Thursday, December 8, 2011
An empire going into bankruptcy
US Congressional Representatives Barney Frank (D-MA) and Ron Paul (R-TX) have written an op-ed urging a cut to US military spending in order to save America from bankruptcy.
“They are realizing, and I think more Americans besides just these two gentlemen are realizing, that we have a humongous budget deficit, on par with Greece. This is $1.5 trillion per year which is 11 percent of our GDP, which is a record. The previous record was 5 percent under Ronald Reagan. They have to do something to close the gap and the military budget has been off limits for many years, even a decade now,” said Ivan Eland, a senior fellow at the Independent Institute in Washington.
Eland argued that the massive US military spending began after US President Harry Truman established a permanent defense industry following World War II. This industry has taken shape over the years to include large lobbying efforts aimed at extending a US worldwide empire.
The lobbying efforts include actions by foreign policy individuals, businesses, defense contractors and others pushing for a perceived increase in security.
“I think this empire causes reduced security for those who really matter, and that’s US citizens. I mean, we get blow back terrorism from Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda simply because we are occupying Muslim lands and interfering in Arab governments,” said Eland.
He argued that the US could be more secure and cost effective if they reduced their overseas empire. There’s no reason to continue old Cold War overseas policing policies because we no longer need to. Eland argued the US need to be more cautious to whom it gives security commitments.
The United States was traditionally an anti-militarization state. However, in more recent years the US increased its drive towards military strength.
“This same thing happened to Rome and other empires. What usually happens to empires is they become militarized at the end of their road and they eventually either collapse or have to retrench because they can’t afford the empire anymore,” said Eland.