Defense spending and commentary gone crazy

by Yaniv Reich on January 7, 2011

Make no mistake about it: the American and Israeli obsession with “defense”, which meets every commonsense definition of “offense” of which I am aware, is a catastrophe. Here, the New York Times gives us insight into the way that “defense” leaks into our brains—and budgets.

“Pentagon Seeks Biggest Military Cuts Since Before 9/11”

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Thursday that the nation’s “extreme fiscal duress” now required him to call for cuts in the size of the Army and Marine Corps, reversing the significant growth in military spending that followed the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

How can averted growth possibly be considered a dramatic cut? This is possible only if the perpetual increase in military expenditures is assumed as normal. And that is a very, very big problem for the bankrupt American empire, for the victims of dozens of US wars of choice, as it is for Israelis, Palestinians, Lebanese, and so on.

A metaphor to draw out the point. Imagine that after a couple dozen years of constant growth, I decide to take a magic new potion that immediately pauses future hair growth. I then announce to the world that I just got the biggest haircut of my life, because I have avoided all that hair that was going to grow.

This is not how hair accounting works, and it should not be how we organize national budgetary priorities either.

Related Posts:

Previous post:

Next post: