economic pressure on other countries. Let us use that as a weapon.
5. No wars or military action without full congressional approval. No police actions. No joining in with nato or the un to promote their agenda because a president thinks it is a good idea. Committing our military is & should be a last resort, & should have a united us govt to back it.
6. No deficit spending on military action. We should have a balanced budget amendment, anyway, but especially in our military endeavors. Future generations should not have to pay for the imperialistic desires of the past.
We have lost too many young americans in questionable military engagements. We have wasted trillions of dollars blowing up other nations & killing their people. I don't see any justification in these sacrifices. Our military people are brave & loyal to the nation.. their principal charge is to 'defend the constitution of the United States of America'. These police actions do not threaten our constitution, but our politicians do, with their manipulating of the military. Lets get back to a more constitutional view of the military. Many lives will be spared, money will be saved & can be spent on building, not destroying, & the image of america as a beacon of freedom will not be marred by the hypocrisy of our politicians & money peoples' special interests.
Allow the president to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such a purpose—and you allow him to make war at pleasure.
Anyone who has proclaimed violence his method inexorably must choose lying as his principle.
It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.
The deterioration of every government begins with the decay of the principles on which it was founded.
Charles-Louis De Secondat
We will bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute security.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
War is just a racket...I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else.
General Smedley Butler