Why We Oppose the National Defense Authorization Act

The moment of ending a war widely viewed as a 20-year catastrophe, having spent $21 trillion on militarism during those 20 years, and the moment when the biggest Congressional question in the media is whether the United States can afford $3.5 trillion over 10 years for things other than wars, is hardly the moment to increase military spending, or even to maintain it at remotely its current level.

Tiny fractions of U.S. military spending could do a world of good in the United States and around the world, and the most serious dangers facing us are exacerbated, not ameliorated, by it. These include environmental collapse, nuclear disaster, disease pandemics, and poverty. Even in morally dubious economic terms alone, military spending is a drain, not a boost.

Militarism is often tied to “democracy,” with the US government currently planning an international conference on democracy even while arming the majority of the world’s most oppressive governments. But applying democracy to the US government would reduce military spending according to poll after poll after poll after poll. Last year 93 members of the US Congress voted to reduce the Pentagon’s portion of US military spending by 10%. Of the 85 of those 93 who stood for re-election, 85 were re-elected.

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