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The Only Way to Cut Defense Spending is by Sequestration

August 3, 2012
Jon Basil Utley, Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation

Just like with base closings, taking cuts out of the hands of Congress is the only, repeat “only” way to cut waste from our trillion dollar defense/militarism spending. Reading and hearing how The Complex screams, here are a few points about the distortions and half-truths being put out by it and by Big Government Conservatives–Republican congressional leaders, Neoconservatives, Heritage Foundation, National Review, Fox TV,  Washington Times and the Wall Street Journal editorial page. Their big government program is unending wars, imperialist foreign policy, and ever expanding Homeland Security.

The cuts to the Pentagon budget will be only 7% or some $40+ billion, not the $500 billion they bandy about! Anyone who confuses the (unlikely) ten year cut with next year’s cut is just promoting lies. A good example is the Wall Street Journal editorial, “The Coming Defense Crackup,” warning that the cuts would create the smallest navy since 1914. It intentionally confuses next year’s cut with the consequences of 10 year cuts.

Ok, but when every smart bomb and missile hits its target, why does one need as many shells as the old battleships where most shots missed? During the Korean war the Air Force tried futilely for months to bomb a bridge over the Yalu River. Today destroying a bridge takes one cruise missile from a hundred miles away. In Washington we find all the big media opposed to cutting defense spending, waste and all, even the Washington Post. Politico, usually a leftist paper, publishes articles also intentionally confusing 10 years of cuts with a one year cut. Today’s congressmen can’t oblige future congresses on what they will spend; defense apologists use the 10-year number to try to stop the sequestration for one year, 2013. All the big Washington newspapers are full of costly ads from defense contractors.

The money is not all for defense. At least half is for attacking other nations, as Ron Paul called it the defense/militarism budget. Roughly half goes for defense, the rest is for military adventures abroad, most of them quite unnecessary, indeed counterproductive as they just create more enemies for America. Look at Turkey where 90% of the population used to support America; now 85% oppose us. Obviously if we attacked fewer foreigners we could do with much less spending. Firing 250,000 bullets for each dead guerilla can get expensive. As also paying  $400 per gallon to get fuel to the front lines. Total defense costs are now well over a trillion dollars if one includes homeland security, nuclear bombs and off-budget stuff, e.g. $16 billion for the National Reconnaissance Office military satellites, just one of the 16 separate intelligence agencies.

And now… the rest of the story. …..

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