Monday :: Jun 1, 2020

It’s a Good Idea to Have No Military Surplus


by paradox

I saw from the truncated Twitter feed at Hullabaloo that Senator Schatz (D-HI) has the most excellent idea of ending the practice of sending surplus military hardware to local police departments, it seems that attacking police forces with armored vehicles against American citizens is not exactly a freedom scenario the Founders envisioned.

President Obama ended the queasily frightening transfers, there was and is enough of a disquieting feedback loop of personnel between the military and local police departments already, but Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump, ever eager to trash American democracy, ramped it up again in 2017.

Senator Schatz is on the right track, of course, but the real issue is why there’s a surplus of military equipment at all, and Holy Toledo does the American military have surplus equipment, it’s amazing what eventually has to be junked when the services get $700 billion annually.

In these nightmarish times most Americans will see that surplus as armored personnel carriers the Army got rid of, but just a brief glimpse of the rest would make any red-blooded American weep at the appalling waste of it all, the incredible futility of an incredible treasure just trashed, 99% of the time never deployed in its true purpose.

On YouTube one can see military trains loaded with hundreds of junked M1A Abrahms tanks, around $5 million apiece, stripped for parts and headed for scrap, never deployed. Squadrons of Ticonderoga cruisers, a cool $1 billion apiece, are mothballed in Baltimore, they never fired one shot in anger. The famed F-14 Tomcat of Top Gun, long retired, was never in one naval battle and in only one skirmish off Libya.

Deterrence my ass. The real security deterrence of the United States resides in its amazing nuclear triad of deployment, threaten us or NATO allies enough and you’re getting nuked. 80% of the rest of military spending (yes we need a small military) is just a huge massive grift, a lie of alleged gained security.

An investment in American conventional military is not an investment in security, it’s an investment in violence. Invest long enough and viola, violence you will get. Just what in the name of holy Christ has the trillions “invested” in Afghanistan and Iraq given us? My god.

As long as I’m repeating myself, now that we’re in a national pandemic and frantically trying to reach a solution just what use are all the fighter jets, the transport planes, the specialty aircraft, do they help? What of the aircraft carriers, LHD’s, submarines, oilers, command ships, frigates, destroyers, can they slow an infection rate? Hovercraft, rifles, grenades, knives, tanks, helicopters, personnel carriers, parachutes, satellites, does one god damn equipment element of the United States military help in all this madness?

Two, hospital ships and the military logistics command and apparatus. The President, Commander of American Armed Forces, is a blathering mental patient moron who can’t do his job, so the one truly useful equipment element of the American military, logistics, just sits there, as ever unused and a godawful howling waste.

This is where the political geeks and nerds at Daily Kos (yeah I cross-post there, another story) get upset with me, we’re in an existential election year and I’m a bad boy liberal for speaking ill of the Democratic Party, for of course to my eternal dismay the Party has caught the security defense grift hook, line and sinker and apparently has no problem at all with insane $700 billion defense budgets.

Democrats are also just plain scared of Republicans and their media apparatus, along with Dr. Atrios I do get weary of their wimpy learned helplessness. Cuts for defense spending are for wussy weak liberals, the Party is completely cowed by it.

[sticks out tongue] There, I said it. If there was ever a date I should speak no ill of the Party sent out by the DNC, well, I never got the memo. Insane $700 billion defense spending horribly warps our national posture, is a supreme waste, and terribly skews national priority, maybe if we had invested here instead of Afghanistan and Iraq we wouldn't be in this terrible mess.

Not to mention that little problem of surplus armored personnel carriers turning our cops into fearless destructors of the American Way.

Well, President Obama was smart enough to see that problem, so will President Biden and fix it next year. I won’t bring up berserk American militarism until the election is over but will never be silent after, this is an urgent American issue that must be resolved.

paradox :: 10:00 AM :: Comments (3) :: Digg It!