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From US Army Official Website

Each year, officially, acknowledged in the national budget, the United States spends some approximately $700 billion for “defense” – to say weapons, institutions to deploy them.  The balance of the world spends a bit less than that cumulatively.  This number, however, is naturally deceptive (paranoids usually hide their truths) and scarcely tells the whole story.  The 7 hundred billion is the Department of Defense budget.  Included within it, for example, is not the cost of the manufacture and maintenance of our nuclear weapons, which falls under the Department of Energy 28 billion dollar budget.  Nor does the CIA’s massive budget – it comes under “Security.”   Nor the new Homeland Security Agency.  And so on.

FBI counter-terrorism $2.7 billion At least one-third FBI budget.
International Affairs $10.1–$54.2 billion At minimum, foreign arms sales. At most, entire State budget
Energy Department, defense-related $20.9 billion
Veterans Affairs $66.2 billion
Homeland Security $54.7 billion
NASA, satellites $3.4–$8.5 billion Between 20% and 50% of NASA’s total budget
Veterans pensions $58.4 billion
Other defense-related mandatory spending $7.5 billion
Interest on debt incurred in past wars $57.7–$228.1 billion Between 23% and 91% of total interest
Total Spending $1.003–$1.223 trillion

Wikipedia

Also one of the nation’s larger money-makers in the export realm is armaments, much of which is not included in the “Defense” budget, though our collective energies are consumed in the making of these exports.  To say the financial cost to American society for its cumulative expenditures on so-called defense is in wildly out of proportion to any supposed threat, as shown in the expenditures which our would-be opponents spend.    America’s culture is deeply distorted by this obsession with “defense,” which in truth is not at all defense, but rather an aggressive, historically grounded, offense.

See this for clarification

Domestically this distortion is shown in the incapacity of the Congress to address the militarization of our society, as exampled in the difficulty of closing military facilities – bases, factories – owing to their role in the economy.   Likewise in cultural terms – as seen in video games, in the production of the major producers of “entertainment,” as seen in our sports – we have become (or perhaps always were?) increasingly violent, finding cathartic “solutions” in simply killing those with whom we disagree.  Our daily lives are littered with the by-product – the numerous rampage killings that fill the headlines, that leads to endless empty philosophising from our erstwhile pundits as to why we have such a consistent pattern of socio-pathological behavior.  To understand why one need only look at our government’s behavior, at our mass media, at our sports mania, and finally at our own collective willful denial.   America is a violent, ugly, destructive society, which wreaks havoc on the world at the drop of a pin, that sucks up the material wealth of the world in wild disproportion to our numbers, all the while claiming rhetorically to be ever the white-hatted good-guy.

F-22 fighterUS Army environmental video training systemUS Marine, Helmand province, Afghanistan

Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes … known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.… No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.

James Madison, Political Observations, 1795

Since its inception America has always been at war with itself – though largely suppressed there has always been a minority which rejected and resisted the processes of colonization, who defended the original native population, who fought and denied the legitimacy of slavery, who resisted the wars of expansion (Mexico, Spanish-American), and more recently those incursions and wars in Central America, the Caribbean, Viet Nam, Iraq and Afghanistan.   But, in the cumulative history of the United States of America, warring has persistently overwhelmed and defeated the tendencies of peacefulness.   The present day is little different.

Obama signs the 2010 638 billion dollar DOD bill, announced as a “cut” but in fact the biggest everSarcophagous, wounded Greek soldier

5 Comments

  1. Thanks — especially for your most apt reference to Bob Dylan today.

    Escept, of course, the times don’t change.

    Love seeing your postings often.

    yours, from across a body of water whose naming dear Koreans and Japanese — of course, most politely — dispute.

  2. Well, they’re polite until they decide to have wars and then it is rather nasty. Koreans still don’t feel too kindly towards their neighbor over there. Dokdo being a rallying point here for such things… Anyway thanks for kind comments. Perhaps we’ll visit…

  3. This post speaks to the heart of the American personality that has gained momentum in this 21st Century. I live in the Puget Sound region of Washington State. Every day fighter jets fly overhead and nuclear submarines travel the waters. Much of this massive military presence was brought here over the many decades by “progressive” Democratic Senators and Congressional Representative (male and female) and there is little objection. Peace, whether it be Global or Inner, is in short supply. Jon, please note that your work and your works are appreciated.
    Michael DeMarco

    • Hi – I’m working on #2 now – hope to have it in a week or so. I used to live in Port Hadlock on Oly peninsula (and stayed some months at Port Angeles). Nearby was a secretive naval island, a no no to go to, chainlink fenced etc. And the jets.. Not to mention Boeing. And the submarine base in the Hood Canal, the looming dark hulls somehow evil looking out there in the bay. And no little irony in all this being in such a beautiful setting. Ah well. Unfortunately “the end” looks to be Soviet style bankrupt the country with militarism. Thanks much for the note. Jon

  4. IMHO theis obsession with “security’ stems from a 230 year old deep, ingrained fear of “the outside world”(read:colonial powers–How the abused often become the abuser–) trying to overtake The Americas. A fear that is nursed and pampered and spawned an enormous industry in tools to kill people in the nastiest way possible.

    “Fear lies at the heart of all failings of men”. Dunno who said that, but so true!


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