Trump’s Empty Promise on War Savings

Although President Trump promised to avoid unnecessary wars, he still is seeking a major increase in the already gigantic U.S. military budget, a risky contradiction, says Ivan Eland.

By Ivan Eland

President Donald Trump has always had contradictions in his “tough guy” national security policy. For starters, he has proposed a nearly 10 percent increase in defense spending, but also claims that his demands for U.S. allies to spend more on defense are producing results.

President Trump delivers his brief speech to the nation explaining his decision to launch a missile strike against Syria on April 6, 2017. (Screen shot from Whitehouse.gov)

And during his campaign, he alluded to the need to stay out of unneeded wars. If allies pay more and the United States stays out of pointless brushfire wars, the U.S. government could seemingly spend less, not more, on defense.
However, allied defense spending is probably not going to increase that much. Our wealthy allies have long allowed the United States to spend most of the money on security, so that they can use their money to compete with U.S. commercial interests on the world market without fully opening their markets to American products and services. Trump is right to pressure the allies to do more, but they really won’t unless the United States tells them they are mostly on their own to provide security.
Also, it remains to be seen whether an American president with already the most powerful military in human history, both absolutely and relatively (the United States spends on defense what the next seven highest spending countries do), can avoid the temptation to needlessly meddle in the affairs of other countries. Recent presidents from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama have been unable to resist the urge.
Trump succumbed to the lure of playing to his political base by demonstrating that he was tougher than his predecessor by launching a mere cosmetic cruise missile strike against Bashar al-Assad’s Syria for allegedly using chemical weapons. Furthermore, his generals are pressuring him to re-escalate the long-lost war in Afghanistan.
Apart from these contradictions in the use of conventional military forces, Trump has promised to overhaul a nuclear arsenal that he has called “obsolete.” Barack Obama left him an expensive program — $1 trillion over 30 years — to revamp the nuclear triad of bombers, land based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs). The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that the cost of that gargantuan program has already skyrocketed 20 percent to $1.2 trillion. If past defense programs are any guide, the expenses will continue to escalate over time, because the government procures weapons using a highly regulated and inefficient manner.
And Trump’s post-election promise that the United States “must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability” has not even been figured into his already bogus budget of substantial tax cuts paid for by fantasy levels of economic growth (like the “cooked” budgets of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, which racked up huge budget deficits and thus accumulated mounting national debt).
Unnecessary Upgrades

Upgrading the oldest and most vulnerable of the legs of the triad — the land-based ICBMs — would be among most costly parts of the Trump administration’s military buildup. The good news is that the United States could get rid of this leg of the triad and not be any less safe. The same could be said of the aging U.S. nuclear-capable bomber force. In short, after the Cold War, the United States no longer needs all the 1,550 nuclear warheads allowed by the 2010 treaty on strategic weapons with Russia.

Secretary-General António Guterres (left) addresses the Security Council ministerial-level meeting on the nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programs of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). At right is Rex W. Tillerson, U.S. Secretary of State and President of the Security Council for April. Behind Tillerson is U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley. (UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe)

For decades, the Chinese wisely avoided getting swept up in the farcical nuclear arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. They developed only a minimum long-range nuclear deterrent — enough long-range missiles to inflict enough atomic damage on other countries to deter them from attacking China with nuclear weapons. (This policy might change because the Chinese believe expensive and destabilizing U.S. missile defenses could begin to nullify this minimum deterrent.) China used savings from avoiding a nuclear arms race for economic development at home, which helped it to become a global economic powerhouse.
The United States needs to do the same to effect a much-needed economic renewal. U.S. ballistic missile submarines are still the quietest in the world and are invulnerable to attack. After scrapping the unneeded bomber and land-based missile legs of the triad, more resources could be funneled into buying a new generation of such submarines. Also, the destabilizing new U.S. cruise missile could be cancelled.
Fewer nuclear weapons platforms and launch vehicles would require fewer warheads, thereby also allowing a reduction in the expensive nuclear infrastructure, including closing some of the redundant nuclear laboratories. Pricey strategic missile defenses could also be scrapped, because they still don’t work very well and may motivate other countries, such as China, to just build more warheads.
Despite President Trump’s rhetoric, over time, he will not be able to afford unneeded defense profligacy, especially in nuclear weapons. The triad should be reduced to a “monad” of submarines and their invulnerable ballistic missiles and maybe even to a level of such platforms and armaments that provide minimum nuclear deterrence.
Ivan Eland is Senior Fellow and Director of the Center on Peace & Liberty at the Independent Institute. [This article first appeared as a blog post at HuffingtonPost.]
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49 comments for “Trump’s Empty Promise on War Savings

  1. July 11, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    What the “allies” need to do is NOT spend more on destructive military spending which has resulted in hoards of refugees but do something substantial about real nation building otherwise they will continue to be inundated by the victims of war and famine. The concept of nation building has been given a bad rap by those who profit from war and corruption at the expense the neoliberal ideology based on greed, but consider the alternative.

    • Sam F
      July 11, 2017 at 5:07 pm

      Renovating redundant nuclear deterrents, while the UN passes a measure against nuclear arms, shows that the US continues to head in the exact wrong direction.

      The article well shows, that US investment in arms is led by the self-serving groupthink of tyrants in the military/intel agencies, administration, Congress, and mass media, inventing foreign monsters to pose falsely as protectors, and to accuse their moral superiors of disloyalty, as Aristotle and Plato warned. They have none of the humanity or patriotism that they claim. This domestic power grab is the greatest danger to democracy. This is why the nation’s founders opposed a standing military.

      Apart from treaties, the US would have no constitutional power to wage foreign wars, just to repel invasions and suppress insurrections. Treaties become part of the Supreme Law and must be rigorously restricted to defense. NATO has become a primary means for warmongering demagogues to subvert the Constitution, the sole reason that they revive Russophobia.

      These tyrants have since WWII denied the United States the honor of rescuing the poorest half of the world from ignorance, poverty, malnutrition, and disease, and instead have murdered ten million struggling innocents, and have ignored vastly greater unnecessary deaths from disease and starvation. US foreign aid has been only about one meal annually to the poorest of the world, the lowest foreign aid per GNP of any developed nation.

      Yet a majority in the US consider humanitarian aid of roughly 18 percent of the federal budget to be reasonable, 25 times the present amount. This $600 billion annually, about $48,000 per family of four since WWII for the poorest half of the world, would have built their homes, roads, schools, and hospitals, and with the aid of other developed nations, would have eliminated poverty from the planet. This would have been a real “American Century” and the US would have no security problems today.

      If the bloated US military budget is reduced by halting our worldwide aggression and providing only for defense, this humanitarian aid can be provided without additional taxes. About 80 percent of the US military can be re-purposed to build the infrastructure and administer aid efficiently. Americans can be very comfortable and very safe with much larger foreign aid programs.

      Our miserly foreign aid budgets prove that our elected “representatives” and mass media represent only the selfish rich. Of the 1973-2010 diplomatic cables on Wikileaks.com: cables on disease control number only 4% of those on drug control, cables on land reform (giving farmland to poor farmers) were only 8% of those opposing nationalization (taking industries for public benefit), and cables on food aid only 34% of those on military aid.

      Your elected officials do not represent or care about you, and do not care in the least for humanity in general. They are selfish scoundrels and thieves who should be turned out of office and prosecuted for corruption.

      • July 11, 2017 at 5:17 pm

        Well said, Sam F. Right on the mark ,

      • July 11, 2017 at 6:46 pm

        Amen, Sam F…I would only add that most of the current “humanitarian aid” is simply P.R. propaganda funded by government through private profiteers.

      • Ol' Hippy
        July 13, 2017 at 2:11 pm

        One could only hope for change that will never come, not in my lifetime anyway. Well said.

  2. July 11, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    I believe “The Donald” fooled us
    —————————————————————-
    April 8, 2017
    Donald You Fooled Us

    Donald, you were elected into a big White House
    Now you are acting like a warmongering louse
    Bombing other countries as you think and see fit
    Yemen and Syria you have already hit
    Donald You Fooled Us

    People believed you, when you promoted peace
    Now that you are elected the bombings don’t cease
    The war criminals are now applauding your dangerous sorties
    You sent “59” missiles into Syria: is this your forte?
    Donald You Fooled Us

    Will nuclear war be your gift to mankind?
    Unfortunately if this happens, nobody will be left behind
    The destroyed planet will be all aflame
    A hellish end to your mad reign
    Donald You Fooled Us

