I have been thinking about our yuge (we're talking major Bigly here) National Debt and Deficit, and other woes of the Trumpian Era, and this one thing keeps bothering me. Now, I grant you, this did not begin with the current administration. It began a long, long time ago, when we first chose to ignore the warnings of Dwight D. Eisenhower, when he talked about the Military Industrial Complex, upon his leaving the office of President. It escalated over the years, and then got really, really bad in the wake of the stupid that followed 9/11.
I am talking about Defense Spending, and the seriously out of control Department of Defense! Why should our spending on what we euphemistically call Defense be so damn high?!
Just to be sure that I had this right, I looked up the word:
1. the action of defending from or resisting attack.
"she came to the defense of the eccentric professor" ·
synonyms: protection · shielding · safeguarding · guarding · security · fortification ·
· an instance of defending a title or seat in a contest or election.
"his first title defense against Jones"
· military measures or resources for protecting a country.
"the minister of defense" ·
synonyms: armaments · weapons · weaponry · arms ·
2. the case presented by or on behalf of the party being accused or sued in a lawsuit.
synonyms: rebuttal · denial · vindication · explanation · mitigation · justification ·
3. (in sports) the action or role of defending one's goal against the opposition.
"we played solid defense"
I do not see anywhere in that definition, anything about sending our armed forces to any other place on this planet! Do you see words like "invasion" or "occupy" in there? I sure do not. I mean, how is invasion of Iraq equal to "protecting" our nation? Did Iraq have the power to invade us, and only the Defense Department was aware of that? So, how are we defending our nation by invading the Middle East, and making war on nations, when it was individual terrorists who brought down the Twin Towers? Why did our "Defense" not prevent that horror? Isn't that what Defense is supposed to do? When did Defense become Offense? Why are we OK with this?
Have we all forgotten just how much money we've allowed our Defense to piss away over the years?! Are we all totally ignorant of the good that could have been accomplished with that much money, if diverted towards the infrastructure, or health care, or education? Does it not hurt you to think of all the waste? All the loss?
How is joining an all volunteer Army, and going off to countries whose citizens never hurt us equivalent to "serving" the nation? Hint: If you joined the Army (or, the Navy, or the Air Force, or the Marines, or even the Space Farce) to serve your country? You don't need to go to some far away place to do that. You can "serve" your country right here at home by volunteering to house and feed the homeless, or educate young people, or volunteer at a hospital, or go to work fixing broken streets and highways!
And, if we have a desperate need for Defense of our nation (I abhor the use of that word, "homeland"), then should we not have shoreline artillery batteries, Air Force Bases near our borders, and Army posts? Why must our Defense be concentrated overseas?
I mean, if we have some 800 +/- bases across the world, that is not even remotely like Defense. That's Empire Building, and we have always denied any bent towards Imperialism.
Personally, I think it is way past time to stop saying that we must have a huge Defense budget, and time to begin calling it what it is. It is either an invasion budget, or an empire building budget, or better yet, an Offense Budget, because all of those are more accurate and honest.
Bottom line, for me, is this: We don't need a humongous military force. No. More. War.