Monday, December 27, 2010


Having proudly served in the Air Force some fifty-six years ago, I know for a fact that there is massive waste in the military budget of the United States. After World War II President Dwight Eisenhower warned us about the influences of the Military Industrial Complex. Eisenhower knew the subject well.

There was a very important article in the New York Times by Nicholas D. Kristof who reported that we spend as much money on military power as every other country in the world combined. He also estimates that we spend six times more than the amount appropriated by China for their military.

Currently our country has troops stationed at more than 560 bases around the world, and many of those sites have existed since the end of World War II, or 65 years ago. His article also reports that more people have “top secret” intelligence clearances than the number of people residing in Washington, D.C. Can any of this be appropriate and/or necessary?

Again quoting from Kristof’s article, we spent “more money in Afghanistan this year than we spent on the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War and the Spanish –American War combined.” He reports that Obama, who is clearly not a friend of War, this year requested 6% more money for the military than was spent at the peak of the Bush Administration.

The article also quotes Eisenhower as saying; “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.” Our current Sec. of Defense Robert Gates has frequently urged a reduction in military spending.

A fact jumped off the pages of the article where Professor Andrew Bacevich, an ex-military officer and historian at Boston University reported, “The U.S. military now has more people in its marching bands than the State Department has in its foreign service – and that’s preposterous”.

Our incoming Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) has reported that he will introduce legislation to reduce budgets by 5% ASAP. If I were in a position of authority in Washington I would start with a 10% reduction for all segments of our government starting with the Department of Defense. If properly administrated, there would not be one ounce of loss in effectiveness or our security.

The article has peaked my interest in reading Professor Bacevich’s book “Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War”. If I were a betting man I would believe this would be a very revealing read.

If our politicians were not buying votes with their legislation, and bowing to the Washington lobbyist’s campaign hand-outs we would not have the current massive budget deficit. We better start running Washington like we must administer our personal bank accounts or we will all be up-side down.


1 comment:

Steve said...

I spent 25 years in the Air Force, and like you, have seen enourmous amounts of waste. While a lot of waste was the fault of the Services, and made no sense to me, Congress pulls most of the strings and a lot of what the military must do or buy is required.