To Help the U.S. Military, Slash the Pentagon Budget

Isn’t it reassuring to know your taxpayer dollars are buying lots of “Ferraris” for the U.S. military?

W.J. Astore

If you truly want to help the U.S. military, slash its yearly budget.

It’s counterintuitive, right? We think more money will help the Pentagon field effective forces and to be better prepared to defend America. But that hasn’t proven to be the case. The more money the Pentagon gets, the more money gets spent on unnecessary and often poorly performing weapons systems. Take my old service, the U.S. Air Force. It doesn’t need the B-21 bomber. It doesn’t need new ICBMs. The F-35 fighter is a major disappointment, a “Ferrari” according to the Air Force Chief of Staff, i.e. an exotic and temperamental plane you fly only on occasion, which isn’t what the Air Force wanted or needed. Similarly, the Navy is building aircraft carriers that can’t launch planes effectively and “little crappy ships” that have no role at all. And the Army has thousands of M-1 Abrams tanks parked in storage that it’ll probably never use.

Do you have a friend with too much money? Maybe he got an inheritance or some other windfall. And the money makes him stupid. It’s stipulated in the inheritance that he must spend all of it within a year or two (the way Pentagon appropriations work), and if he fails to spend it, he’ll get less in the future. So he spends wildly, without giving it much thought, because he’s got the money and because he has to. And spending money on expensive “Ferraris” is fun. He’s not encouraged to think about how to use the money wisely, rather the reverse. So he just buys big ticket items willy-nilly.

Congress, of course, is the Pentagon’s enabler. Whatever the military wants nowadays, Congress is determined to give the brass more, in the false name of supporting the troops. It’s not the troops that see the money, it’s the industrial side of Ike’s military-industrial complex that profits the most. There’s something truly unseemly about Congress throwing money at the Pentagon while camp-following weapons contractors siphon it up.

Technically, incredibly, the U.S. military is no longer at war, i.e. “large-scale combat operations,” according to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. Perhaps you missed the announcement that new U.S. troops coming on active duty wouldn’t automatically receive the National Defense Service Medal, as they have since 9/11 and the subsequent global war on terror. With those “large-scale” wars finally ended, shouldn’t the Pentagon’s budget decrease in a big way? Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were costing the U.S. over $100 billion a year, yet as they have ended, the Pentagon’s budget has increased by more than $100 billion. Talk about counterintuitive! Wars end as war budgets increase. Only in America.

There is no logic here. I’m reminded of a scene from the original Star Trek in which Spock is befuddled by an attack on Captain Kirk because there’s apparently no logic to it. As an alien patiently explains to Spock, “Perhaps you should forget logic and devote yourself to motivations of passion or gain.” It’s a telling lesson for anyone looking to explain the illogic of America’s defense budget.

Get rid of the passion and gain in the Pentagon’s budget, America. It’s time to use logic and make major cuts. Force the military to think rather than to spend. Who knows … we may end up with a leaner, even a smarter, military, one committed less to war and more to supporting and defending the U.S. Constitution.

109 thoughts on “To Help the U.S. Military, Slash the Pentagon Budget

  1. This article posted in the NYT just Yesterday is closed for comments Today. The greater majority of them think the Author is just a shill for the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex.

    Here’s one absurd paragraph with so many others like it.
    “The Biden administration bungling its messaging is bad enough. But worse are the real gaps in capability that call into question whether the United States could indeed defend Taiwan. The ships, troop numbers, planes and missile defenses in the Pacific are a poor match for China’s capability.”

    He is inferring the US Taxpayer should have a US Navy deployed half way around the World patrolling the South China Sea with China’s Home Field Advantage.

    I hope you can see the article if you don’t have a paid subscription.

    ‘Biden’s Cautious Foreign Policy Is Imperiling the United States’
    By Kori Schake
    Ms. Schake directs foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute.

    Just the kind of thing Ray McGovern wrote about posted upstream here Yesterday.

    Blessed ARE the Peace Makers for THEY shall be called the Children of God.
    US/NATO WAR Propaganda has banned them from participating the MSM control of the incitement for more Weapons of War for Ukraine and elsewhere.

    Retired President Truman wrote in this Washington Post about how he regretted creating the CIA. He said it went beyond it’s original purpose of gathering INFORMATION ONLY, going ROGUE staging situations in other Nations creating the Narrative to advance US POWER dominating God’s whole Earth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can no longer find this article searching the internal Washington Post Search Engine. Good thing I saved it when I 1st learned about.

