The U.S. government’s military spending excess — when compared with the rest of the world — is down somewhat due mostly to troop withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan but still accounts for 39 percent of the global total, according to a new international study, examined by Lawrence S. Wittner.
After the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. intelligence community threw extraordinary resources into the hunt for al-Qaeda terrorists, so much so that some experts fear a possible new blindness to other threats, a dilemma addressed by ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
In 1961, President Eisenhower warned Americans about the danger of a Military-Industrial Complex diverting public funds into excessive arms manufacturing, but now that influence reaches more broadly into U.S. politics as military contractors flex their muscles on other businesses, as Lawrence S. Wittner describes.
The nuclear industry hasn’t solved the long-term problem of what to do with nuclear waste, which presents a uniquely dangerous environmental threat. That danger is now highlighted by leakage at one of the oldest nuclear sites in the world, Washington State’s Hanford facility, writes Gina Mason.
The U.S. Postal Service, which has bound the nation together since its founding, is under intense pressure to privatize, especially from business rivals and libertarians. But Post Offices represent some of America’s finest examples of public space and common purpose, scholar Gray Brechin tells Dennis J. Bernstein.
Though Republicans lost the popular vote for Congress by more than one million votes, they kept control of the House thanks to aggressive gerrymandering. Now, the GOP is using that “majority” to force spending cuts and obstruct work on vital issues like global warming, notes Robert F. Dodge.
Exclusive: Behind today’s fight over government spending is a bigger struggle for U.S. democracy’s future, pitting the traditional white-ruled country against a new multicultural nation, or the Right’s Real America against Other America. To win, Real America must make Other America fail, says Robert Parry.
A key federal budget trick is using words to confuse citizens, such as labeling U.S. military spending as “defense” though much is for “offense” and sliding costs for wounded soldiers under “veterans affairs” and nuclear bombs under “energy,” as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.
The American political system continues to ignore President Eisenhower’s dour warning about the Military-Industrial Complex and embrace President Reagan’s happy “We’re No. 1” illusions. The long-term consequences of this choice have been devastating to most U.S. citizens and to the world, writes Gary G. Kohls.
Goldman Sachs’ Lloyd Blankfein and other tycoons behind “Fix the Debt” want average folks to expect less from Social Security and other safety-net programs but are doing all they can to protect their special interest tax breaks and dodge the slightly higher tax rates for the rich, note Bill Moyers and Michael Winship.