Amid continued splurging on war – with the U.S. government still far-and-away the world’s leader – there are a few hopeful signs as common citizens learn from the likes of Gandhi and become more suspicious of advocates for violent conflict, writes Lawrence S. Wittner.
The short-term danger of the “fiscal cliff” may be resolved either before or after the New Year, but the longer-term threat to the Republic is the never-ending demand from the Military-Industrial Complex for more and more money to finance war and empire, says ex-FBI agent Coleen Rowley.
The last decade’s surge in military spending has added to America’s debt while having a dubious impact on U.S. security. The upcoming elections now pit President Obama, who is calling for reductions, against Mitt Romney, who is calling for more increases, writes ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman.
The Right thinks it has a winning issue in mocking President Obama for “leading from behind” on international crises like last year’s uprising in Libya. But a new study finds Americans leery of more war, supportive of diplomacy and eager for less military spending, says Lawrence S. Wittner.
Congress may seem like it’s not accomplishing much, but that’s only true if you don’t count the political fundraisers. If all the after-hour events – tallying up millions in special-interests dollars – are counted, members of Congress are busy indeed, says Michael Winship.
Despite economic recession and government austerity, the world’s military spending continued to grow last year, exceeding $1.7 trillion, with the United States accounting for more than two-fifths of that money, as Lawrence S. Wittner reports.
Official Washington loves departing Defense Secretary Robert Gates; politicians and pundits alike hang on his every word, applauding his “candor” and praising his “courageous” spending cuts. But military budget expert Winslow T. Wheeler says Gates’s record doesn’t match his press clippings.
Since becoming Defense Secretary in December 2006, Robert Gates has wallowed in flattering press clippings, most recently hailed as the heroic Pentagon budget cutter eliminating wasteful weapons systems. However, the reality is quite different as Gates ends his tenure at the Pentagon with more – and more costly – weapons systems than before his much-touted…