Ron Paul / The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity & Win Without War – 2017-07-18 01:04:03
Big Military Spending Boost
Threatens Our Economy and Security
Ron Paul / The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity
(July 18, 2017) — On Friday the House overwhelmingly approved a massive increase in military spending, passing a $696 billion National Defense Authorization bill for 2018. President Trump’s request already included a huge fifty or so billion dollar spending increase, but the Republican-led House found even that to be far too small. They added another $30 billion to the bill for good measure. Even President Trump, in his official statement, expressed some concern over spending in the House-passed bill.
According to the already weak limitations on military spending increases in the 2011 “sequestration” law, the base military budget for 2018 would be $72 billion more than allowed.
Don’t worry, they’ll find a way to get around that!
The big explosion in military spending comes as the US is planning to dramatically increase its military actions overseas. The president is expected to send thousands more troops back to Afghanistan, the longest war in US history.
After nearly 16 years, the Taliban controls more territory than at anytime since the initial US invasion and ISIS is seeping into the cracks created by constant US military action in the country.
The Pentagon and Defense Secretary James Mattis are already telling us that even when ISIS is finally defeated in Iraq, the US military doesn’t dare end its occupation of the country again. Look for a very expensive array of permanent US military bases throughout the country. So much for our 2003 invasion creating a stable democracy, as the neocons promised.
In Syria, the United States has currently established at least eight military bases even though it has no permission to do so from the Syrian government nor does it have a UN resolution authorizing the US military presence there. Pentagon officials have made it clear they will continue to occupy Syrian territory even after ISIS is defeated, to “stabilize” the region.
And let’s not forget that Washington is planning to send the US military back to Libya, another US intervention we were promised would be stabilizing but that turned out to be a disaster.
Also, the drone wars continue in Somalia and elsewhere, as does the US participation in Saudi Arabia’s horrific two year war on impoverished Yemen.
President Trump often makes encouraging statements suggesting that he shares some of our noninterventionist views. For example while Congress was shoveling billions into an already bloated military budget last week, President Trump said that he did not want to spent trillions more dollars in the Middle East where we get “nothing” for our efforts.
He’d rather fix roads here in the US, he said. The only reason we are there, he said, was to “get rid of terrorists,” after which we can focus on our problems at home.
Unfortunately, President Trump seems to be incapable of understanding that it is US intervention and occupation of foreign countries that creates instability and feeds terrorism. Continuing to do the same thing for more than 17 years — more US bombs to “stabilize” the Middle East — and expecting different results is hardly a sensible foreign policy. It is insanity.
Until he realizes that our military empire is the source of rather than the solution to our problems, we will continue to wildly spend on our military empire until the dollar collapses and we are brought to our knees. Then what?
Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.
Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.
ACTION ALERT: Rein in the US War Budget
Win Without War
Every year, for the past 56 years, Congress has passed a massive piece of legislation, authorizing hundreds of billions of dollars and touching on a host of policy issues from how big our military should be and who can serve in it to what Americaâ€™s policy should be around the world. That legislation is called the National Defense Authorization Act — or NDAA for short — and this week itâ€™s on the floor of the House of Representatives.
The decisions made in Congress this week can literally mean life or death. When all is said and done, Congress will also be deciding how to spend about $700 billion of your tax dollars. Right now theyâ€™re hearing from special interests and lobbyists about how they should vote, and thatâ€™s why we need to make sure that they hear from us!
Here are just a few examples of the decisions facing Congress this week:
To prevent a new troop surge in Afghanistan, a bipartisan amendment by Reps. Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Walter Jones (R-NC) would require that before the President can send more American troops to Afghanistan to fight in Americaâ€™s longest war, he must explain why they are being sent, and how long they will be there. It would also guarantee that Congress, and thus the American people, can reject the Presidentâ€™s request to expand the war in Afghanistan.
To cut wasteful spending at the Pentagon, Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) has offered an amendment that would allow the military to finally close some of its old, outdated, and unused bases. Every year, taxpayers spend billions of dollars keeping open old bases the military wants to close, and this important amendment would finally put an end to that wasteful spending.
To help save lives in Yemen, Reps. Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Walter Jones (R-NC) have offered an amendment to stop American support for Saudi Arabiaâ€™s deadly war. The Saudi-led coalition — which has been accused of war crimes in Yemen — depends on the U.S. military for mid-air refueling of its jets, and this amendment would end that support and support a diplomatic solution to the war in Yemen.
And to help prevent the U.S. and Iran from stumbling into a war, Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) has offered an amendment that would help establish a direct line of communication with Iran. Such hotlines are vital to preventing accidents from escalating into full-blown wars, and with so many crises in the Middle East, it is long past time we took this important step away from the brink of war.
Right now, your member of Congress is deciding how they will vote on these and other important amendments to the NDAA, and they need to hear from you! Thatâ€™s why weâ€™ve made it super easy to email Congress with just a few clicks. Simply click the link below and youâ€™ll be taken to a form to email your Representative about the NDAA.
ACTION: Please take two minutes to email your member of Congress, and make sure they hear your voice on what Americaâ€™s defense policy should be!
Click here to make your voice heard right now!
Right now Congress is hearing from an army of lobbyists. Foreign countries, arms makers, and special interests are all making their voice heard on the NDAA. But the secret is, there are way more of us than there are of them. Thatâ€™s why we need your voice now, to stand up and fight for a more progressive foreign policy!
Thank you for working for peace,
Stephen, Mariam, Amy, and the Win Without War team