Letter: Cost of ‘defense’ bill is more than just dollars

Published: 1/5/2020 12:01:41 AM
Modified: 1/5/2020 12:01:15 AM

I was very disappointed to learn that our four congressional representatives voted in favor of the 2020 military “defense” bill (Monitor Forum, Dec. 22). It makes one wonder if they understand what’s at stake.

It’s not just costly ($738 billion), it is also, as Eisenhower said, “a theft from those who hunger and are not fed.” Surely we could defend our shores with less cost. This military budget is several times more than what Russia and China (together) spend. But unlike our rivals we have our soldiers and weapons spread across the world on 800 bases in 73 countries – and most, like our armaments customers, undemocratic.

The new bill is especially dangerous on several counts:

■It creates the new Space Force sure to promote another arms race – one in space.

■It enhances nuclear weapons “modernization,” including new small “usable” nukes and others formerly disallowed by the recently trashed 33-year-old INF treaty (which removed medium and short-range missiles from Europe).

What we need now is diplomacy and move away from our self-appointed position as global commander in chief. The very important START treaty has, since the end of the Cold War (1991), brought the United States and Russia’s deployed strategic nukes gradually down from 12,000 (each) to 1,500 today. But the treaty expires in 2021, and the United States is showing no interest in saving it.

The only beneficiary of our present slide toward catastrophe may be the money-grubbing military industrial complex – and their bennies, like human civilization, may be short lived.

RAY PERKINS Jr.

Concord


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