    You are now in the company of those that support terrorists
    Is this what you want? Or do you need a Therapist?
    Your credibility is shot, and there is no pun intended
    Many of your supporters are now bloody offended
    Donald You Fooled Us

    You said if elected you would clean and, “Drain the swamp”
    Now the swamp residents are now cheering your “pomp”
    They know it’s a return to good old “business as usual”
    And the people that supported You, are wondering if you’re delusional?
    Donald You Fooled Us

    People are fed up with double crossing politicians
    That are, leading them down the road to perdition
    You were believed, and that all this would change
    But now, they realize it’s just a dirty political game
    Donald You Fooled Us…

    [much more info at link below]
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2017/04/donald-you-fooled-us.html

    • mike k
      July 11, 2017 at 3:01 pm

      Thanks Stephen. You have summed up what many people are feeling. Donald was and is a real estate con man. It always hurts when you wake up and realize you have been conned. But after all, you had it coming – you connived with someone who promised easy profits with no work on your part – just drop a vote in the box, and sit back and grow rich. Too bad Sucker!

  3. Sally Snyder
    July 11, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    Here is an article that looks at which defense company benefits the most from Washington’s defense budget:

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2017/05/supporting-american-defense-industry.html

    It is the military-industrial-intelligence community that is largely responsible for driving America’s global political agenda.

    • mike k
      July 11, 2017 at 3:13 pm

      Just what I was going to say Sally. Mr. Eland’s nuclear weapons reduction plan is completely rational and doable. Except for one thing – a lot of fat cats are making a ton of money from making these goodies. War and plans for war is the amazing, inexhaustible money making machine.

      • Virginia
        July 11, 2017 at 4:00 pm

        Imagine a Bill Browder type investment broker selling all kinds of stock issues for the multi-billion dollar weapons companies! Who wins? We know. Not those in middle America who voted for Trump and expected less war and more jobs, infrastructure; … well, just plain more care and attention! Where are their voices? Speak up, folk!

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 11, 2017 at 4:36 pm

        Your comment is reflective of why the MIC needs a Russian enemy. China may not be mentioned much at this moment, but if needed they too will become a reason to invest in nukes. I know you know this mike k, but I just wanted to support your comment with my comment. Joe

  4. Brad Owen
    July 11, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    EIR website search box: “Ambassador Chas Freeman on the future under Trump” made the telling statement that civilian control over the military is breaking down. I’ve also read (somewhere; I can’t find it yet) that Trump is preoccupied with self defense against charges leading to impeachment or 25th amendment removal, thus letting Pentagon run itself, so the congressional insiders sign a blank check over to the military guys, plus insurrectional Deep State “false flags” to foil any new detente with Russia. This CEO doesn’t know his own organization, unfortunately.

    • mike k
      July 11, 2017 at 3:07 pm

      That’s not all Trump doesn’t know. You could not write a book about this man’s ignorance – it would take many volumes of an encylopedia.

      • mike k
        July 11, 2017 at 3:16 pm

        Or street-wise you could just say this dude doesn’t know shit, and leave it at that.

        • mike k
          July 11, 2017 at 3:21 pm

          Putin’s remark that Donald was not as stupid in person as people had made him out to be, was just obvious flattery, and not to be taken seriously.

          • Realist
            July 11, 2017 at 4:05 pm

            Geez, Mike, would you be flattered if someone said to you, “you’re not really as dumb as you look?”

            But, your several statements here are entirely correct and not complimentary to the Donald.

      • Realist
        July 11, 2017 at 4:00 pm

        So, if Hillary purportedly knows better because she is so damned smart and highly educated, why were her policies intended to be essentially the same as Trump’s, which are essentially the same as Obomber’s, whose were basically the same as Dubya’s (warmongering that this country cannot afford)? If Trump’s major flaw is ignorance, what was that of all the aforementioned jackwagons? Stupidity? Arrogance? Lust for power? Sadism? Your hypothetical encyclopedia could be dedicated in entirety to American presidential abuse of power dating back 241 years. And there would be companion sets on the innumerable and repeated wrong paths taken by the congress and the courts.

        • Joe Tedesky
          July 11, 2017 at 4:38 pm

          I think the candidates are tasked to sound creative when reading from the same script.

