The politics of fighting for a lower military budget

Originally published at: The politics of fighting for a lower military budget – Progressive Dreamers

(reprinted from Common Dreams comment section in August 2019) The left always gets outplayed on the politics of the military budget. Just giving the “guns and butter” argument that money is better spent on social needs has been shown time and again to be a losing argument. Americans see the men and women in the…

This post was just to test the connection to the commenting system - but, of course, I’d be happy to discuss the idea here.

Trying a reply. I really enjoyed this as I don’t recall seeing it on CD.

I could only add that phase 2 should be given we are likely going on much fewer missions this way, we should be always evaluating how many overseas bases and how many domestic bases and the size of the armed forces we really need. Then we can see what it costs to equip well this smaller force. Certainly we don’t skimp on armor technology (both body and vehicle).

If we aren’t saving a factor of 2 pretty early were this effort to get under way, then there’s likely an additional step of crushing corruption in the supply chain that is required.

Yes - a good old fashion fiscal audit should accompany this (and would help draw in more support). So far the Pentagon haas not been able to pass one of those. However, I am not sure of your supposition that “missing money” is mostly due to corruption. I suspect there is planned Pentagon skimming in order to fund covert operations coordinated with the State Department.

I guess there are multiple kinds of corruption involved but I meant to only refer to the type of political corruption where a supplier involves themselves in the political process (all methods of which should be illegal) to cause an inflated amount of weapons development given the reduced size of the personnel and scope you proposed. They will clearly fight hard to keep their weapons contracts just as high or make them even higher even if our force and missions are reduced.

But actual graft (missing money) I’m sure also happens though as I’ve written on CD many times, people (AOC included) get the X trillion figure wrong in their understanding and don’t realize the same money gets counted multiple times as it is divided so it appears much bigger than the actual amount of missing money.

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Yes - the corruption of the type you describe is bad because that type of lobbying is also very pro-war on its face - always depicting every independent country as a potential threat for which we need need systems developed to counterbalance, and always loving the associated arms race they create.

The type of issue I was talking about is seen clearly in the Pentagon’s annual fiscal audits - and of course we know they have failed every one so far (only 7 of the DOD’s 27 agencies passed). The latest audit showed that DOD had $3.5 trillion in assets supposedly provided to them over the years and they could only account for 39% of that. Thus, there’s a pretty big potential for planned hiding of funds for covert operations. Anyways, I hope the bipartisan Sanders-Grassley bill (Senate)/ Lee-Burgess bill (House) gets to the floor in this or the next Congress (it’s a pretty mild one that cuts agency budgets by 1% if they can’t pass a fiscal audit)

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