US Military: Why are we so Afraid?

Imagine a neighborhood within which one household is arming itself to the teeth against all the others. How would that make the others feel? And what makes that one household so afraid? Well, for one thing, it’s monopolizing all the available nearby energy, of whatever kind. It just keeps trying to build its house bigger and bigger, and can’t stop consuming food, water, gas, oil, electricity — whatever is there, it wants, and it takes, at the point of a gun. Not nearly enough for the others.

Now imagine Earth as one household in a cosmic neighborhood that is infected by a virulent cancerous tumor with tentacles reaching into every part of the globe and even into the skies as we begin to weaponize space.

Both these images describe the U.S. Military. That’s US, folks. We’re the ones, supposedly, who are being “protected.” And this, our beloved Earth, is the being who is infected by our national state of denial of both what we do to others on the globe, and to Earth and its the larger, cosmic environment.

A new report released today by SIPRI, a Swedish-based think tank, reveals that U.S. military spending has almost doubled since 2001. The U.S. spent an astounding $698 billion on the military last year, an 81% increase over the last decade.

U.S. spending on the military last year far exceeded any other country. We spent six times more than China — the second largest spender. Overall, the world expended $1.6 trillion on the military, with the United States accounting for the lion’s share:

As a percentage of GDP, U.S. military spending has increased from 3.1% in 2001 to 4.8% last year.

The report notes that, “even in the face of efforts to bring down the soaring US budget deficit, military spending continues to receive privileged treatment.” Indeed, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and others on the right are passing legislation increasing defense spending. At the same time, they are insisting on massive cuts to social programs that provide vital assistance to the elderly, the poor and the middle class.

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