  5. Realist
    July 11, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    It has long ago ceased being a question of whether the wealth in our national treasury should be spent on guns or butter. Lately, it has merely been a question of which guns, manufactured by whom? And, with the commitments made, like Obomber’s trillion dollar upgrade of our nuclear arsenal, so it will remain as far out as one can see. This is simply insane and suicidal. Even if the weapons are never used (and I see no compunctions not to do so by the “bipartisan” crowd in charge), their production will pauperize our economy.

    • mike k
      July 11, 2017 at 4:28 pm

      Of course that backhanded compliment was not made to Trump’s face. But Putin knew it would get back to him – a little delayed action long distance love letter. Vladimir knows the value of a little shmoozing with potential rivals. Too bad Vlad didn’t study aikido instead of judo. I have played both, and some of Vlad’s moves are smooth as aikido silk.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 11, 2017 at 4:41 pm

        I took Putin’s remark about Trump ‘not being as stupid as he is portrayed on tv’, as being the case that Putin wasn’t saying this too Trump, but rather to the media who calls Trump stupid. Or did I miss something?

        • mike k
          July 11, 2017 at 5:34 pm

          In any case, I was thinking it would get back to Trump. And Putin knows that Trump needs some approval from a major figure outside his personal coterie. It’s just smart diplomacy to say something indicating you have respect for the person you are negotiating with. Any other attitude is not going to get you anywhere. How can you make a deal with someone you openly show contempt for? This is what the media and the neocons wanted Trump to do. Just go in and tell Putin off, and make it clear you don’t believe anything he says, and would not trust him an inch on anything.

          It reminds me of the legendary story from ancient times, where the Emperor of Japan opened a letter to the Emperor of China by writing : “The Emperor of the Land of the Rising Sun sends greetings to the Emperor of the Land of the Setting Sun.” The Chinese Emperor immediately declared war on Japan, and sent his army to attack them.

          • mike k
            July 11, 2017 at 5:36 pm

            “A soft answer turns away much wrath.” (Bible)

        • Dave P.
          July 11, 2017 at 6:50 pm

          Joe, I think the journalists asked Putin this question about Trump, and he gave this answer we are talking about. As I read somewhere, actually his answer had more to it – a complete answer. Watching Putin’s many interviews and press conferences, he seems to be very well informed, with quick response and to the point answers – and never offensive or threatening. Barak Obama with his baritone sounded very impressive but if one notices, his response is somewhat slow; he has to think for that right word to impress with his Ivy-League training.

          With that alcoholic buffoon Yeltsin, the badly plundered Russia was really down. And with this constant pressure from the West, it was very perilous time for Russia. With all these Oligarchs running amok, the things looked hopeless for Russia.. But they were really lucky to have a leader like him. He has managed the affairs of his country very well. Any other leader would have buckled under that heavy load Putin is carrying on his shoulders. As Chinese pointed out recently, after the recent demonstrations by these so called democrats, that Russia must deal sternly with these trouble makers – like Alexie Navalny. These are still very perilous times for Russia.

          It is sad that U.S. does not want to come up with any type of accommodation with Russia. There was a very long article by Gore Vidal in The Nation magazine during the 1980’s with title “Requiem for the American Empire”. Gore Vidal wanted U.S. to cooperate with Russia as a team. I still remember his words In the article: American ingenuity and Russia’s (still bigger Russia those days) landmass, if only they get together, it will change the World to be a better place.

          • Joe Tedesky
            July 11, 2017 at 9:13 pm

            I think a longtime ago I read that Gore Vidal article, and for myself even way back then I thought the same thing. If mankind were able to keep it’s focus on primarily doing what’s right for all mankind, then there would be no war. I would even bet that there are plenty of Russians who think like we do, whereas our two countries could unite, and make a difference where it counts. Although, the monied interest, and the gods of the hierarchy who reign over us lowly peasants think otherwise. If not for man’s greed, uh?

