Friday, August 13, 2010

Far Larger DoD Cuts Are Needed

The US budget for 2008 shows over
50% is spent on the military.
 The US military budget is way out of proportion to our national budget, our needs as a country and the threats that confront us. In fact, the military budget may be the greatest single threat to the future of the United States. We now spend well over $700 billion a year on “defense,” more than the rest of the world (including our allies) combined, or nearly so. The US military budget dwarfs education, health care, and other social needs. In light of this, the DOD's plan to save $100 Billion over five years is paltry and largely insignificant.

US citizens need to be asking why it is that we take such good care of the military with our taxes and such minimal care of our citizens in need. We currently spend more than $50 billion a year on nuclear weapons and their delivery systems, weapons that cannot be used without destroying ourselves in the process. If we wanted to be serious about reducing the military budget, we could start with abandoning plans to modernize our nuclear arsenal for $80 billion over the next 10 years and improving delivery systems for nuclear weapons for $100 billion over 10 years. In fact, we should be asking ourselves in a serious way why we need nuclear weapons at all, and wouldn't we be far better off leading the way to a world without these weapons.

For roughly $50 billion annually we could assure that the United Nations meets its eight Millennium Development Goals by 2015 to reduce poverty, disease, childhood and maternal mortality, etc. We would have far less need for a bloated, oversized and largely ineffective military if we reached out to the world with anti-poverty measures rather than predator drones and wars of choice.

1 comment:

  1. David, you're absolutely right about the necessity of re-balancing 'our' priorities.
    On this subject, and on how US Defense Secetary Robert Gates fits into this, I would like to refer to an article in the August 30th edition of Newsweek, entitled 'Be more like Ike' by the always excellent Fareed Zakaria.

    Best, Rob


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