MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘pentagon budget’

After Afghanistan, Military Spending on Track to Go Up

Posted by M. C. on November 10, 2021

The defeat in Afghanistan offers a chance to rethink America’s war machine, but Congress is on the verge of raising military spending to $740 billion.

https://theintercept.com/2021/11/07/military-spending-pentagon-afghanistan/

Peter Maass

Peter Maass

Around midday on August 15, the president of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, was told by an adviser that Taliban fighters had entered the presidential palace and were looking for him room by room. This was not true, but Ghani, aware that ousted presidents do not have long lives in his country, hurried himself and his wife to a military helicopter and fled for Uzbekistan. Without time to fetch any personal belongings, he left Kabul in plastic sandals and a thin coat, according to a Washington Post account of that day.

Afghanistan was supposed to be the “good war” after 9/11, the one with a legitimate purpose and a happy ending. That also didn’t turn out to be true, but while the war’s momentum favored the Taliban for years, its final act had the suddenness of a guillotine, with a lot more pain. At Kabul’s airport, desperate Afghans clung to the sides of a departing U.S. cargo plane. Panicked families tried to get onto the diminishing number of evacuation flights. And 13 U.S. troops helping keep the airport open were killed in a suicide bombing. Just before midnight on August 30, the last U.S. aircraft and the last U.S. soldier got out of Kabul.

Guess what happened?

To understand the next step, you need to go back to April, when President Joe Biden proposed a $715 billion Pentagon budget for 2022, which represented a 1.6 percent increase from 2021. Progressives like Lee were not pleased — and were even less pleased in late July when the Senate Armed Services Committee added $25 billion to Biden’s proposal. This “plus-up,” as it’s called, raised the budget to $740 billion, a 5 percent increase over the previous year. At that rate, military spending over the next decade would easily exceed $7 trillion, or four times more than the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better program that Biden is trying to push through Congress.

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The Pentagon’s Blank Check

Posted by M. C. on March 31, 2017

https://bostonreview.net/war-security/benjamin-h-friedman-pentagons-blank-check

But there is simply no good reason to spend a dollar more on defense, let alone grant Trump’s request. The administration still has not articulated a strategic rationale for its proposed buildup. The budget plan settles for platitudes about defeating terrorism and rebuilding the military, but its details do not privilege either goal. 

But while readiness problems do exist, the “crisis” is a myth made for fundraising. A budget that reallocated funds to operational accounts could fix readiness problems without an increase in military spending. So would a defense strategy that asked less of the military. Trump’s buildup is actually likely to exacerbate readiness problems because it adds forces without providing sufficient funds to support them. Read the rest of this entry »

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