If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience. - George Bernard Shaw
"What do they got that I ain't got? Courage!" – The Cowardly Lion
Many years ago, long before any of us was born, as I may have mentioned before, the first American Army was called a militia. And, from the online dictionary.com, I have borrowed this: [In U.S. history], "the whole body of men declared by law amenable to military service, without enlistment, whether armed and drilled or not" (1777). The idea of creating this force was then pretty much the only reasonable option open for a group of loosely connected colonies to provide for their own defense against what they viewed as a serious threat to their peace, security, and freedom. That was then, and this is now. We have fast forwarded some two hundred plus years, and now let's take a look at the huge Military Industrial Complex (MIC), that has effectively replaced that little militia. This MIC is controlling huge resources of the once proud nation that grew from those humble beginnings of that poor, ill-equipped and totally untrained militia.
And, it is time to ask ourselves why do we still need to have such a powerful military? (Granted, we surely went out and made us a whole bunch of new enemies subsequent to September of 2001.) But, apart from having become the biggest bullies on the block, why do we need to have more than a token military force?
And, now that I think of it, what happened to being admired and looked up to as the world's leader in everything? Nowadays, instead of being innovative, or original, or capable of providing so much of what the world wants or needs, we are simply seen as greedy, as we enmesh ourselves in a pursuit of other peoples' raw materials (read oil). We are so greedy that we have pursued wars in places no one had ever heard of, or if we had heard of them, we quickly dismissed them as being insignificant. We make war on people who did not, as a nation, ever do us any harm.
And, now, we are so distracted by these senseless wars, and we have expended so much of our precious resources on these wars, that we have forgotten what got us here in the first place. Worse, our economy is so deep down in the dumps that the politicians are grasping at straws looking for quick fixes (while ignoring some of the obvious solutions). First, and most obvious, if we were to make the MIC just sorta shrivel up and die, then if we were to close down the horrendously expensive Pentagon, and go through the Federal budget looking for military BS programs that only serve to waste money, I bet we could clean up a huge part of our deficit, and improve the economy by doing so.
Don't forget, a lot of American Industry was able to make the transition from a war footing, at the end of WWII, and knock out huge quantities of manufactured goods that the world wanted, and that made our economy one of the strongest the world has ever seen. That could be done again, with minimal effort. For one thing, and think about this just a bit, we still make too much weaponry, too many weapons. Too much effort is spent in seeking a market for those weapons (to the point of creating meaningless wars?), when the whole world would be so much better off without the weapons and without the wars. So, instead of listening to the politicians who always claim that we have to 'oh, so gradually' disengage ourselves, let's just pull the hell right on out of the Middle East! We didn't get into these wars 'oh, so gradually!'
Why can't missile manufacturers help to make affordable aircraft? Who needs tanks and Jeeps, and HumVees and stuff? Outdoorsmen? Sell to them, then. As for firearms, nobody honestly needs them (not even the cops, if truth be told), nor ammunition for such, so either turn to manufacturing something else, something that is actually useful, or go out of business. I know. I know. That's heresy, isn't it? But, so what? Maybe it is going to take some major changes to actually achieve improvement in this world.
And, finally, here's a thought. We still have too many homeless people in the U. S. A., don't we? How about, since we are going to close it down anyway (in my little dream scenario, that is), we just open up the Pentagon for as many homeless as can cram in there? I bet that would be a lot of people, wouldn't it?