            Take care Dave always enjoy hearing from you Joe

          • Realist
            July 11, 2017 at 9:58 pm

            The American press loves to (accurately) note how much most American presidents age while in office, presumably from the demands of the office. Have others noticed, as I have, that Mr. Putin has also aged considerably since we first got to know him in 2000? Just in the past couple of years his face appears quite puffed and sagging now, not as healthy and robust as he once looked. It is probably draining to respond perfectly, with little margin for error, to the threats and charges that the American side incessantly makes. He cannot allow his country to be rolled by the imperialists in Washington, but neither can he come on so strongly that military action is ignited. The idea is to protect his country’s interests while maintaining the peace. Starting wars, as we have seen out of Washington, is a piece of cake. Meeting your objectives, not so much. Humanity should hope to find a replacement as capable as Putin when his inevitable retirement arrives. Would that America could also find a counterpart. I just don’t see the talent pool in this country. Someone courageous would have to emerge to buck the Deep State. It’s 2020 or never, Tulsi, Rand, to start your independent movement. I don’t want to die of old age knowing that America has permanently gone full blown totalitarian.

    • mike k
      July 11, 2017 at 4:34 pm

      Sometimes it seems that global capitalism just can’t go broke fast enough. It is joining all the other hockey stick shaped graphs signaling our near term extinction. It’s like a terminal fever of our sickened planet.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 11, 2017 at 4:43 pm

        We should probably look into who the debt will be paid too, and then there is the answer to who our extinction is owed too.

  6. Cal
    July 11, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    I have forgotten how many times I said this—-Trump is a HONKING MULE pulling the plow for ‘family’ and the Zios .

    And THEY are about money and power, nothing else.

    Jared Kusner said to have turned on Qarar after they backed out of a loan to the Kushners last Spring and pressed the Donald to sanction them.

    ”In June, Kushner was reportedly key in pushing his father-in-law to support the Qatari blockade, led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and joined by Egypt and Bahrain

    ‘As recently as this spring, the Kushner family was seeking a badly-needed investment from a Qatari businessman to refinance their tower at 666 Fifth Avenue. After negotiations seemed to break down, Kushner led the behind-the-scenes fight to harden the U.S. position on Qatar, according to The Intercept.

    Read more: undefined/fast-forward/376745/did-jared-kushner-turn-on-qatar-after-skyscraper-bailout-stalled/

    ”Qatar is facing an ongoing blockade led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and joined by Egypt and Bahrain, which President Trump has taken credit for sparking.

    Kushner, meanwhile, has reportedly played a key behind-the-scenes role in hardening the U.S. posture toward the embattled nation.

    Trump himself has unsuccessfully sought financing in recent years from the Qataris, but it is difficult to overstate just how important the investment at 666 Fifth Avenue is for Kushner, his company, and his family’s legacy in real estate. Without some outside intervention or unforeseen turnaround in the market, the investment could become an embarrassing half-billion-dollar loss. It’s unclear precisely how much peril such a loss would put Jared’s or his family’s finances in, given the opacity of their private holdings.

    Anbang’s $400 million, plus $100 million from other investors, would flow to the Kushners, meaning the family would recoup the entirety of their initial $500 million investment, a startling turnaround given that the New York Times’s detailed analysis of the building’s woes found the Kushners’ investment was now essentially worthless.

    The $1.2 billion interest-only mortgage is due in February 2019. The office space is worth less than its mortgage and “there is no equity value” left in the office section of the building, Jed Reagan of Green Street Advisors told the New York Times in April. (Because they sold the retail space to make payments on other debt tied to the building, the office space is the only part of the tower the Kushners still have a stake in.) As a result, the family’s initial $500 million investment, once heralded as an example of Jared’s emergence as a brash real estate star, has for now effectively been wiped out.

    The Kushners are also looking for loans totaling $250 million to pay off debt used to build an apartment building in Jersey City, Bloomberg first reported in June. The tower, called Trump Bay Street, was financed in part by Chinese investors. Those investments were made through the E5-B visa program, which gives green cards to wealthy foreigners in exchange for investments in the U.S. The family also owes CIT Group $140 million, which it must repay by September. A company spokesman later confirmed to the New York Times that it was indeed seeking the $250 million loan.

    https://theintercept.com/2017/07/10/jared-kushner-tried-and-failed-to-get-a-half-billion-dollar-bailout-from-qatar/

  7. Cal
    July 11, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    The sob is trying to destroy America’s wild and open spaces and monuments
    Now I really hate him.

    Interior Dept. receives over 2 mln comments on monument review

    In April, Trump ordered the Interior Department to review 27 national monuments created since 1996, with an eye to rescinding or shrinking the size of some of them to increase development opportunities.

