So what does it take to be a great nation? According to Donald Trump, it does not take art. Or clean rivers and clean air. Or support for science research. Or a safety net for our country’s poor. Or help for the impoverished across the rest of the world. But it apparently does take more and more military might.
The U.S. spends more on defense than the next seven largest national military budgets, 40 percent of the entire world’s military spending. That’s almost three times as much as China, and more than 12 times as much as Russia. Yet we need more?
In addition, to the further delight of armament manufacturers, the U.S. is the world’s largest exporter of military equipment. These points are not fake news, like bogus wiretap claims, but facts.
President Dwight Eisenhower was a graduate of West Point, a five-star general and Supreme Commander of Allied Military Forces in Europe during World War II, and Army chief of staff under President Harry Truman. Even with that background, in his last address to the nation as president he warned against the growth of “the military industrial complex.” His concern: “The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” It seems that the “potential” has been realized.
Trump surrogates speak of dismantling the “administrative state.” Better to curtail the continued growth of the military industrial complex and put more resources toward helping our fellow humans and to the health of our planet.
Ross Adams, Boalsburg