Though he ran for the White House as a “change” candidate, President Obama has mostly favored continuity, including bending to the usual pressure from the Military-Industrial Complex to keep the Pentagon spending flowing, as budget watchdog Chuck Spinney explains.
The U.S. government spends hundreds of billions of dollars a year to fight – or prepare to fight – wars against supposed security threats around the world. But far less money is invested in what many experts believe will be the greatest security threat, global warming, as John M. Repp explains.
The backdrop of the Newtown massacre and similar slaughters across America is how frequently the U.S. government opts for violence to settle problems around the world, a message that might influence a troubled individual with access to a gun, says Laura Finley.
While advocating more tax cuts tilted to the rich, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney also wants to expand military spending, meaning that social programs would take a big hit. But polls indicate Americans prefer cutting Pentagon dollars rather than Social Security and Medicare, writes Lawrence S. Wittner.
History is filled with cautionary tales about militarily powerful empires that collapsed because they spent far too much on guns over butter. The United States is now tempting a similar fate behind a ruling elite that uses fear and propaganda to maintain control, as Gary G. Kohls notes.
Anticipating a return to power after Republicans win in 2012, the neocons are now in a delaying game to stop any serious cuts in the U.S. military budget, including in the global network of bases, even in countries like Japan where – as Robert Higgs notes – the national security rationale has long since disappeared.