    Reuters

  8. backwardsevolution
    July 12, 2017 at 12:06 am

    Realist – “Have others noticed, as I have, that Mr. Putin has also aged considerably since we first got to know him in 2000?” The pressure on the man has got to be incredible. At times he must be furious inside, yet he’s forced to smile and pretend. And then to have Obama look down at you with hatred, but still have to shake his hand. To realize your country is being surrounded with bases, but not come across as paranoid when you complain about it.

    I actually feel for the man, and I’m thankful he’s in the position he’s in. I hope he stays in power and lives a very long life, as the world needs his restraint and careful thinking. I am quite sure that other world leaders appreciate him, even though they may not voice it out loud. Without him, we are doomed.

    • Dave P.
      July 12, 2017 at 1:52 am

      backwardsevolution: Very empathetic words indeed !

  9. backwardsevolution
    July 12, 2017 at 1:29 am

    Ivan – good article. Thank you.

    Have a listen to this exchange between Tucker Carlson and Lt. Col. Ralph Peters (Retired) at 8:53 minutes. Keep in mind that Tucker, in order to have an exchange with this guy, has to keep his dislike of Russia, Iran and Putin up there, otherwise they would have been screaming at each other. Tucker said, “The Russians are certainly brutal, and so I have no trouble believing anything that you just said.” I’ve noticed that everybody has to do this, otherwise you’re labeled a “traitor”.

    If this is the way that the U.S. military think, then you are in some serious, serious trouble. To Lt. Col. Peters, Putin and Assad are not bombing ISIS. They are apparently spending their time bombing schools, hospitals, clinics, refugee columns, friendly moderates, and killing as many civilians as possible. The U.S., on the other hand, are bombing ISIS! He says, “They’ve been letting us take care of ISIS and we’ve done a good job.” What? You just can’t make this stuff up.

    Tucker wonders if we shouldn’t have an alliance with Russia in order to take out ISIS, but the colonel is having none of it. Putin is evil. It is obvious that he has a hatred of Russia going back many decades. He says, “We can’t have an anti-terror alliance with terrorists, which is what the Russians are. They’re not Islamic terrorists, and they hate the United States of America, again bombing hospitals, clinics, schools, murdering dissidents and journalists at home and abroad. We have nothing in common with the Russians.”

    He goes on to say, “Now you’ve got Iran building an empire that will stretch from western Afghanistan to the Mediterranean.” This is what they’re so worried about, that the Middle East countries will actually rule their own countries, and the United States won’t have control.

    He says, “Vladimir Putin hates us. He is malevolent. He’s as close to pure evil as I can find. He’s also brilliant. So I don’t understand why any American would want an alliance with Russia. We should be strengthening our alliances with democracies. Instead of trashing NATO, we should be building up more strongly.”

    He went on to say, “Vladimir Putin has invaded his neighbors, broken the long peace in Europe, he assassinates dissidents and journalists, he bombs women and children on purpose in Syria. He is as bad as Hitler.” He says that Syria will be broken up, and the problem in Iraq in 2003 was that it didn’t get broken up.

    That’s the plan, break up the countries into little pieces. That way no one ever gets together and forms a strong country. Something like the U.S. is at the moment: a fragmented, fighting pussy hat mass with nothing in common.

    He says re Iraq: “Our intentions were great.” Yeah, right. That you should have had any intention in another country is beyond arrogant. Get out!

    It’s an eye-opening exchange lasting about 12 minutes, back and forth. I’m sure Tucker wanted to blast that idiot, but again you must hold back, otherwise you’re not a patriot.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=495dL67MkHk

    It starts at 8:53 minutes.

    • Antonia
      July 12, 2017 at 4:24 am

      Backwardsevolution! Nothing like projection. Putin is anymore evil than USA government.

    • Skip Scott
      July 12, 2017 at 11:52 am

      I have seen bits and pieces of Carlson’s interviews, and I was hopeful that maybe Fox would allow someone some leeway to counter the MSM BS, maybe seeing it as a ratings opportunity. Alas, I suppose it was not to be. This Ralph Peters is a real scumbag, the worst of the worst- right along side McCain and Graham. As for us having nothing in common with the Russians, how about our vulnerability to radiation poisoning?

