Category: Anti-War & International Law

What Happens When All We Have Left Is The Pentagon?

Trump’s Vision of a Militarized America
By William D. Hartung
tomdispatch.com

At over $600 billion a year and counting, the Pentagon already receives significantly more than its fair share of federal funds. If President Donald Trump has his way, though, that will prove a sum for pikers and misers. He and his team are now promising that spending on defense and homeland security will increase dramatically in the years to come, even as domestic programs are slashed and entire civilian agencies shuttered.

The new administration is reportedly considering a plan -- modeled on proposals from the military-industrial-complex-backed Heritage Foundation -- that would cut a staggering $10.5 trillion in federal spending over the next decade. The Departments of Energy, Commerce, Transportation, and State might see their budgets slashed to the bone; the Corporation for Public Broadcasting would be privatized; and (though the money involved would amount to chicken feed) the National Endowments for the Arts and for the Humanities would be eliminated altogether. In the meantime, the ranks of the Army and Marines would be expanded, a huge naval buildup would be launched, and a new Star Wars-style missile defense system would be developed -- all at a combined cost of up to $1 trillion beyond the already munificent current Pentagon plans for that same decade.

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Trump’s Latest Comments Stoke Talk of a New Nuclear Arms Race

While His Press Secretary Tries to Explain
The Washington Post
By John Wagner

Dear Colleagues,
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Peace, Paul Olson

For a second straight day, President-elect Donald Trump sent provocative signals Friday about expanding the U.S. nuclear arsenal, while his staff scrambled to temper remarks that suggested a break with four decades of policy charted by presidents of both parties.

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Two-Headed Hydra

Top-down Nuclear Re-armament Meets Bottom-up Conservative Populism
by Loring Wirbel 

Loring Wirbel of “Citizens for Peace in Space” in Colorado Springs was the featured speaker for the 2016 Lantern Float commemorating the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at Lincoln’s Holmes Lake August 6. The article below is a combination of his remarks at the Lantern Float and a longer public presentation he made during his visit to Nebraska.

On August 8, following my recent visit to Lincoln for the Hiroshima commemoration, the New York Times used a lead editorial to chide the Obama Administration for throwing away the aims of the President’s 2009 speech supporting nuclear disarmament, in favor of the “Strategic Force Modernization Plan,” which would spend close to $1 trillion through 2040 to modernize all three legs of the strategic nuclear triad. The editorial was one of the first major mainstream-media acknowledgements of a program that had moved into production in midsummer with scarcely a notice from the press or public.

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What Did We Buy With the $5 Trillion That the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars Have Cost Us?

Posted on Sep 13, 2016
truthdig.com
By Juan Cole

A Brown University political scientist estimates that as of 2016, The Iraq and Afghanistan Wars have cost the American taxpayers $5 trillion. That number isn’t important when we consider the human cost: Some 7,000 US troops dead, 52,000 wounded in action; hundreds of thousands of Iraqis dead who wouldn’t otherwise be, 4 million displaced and made homeless, etc.

Just to put that $5 trillion in perspective. Let’s say you chose five individuals. Each of the five will spend $10 million a day. That’s the cost of Heidi Klum’s mansion. They’d be buying the equivalent of five of those each day.

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US at the Crossroads: Start a New Nuclear Arms Race? Or Address Climate Change and Human Needs?

The following article was written by Kevin Martin, President of our Affiliate group Peace Action and published in Common Dreams.

Friday, September 30, 2016
Common Dreams
by Kevin Martin

What if I have little time left? How should I spend my time? Most people face these questions in terms of their own lifespans. But what if the subject of these sentences changes from “I” to “we?” What if the subject is not an individual, but humanity? What if climate change is shortening our human lifespan (and that of many species) to just a few decades?

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