The Unbearable Awesomeness of the U.S. Military

Unrepentant, always wrong, U.S. warmongers Michael O’Hanlon and David Petraeus have authored “America’s Awesome Military: And How to Make It Even Better,” to explain to the rest of us that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the greatest American frack-yeah military ever AND that it is in such a pitiably weak state that if trillions more aren’t wasted on it we’re all going to die.

Remember, this is the same military of which a single branch has just recently misplaced $6.5 trillion. And it needs more money. Why? Because it’s soooooooooo damn awesome!

In fact it’s about to win the wars it’s embroiled in in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, and Libya, but if you don’t fork over trillions more it will lose badly and it’ll be all your fault and the ghosts of the betrayed and sacred troops will haunt you instead of haunting the admissions offices of broken down VA hospitals.

Meanwhile Bill McKibben wants, as we’ve all long wanted, a “war” against the danger of climate destruction, only without taking the money out of the only place it can come from, the preparations for actual wars, and while hyping the awesomeness of the military to make sure the money stays there.

But, back to our favorite war mongers. Petraeus and O’Hanlon fill us in on the following secrets (and we didn’t even have to have sex with them!):

“The United States has the best military in the world today, by far. U.S. forces have few, if any, weaknesses, and in many areas—from naval warfare to precision-strike capabilities, to airpower, to intelligence and reconnaissance, to special operations—they play in a totally different league from the militaries of other countries. Nor is this situation likely to change anytime soon, as U.S. defense spending is almost three times as large as that of the United States’ closest competitor, China, and accounts for about one-third of all global military expenditures—with another third coming from U.S. allies and partners.”

This understates U.S. spending while overstating the idea that it serves some purpose other than ginning up terrorism and suffering, but you get the idea. Here comes the “nevertheless”:

“Nevertheless, 15 years of war and five years of budget cuts and Washington dysfunction have taken their toll. The military is certainly neither broken nor unready for combat, but its size and resource levels are less than is advisable given the range of contemporary threats and the missions for which it has to prepare. No radical changes or major buildups are needed. But the trend of budget cuts should stop and indeed be modestly reversed, and defense appropriations should be handled more rationally and professionally than has been the case in recent years.”

This is based on the lie that U.S. military spending has been decreasing. It has not. It’s also based on denial of the existence of arms races and reverse arms races. Global spending follows U.S. spending up and could as easily follow it down. This is also based on denial of the U.S. role as not just far and away top spending on weaponry but also far and away top dealer of weaponry to the rest of the world, arming the hatred its own wars fuel, generating opportunities for more wars.

“Most major elements of U.S. defense policy are on reasonably solid ground, despite innumerable squabbles among experts over many of the details. Through­out the post–Cold War era, some variant of a two-war planning framework (with caveats) has enjoyed bipartisan support and should continue to do so for many years to come.”

Good thing the U.S. is only in seven wars!

“Those who worry about an American military supposedly in decline should relax. The current U.S. defense budget of just over $600 billion a year exceeds the Cold War average of about $525 billion (in 2016 dollars) and greatly exceeds the pre-9/11 defense budget of some $400 billion. It is true that defense spending from 2011 through 2020 has been cut by a cumulative total of about $1 trillion (not counting reductions in war-related costs). But there were legitimate reasons for most of those reductions, and the cuts were made to a budget at a historically very high level.”

Note that $1 trillion over 10 years is, in plain English, $100 billion, and in plainer English, false. Note also that the $600 billion leaves out the Department of so-called Homeland so-called Security, the Department of Energy, the State Department, the Veterans Administration, etc., etc. But why are we back to not worrying again? Can we just stop with that half of the propaganda and not switch back to fear mongering?

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  • tom

    “In fact it’s about to win the wars it’s embroiled in in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, and Libya…”

    Never mind them, what about the war it kicked off in Korea 66 years ago and that is still technically going on?

    “Bad warmongers, you don’t get to start ANY new wars until you finish the half-eaten one on your plate!”

  • tom

    ““The United States has the best military in the world today, by far. U.S. forces have few, if any, weaknesses…”

    I always wonder how anyone can possibly know something like that. Is there any politician anywhere in the world who would not make exactly that claim for his own country’s armed forces? And yet… what is the standard? How can Americans claim that their special forces, for example, are the baddest without having seen them actually fight Russian spetsnaz (or, come to that Vietnamese soldiers)?

  • tom

    Looking on the bright side, the USA is clearly well on the way to following the USSR down the chute and into the dustbin of history. And for exactly the same reasons. We should all be encouraging the Pentagon to waste as much money as it can.

    Don’t worry, Americans will be fine. It’s just their lousy poisonous government that is doomed. They’ll be a lot happier and more prosperous once it’s gone; after all, it imposes far heavier burdens on them than King George III ever did.

  • Nexusfast123

    I think having hundreds of bases around the world means that much of the spend is on non war fighting capability. Then you have the tens of thousands of non fighting bureaucrats in the Pentagram and elsewhere. Lots of US assets are getting old all at the same time and some capabilities have not evolved like missile technology. Next all the boondoggle projects that are more of a grab for funding rather than the development of effective assets. The Chinese and Russians don’t run hundreds of basis and their approach to weapon development is different with a focus on technology and achieving outcomes.

  • Like this fine example of the bureaucracy at the Pentagon or as Eisenhower referred to it as the Military Industrial Complex.

    Nov 2, 2015 U.S. Paid For ‘World’s Most Expensive Gas Station’ In Afghanistan

    “DOD charged the American taxpayer $43 million for what is likely the world’s most expensive gas station.”

    https://youtu.be/25EWM2acFCU

  • September 17, 2014 US Pursues **134** Wars Around the World

    The US is now involved in *134* wars or none, depending on your definition of war …The White House spent much of last week trying to figure out if the word “war” was the right one to describe its military actions against the Islamic State.

    http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/35654/US-Pursues-134-Wars-Around-the-World/

    December 24, 2013 The Worldwide Network of US Military Bases The Global Deployment of US Military Personnel

    The US Military has bases in *63* countries. Brand new military bases have been built since September 11, 2001 in seven countries. In total, there are 255,065 US military personnel deployed Worldwide. These facilities include a total of 845,441 different buildings and equipments. The underlying land surface is of the order of *30* million acres. According to Gelman, who examined 2005 official Pentagon data, the US is thought to own a total of *737* bases in foreign lands.

    Adding to the bases inside U.S. territory, the total land area occupied by US military bases domestically within the US and internationally is of the order of *2,202,735 hectares*, which makes the *Pentagon* one of the largest landowners worldwide!

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-worldwide-network-of-us-military-bases/5564