      As a counterbalance to Col. Peters:

      “For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.” – JFK

      • backwardsevolution
        July 12, 2017 at 2:53 pm

        Skip – just by having Peters on his show, Tucker Carlson in one fell swoop pointed out the idiocy of those who control the war machine. Look at the words you used: “real scumbag, the worst of the worst”. This was evident to me and I’m sure most people watching. Tucker is chipping away in small steps. He is educating without people even realizing it. To anyone with half a brain, Ralph Peters looked like a fool.

        • Skip Scott
          July 12, 2017 at 3:24 pm

          Hi B.E.-

          I sure hope you’re right. I am constantly amazed that people like McCain and Graham are fawned over by the MSM. And I don’t know about Graham, but war hero John McCain is all but bullet-proof in my home state of Arizona. Nobody there seems to know about the Forrestal disaster, or about “songbird” McCain in the Hanoi Hilton, or about his screwing over the POW/MIA’s after the war. I’ll keep my mind open about Tucker Carlson and hope for the best.

  10. nmb
    July 12, 2017 at 3:30 am

    Trump is planning provocative operations in Syria
    http://bit.ly/2t9fAPC

  11. john wilson
    July 12, 2017 at 4:59 am

    The campaign rhetoric of both Trump and Obama really brings home the fact that the ‘deep state’ really does rule the roost. Obama and his close Guantanamo and Trumps no more wars makes clear that the man at the top is merely a democratic fig leaf. The business of war is vital to the American economy and without it the country would collapse or go into serious decline. Clearly, closing Guantanamo gulag would be simplicity itself, but this would mean that the president really does have power, so regardless of how easy it would have been, Guantanamo remains as a monument to the power of the unelected state. As far as Trump and his no more wars is concerned, he should look to the bible where it says “there will be wars and rumours of wars until the end of the world”. Get used to it folks, since biblical times we have been screwed and there is no sign of any let up in the foreseeable future !!!!

    • Skip Scott
      July 12, 2017 at 8:33 am

      “The business of war is vital to the American economy.” The only reason this is true is because we have allowed it. With a little vision those people, along with our soldiers, could be employed doing something that would actually benefit our country and the world. The key to the entire problem is unseating the Deep State oligarchs who have a stranglehold on the government and the public. I will never get used to it.

      “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 12, 2017 at 10:33 am

        Yes Skip, I know first hand that tooling and economic goals could be accomplished in a twinkling of the eye, is we only choose to do so. Steel is steel, and the next blueprint up is what the machinists is going to manufacture, as none of this matters to if it were a bomb or a widget of somekind. It’s all in our American heads to think that making weapons is the best we can do. Joe

  12. Adrian Engler
    July 12, 2017 at 9:52 am

    “Trump is right to pressure the allies to do more, but they really won’t unless the United States tells them they are mostly on their own to provide security.”

    I don’t think that is plausible, at all. In European NATO countries, probably, in most countries the opinion prevails that their military spending is adequate (if not rather too high).

    I don’t agree that Russia should be seen as an adversary, but if we compare the military budgets of European NATO countries to Russia – even without the US, they are certainly already rather high, see http://sites.uci.edu/energyobserver/2014/03/17/comparison-of-russian-military-budget-with-eu-nato-and-us-budgets/ The military budget of the UK is on about the same level as the one of Russia. Other European countries spend less, but together, we get a sum of $274 billion (compared to Russia’s $91 billion).

    Of course, the US has an even more insanely inflated military budget ($682 billion). The idea that the European countries should go towards the same direction of insanity is probably not very popular – there are better ways to spend money, and if the military budget is so inflated, there is a greater risk of pressure to start wars to use the military so much is spent on.

    The idea that European countries don’t spend more on the military because the US spends so much is misguided, in my view. The US spends very much on its own military it uses for its own purposes (often, this situation is represented in a misguided way, the payments for NATO as an organization, which are a small part of the military budgets of its member countries, are determined by a clear formula, and no one doubts that these contributions are paid by the members, the problem is just that the US spends much more than other NATO members on its own military).

    I think it is very unlikely that a reduction of US military spending or e.g. the US leaving its military bases in countries like Germany that are mostly used for purposes like spying on Europeans and organizing the drone wars in the Middle East, which are hardly in Europeans’ interest would lead to a perceived need of even higher military spending in European NATO countries. The armies of European countries are probably generally seen as adequate.