      I was surprised to discover online many Years ago a Translation Company, selling it’s abilities translated my Biography on Wikipedia into all the major Languages on Earth including 2 dialects in Chinese. I didn’t save it and that Company is no more. I’m sure the NSA has it on file somewhere.

      Harry Truman who created the CIA, wanted it hauled in for it’s excesses.

      The Washington Post December 22, 1963 – page A11

      Harry Truman Writes: Limit CIA Role To Intelligence
      By Harry S Truman Copyright, 1963, by Harry S Truman

      INDEPENDENCE, MO., Dec. 21 — I think it has become necessary to take another look at the purpose and operations of our Central Intelligence Agency—CIA. At least, I would like to submit here the original reason why I thought it necessary to organize this Agency during my Administration, what I expected it to do and how it was to operate as an arm of the President.

      I think it is fairly obvious that by and large a President’s performance in office is as effective as the information he has and the information he gets. That is to say, that assuming the President himself possesses a knowledge of our history, a sensitive understanding of our institutions, and an insight into the needs and aspirations of the people, he needs to have available to him the most accurate and up-to-the-minute information on what is going on everywhere in the world, and particularly of the trends and developments in all the danger spots in the contest between East and West. This is an immense task and requires a special kind of an intelligence facility.

      Of course, every President has available to him all the information gathered by the many intelligence agencies already in existence. The Departments of State, Defense, Commerce, Interior and others are constantly engaged in extensive information gathering and have done excellent work.

      But their collective information reached the President all too frequently in conflicting conclusions. At times, the intelligence reports tended to be slanted to conform to established positions of a given department. This becomes confusing and what’s worse, such intelligence is of little use to a President in reaching the right decisions.

      Therefore, I decided to set up a special organization charged with the collection of all intelligence reports from every available source, and to have those reports reach me as President without department “treatment” or interpretations.

      I wanted and needed the information in its “natural raw” state and in as comprehensive a volume as it was practical for me to make full use of it. But the most important thing about this move was to guard against the chance of intelligence being used to influence or to lead the President into unwise decisions—and I thought it was necessary that the President do his own thinking and evaluating.

      Since the responsibility for decision making was his—then he had to be sure that no information is kept from him for whatever reason at the discretion of any one department or agency, or that unpleasant facts be kept from him. There are always those who would want to shield a President from bad news or misjudgments to spare him from being “upset.”

      For some time I have been disturbed by the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas.

      I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations. Some of the complications and embarrassment I think we have experienced are in part attributable to the fact that this quiet intelligence arm of the President has been so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue—and a subject for cold war enemy propaganda.

      With all the nonsense put out by Communist propaganda about “Yankee imperialism,“ ”exploitive capitalism,“ ”war-mongering,“ ”monopolists,” in their name-calling assault on the West, the last thing we needed was for the CIA to be seized upon as something akin to a subverting influence in the affairs of other people.

      I well knew the first temporary director of the CIA, Adm. Souers, and the later permanent directors of the CIA, Gen. Hoyt Vandenberg and Allen Dulles. These were men of the highest character, patriotism and integrity—and I assume this is true of all those who continue in charge.

      But there are now some searching questions that need to be answered. I, therefore, would like to see the CIA be restored to its original assignment as the intelligence arm of the President, and that whatever else it can properly perform in that special field—and that its operational duties be terminated or properly used elsewhere.

      We have grown up as a nation, respected for our free institutions and for our ability to maintain a free and open society. There is something about the way the CIA has been functioning that is casting a shadow over our historic position and I feel that we need to correct it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I just came across an important video from Deutsche Welle, the German state broadcaster. One hour long and every minute worth watching, it is called The New Cold War, More Nuclear Weapons for Europe?. It reviews the strategic and tactical ideas of the “old” Cold War that eventually brought the decision to get rid of small tactical nuclear weapons then deployed in great numbers. Alas, here we go again with talk of use of such limited yield weapons even as the US is embarked on a major nuclear force upgrade. Incidentally, it was news to me that Russia has a “strategic enclave” at Kaliningrad on the Baltic where IRBM’s are standing by in silos. Would that there were more such comprehensive programs.

    Liked by 1 person

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