Once again, the military industrial complex is howling about money, with its most fervent supporters knowing that the U.S. government is completely broke, but believing budget cuts have to come from somewhere that isn’t the DOD. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Wednesday that another round of cuts aside from the $350 billion called for in August is “nuts” and would be a “doomsday mechanism,” according to The Hill.
Since the year 2000, defense spending has increased 86%, not counting funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with other money going to the general “War on Terror.” The DOD budget has increased in size every year, and by the end of FY2011, total military spending including ongoing wars will nearly hit $3 trillion.
In no uncertain terms, Panetta hinted that even if conflicts were to end, defense spending would not decrease “on his watch.” At the Association of the U.S. Army conference, Panetta said in the past, the military was “hollowed out” at the end of major conflicts and said “we must never make that mistake again.” In other words, though we spend more money each year on the military, it will never be enough, and enacting a small portion of cuts, drawn out over a decade, is more dangerous to national security than a new Soviet Russia teeming with Osama Bin Ladens.
In an attempt to justify bleeding American wallets dry, the latest news of an Iranian terror plot gives Panetta cause to begin slowly beating brand new war drums, while the rest of the Obama administration softly nods its head in the background. The Hill reports Panetta “fired a shot across the bow of nations like Iran and North Korea, which are pursuing nuclear weapons.” Joe Biden stated the U.S. is “working to unite the world” in a response to the plot to murder the Saudi Ambassador to the United States, which the FBI reportedly helped to create. An attorney said “For the entire operation, the government’s confidential sources were monitored and guided by federal law enforcement agents.”
Much like the buildup to the war in Iraq in 2003, we’re seeing yet another situation develop where the potential military response to a situation could be another full scale war and occupation, where tens of thousands of civilians become “collateral damage,” thousands of Americans get sent home missing limbs or in body bags, and a prosperous few collect billions of dollars from the general population.