    What I find stunning about the way the question about military budgets is presented is the spin with which it is attempted to sell escalating the armament spiral as something good. A widespread traditional view had been that the military is a necessary evil, an escalation of the armament spiral is something bad and international disarmament would be good. Now, increased military spending by NATO countries is sold with slogans like “paying one’s fair share” etc.. That seems almost Orwellian to me.

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 12, 2017 at 10:36 am

      The U.S. seems set on ‘wearing out its welcome’.

    • Sam F
      July 12, 2017 at 10:19 pm

      Yes, US military spending per capita is roughly five times that of the EU, and total US military spending is over twice that of he EU, despite the fact that we have 3000 miles of ocean between us and any potential adversary, unlike the EU, and the EU wants better commercial relations with Russia and China, rather than conflict.

      So reducing our military budget 80% (or re-purposing to humanitarian programs) would leave us with the same military spending per capita as the EU, despite vastly better natural defenses. See my comment above.

      The Russia warmongering in the US is entirely due to zionists, because Russia stabilizes the Iran-Iraq link to Syria-Lebanon. China-Korea warmongering in the US, serves only the MIC/WallSt backed right-wing.

  13. Michael Kenny
    July 12, 2017 at 11:01 am

    The problem with Trump is that he says everything and the opposite of everything. I can’t recall, for example, him ever saying that he would stay out of “unneeded” wars and even if he did, the whole point would be what is or is not an “unneeded” war! Since Mr Eland seems to be most concerned about antagonising China, the solution might be to concentrate on Putin, whether directly or via Syria, and leave the Chinese alone.

    • Skip Scott
      July 12, 2017 at 3:26 pm

      Ka-ching! Another pay day for our resident troll.

  14. July 12, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    The USA is set for a big fall with that gigantic debt of nearly $20tn. How much longer can they continue without a repeat of 2007-8? This time it will be much worse. Economic indicators are very wobbly. And what if there were a natural disaster, which could happen despite folks saying it never will? That to me is what will stop this insanity. How much longer can the world continue like this? People everywhere are sick of the way they’ve been treated by oligarchs, in every country. China and Russia are being sought for more business than the western nations. The USA is terminally ill and I don’t think the prognosis looks good, if a good dose of truth serum isn’t administered.

  15. Porque
    July 14, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    Trump is an empty schell doing what the handful of wealthy crooks that control all the wealth and power tell him to do and say. He like all of his predecessors back to JFK, but not including, have all done. Not one of these/those ‘elected’ worthless miscreants have done anything but do as they were told. They don’t even have the authority to select what tie they will wear on a given day. They are the crude circus barkers of the big tent; the frontmen; as well as the clowns. The big tent, or the government(the primary tool of the oppressors) is a 100% corrupt, inverted-totalitarian, police-state, that oppresses, impoverishes, and murders 99.99% of humanity in same country and in every corner of the world. These crooks get away with their oppression, and concentration of wealtg, for their benefit only, by design, and to the detriment and deah of everyone else, because 95-97% of humanity are totally worthless braindead, brainwashed, tyranny-worshipping, pieces-of-humanity. However, history has proven numerous times that a determined kinority, as few as 3-5% of the population, can and has defeated the most powerful enemy. 3-5% of the population is just about the same percent of humanity that has any value, integrity, principles, and a moral imperative! It’s never been the masses or the majority of a given population that has affected total violent revolution, it’s always been the extremely few determined. And that is tbe ONLY course of action that will annihilate this 100% corrupt, totalitarian, police-state government’Revolution by Any And All Means Possible, But Primarily By Guerilla Warfare!!!

  16. delia ruhe
    July 16, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    Where’s the money coming from? Surely not from tax revenues, given that the rich have 50 kinds of loopholes (not to mention big bank accounts in the Caymans) that let them get away with not paying anything. Remember Romney, who delayed disclosing his tax receipts while his accountant worked at getting the total taxes paid up to 14 percent.

    It might cost the Chinese a lot to cripple America by dumping its bazillions of American dollars, but I’ll bet the Chinese review that option every time a president and Congress decide that the military budget is not nearly bloated enough. If push comes to shove — and it will — China will ruin the US economically to prevent the US from ruining China militarily.

    The Chinese have been at this civilization-survival business a long, long time.

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