Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org
The Commission on National Defense Strategy for the U.S. has just released to Congress its report “Providing for the Common Defense”, and it opens: “In the National Defense Authorization Act of 2017, Congress charged this Commission with providing an independent, nonpartisan review of the 2018 National Defense Strategy and issues of U.S. defense strategy and policy more broadly.” The report’s co-chairs, Eric S. Edelman and Gary Roughead, say in their accompanying letter to Congress, that “the United States will soon face a national security emergency.” It doesn’t describe that “emergency,” but uses it to argue that ‘defense’ spending needs to soar and all other spending by the Government — especially for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other “entitlements” — needs to shrink, and/or recipient beneficiaries of those programs need to pay more, and taxes need to increase, so that this “emergency” can be dealt with. They say that the weapons-manufacturers and soldiers need more money, and that this military requirement is an “emergency” but other federal spending is not.
The Executive Summary says:
Rivals and adversaries are challenging the United States on many fronts and in many domains. America’s ability to defend its allies, its partners, and its own vital interests is increasingly in doubt. If the nation does not act promptly to remedy these circumstances, the consequences will be grave and lasting.
The document strongly urges expansion of the U.S. regime’s policing of the world, in the interests of America’s international corporations.
(EDITORIAL COMMENTARY: Neither the U.N. nor any other international body, has appointed the U.S. regime to police the world. Furthermore, the U.S. regime is the most frequent invader of foreign nations; and always, at least since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, is invading on the basis of lies and in violation of international law. But, the U.S. regime nonetheless — as in “Providing for the Common Defense” — anoints itself the ‘authority’ to be police, judge, jury, and executioner, over this entire planet. This U.S.-Government intention is a well-recognized fact recognized by peoples around the world. Hitler’s Government likewise viewed itself in this way. U.S. President Obama stated this self-anointed global authority for the U.S., by asserting that “The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation”, which means that every other nation is dispensable. Hitler agreed with that viewpoint for Germany, and frequently expressed it.)
On page 63 (80 of the pdf), “Providing for the Common Defense” states:
Embracing a Whole-of-Government
Approach to Strategic Competition
This Commission was charged with making recommendations regarding U.S. defense strategy. Yet even if America were to fund the Department of Defense lavishly, and even if all the other recommendations in this report were to be implemented, that would not be sufficient to address the threats and challenges facing the country today. America’s two most powerful competitors — China and Russia — have developed national strategies for enhancing their influence and undermining key U.S. interests that extend far beyond military competition.
It therefore urges placing the U.S. Government on a war-footing, in virtually every governmental department.
On that same page, it states:
Looking ahead, policymakers must address rising government spending and decreasing tax revenues as unsustainable trends that compel hard fiscal choices. … Congress should look to the entire federal budget, especially entitlements and taxes, to set the nation on a more stable financial footing. In the near-term, such adjustments will undoubtedly be quite painful. Yet over time — and probably much sooner than we expect — failing to make those adjustments and fully fund America’s defense strategy will undoubtedly be worse.
In other words, according to this congressionally mandated report: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, education, public health, safety-regulations, civilian infrastructure, and all other non-‘defense’ programs, must be severely slashed in order for the United States to be able to buy more of the machinery of mass-murder from Lockheed Martin and the other American manufacturers of the machinery of mass murder, which now form the basis for the American economy, of foreign conquests and coups, which must now be greatly escalated in order to keep America ’safe’ and those weapons-makers’ investors and executives happy. Similarly, America’s soldiers need more money. Furthermore:
Comprehensive solutions to these comprehensive challenges will require whole-of-government and even whole-of-nation cooperation extending far beyond DOD. Trade policy; science, technology, engineering, and math education; diplomatic statecraft; and other non-military tools will be critical — so will adequate support and funding for those elements of American power.
Their top (#1) “Recommendation” is:
The United States urgently requires rapid and substantial improvements to its military capabilities, built on a foundation of compelling and relevant warfighting concepts at the operational level of war.
“Recommendation” #9 states:
Deterring aggression in the Western Pacific will require using focused investments to establish a forward-deployed defense-in-depth posture. To deter a revanchist Russia, the United States and its NATO allies must rebuild military force capacity and capability in Europe.
The Air Force, Navy, and Army will all need capacity enhancements.
Budget caps were — and still are — harmful to American defense.
In other words: If eliminating, or at least slashing, non-‘defense’ spending can’t be done, then the Government must go yet further into debt now, in order to be “Providing for the Common Defense.” If necessary in order to address the ‘defense’ ‘emergency’, everything else now must be sacrificed.
Congress should look to the entire federal budget, especially entitlements, as well as taxes, to set the nation on a more stable financial footing.
So: in case not enough money can be extracted from non-‘defense’, and from increasing the debt, then taxes — including taxes on the non-recipients of “entitlements” — must be increased, in order to be “Providing for the Common Defense.” That’s what an “emergency” is. Only the expenditures for soldiers and for the manufacturers of the machinery of mass murder are to be served, if sufficient extractions fail to materialize from those other sources.
The two chairmen, and the ten other members of the Commission, are all longstanding neoconservatives, supporters of all U.S. invasions and coups and conquests. The first co-chair, the Republican Eric S. Edelman, for example, is so neoconservative that he condemns even neocon Democrats (such as Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden) who pretend not to be neoconservative in order for them to be able to campaign effectively for the votes of Democrats in Presidential primaries. For example, here’s from Wikipedia’s article on Edelman:
In July 2007, Edelman attracted media attention for criticizing Senator Hillary Clinton, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. In a private letter to Senator Clinton in response to a request made to the Pentagon in May 2007 for an outline [of] plans for withdrawing troops from combat in Iraq, Edelman rebuffed her request and wrote:
“Premature and public discussion of the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq reinforces enemy propaganda that the United States will abandon its allies in Iraq, much as we are perceived to have done in Vietnam, Lebanon and Somalia.”
The Associated Press described his criticisms as “stinging”. According to the Associated Press, Edelman’s comments were: “unusual, particularly because it was directed at a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee”. The Associated Press pointed out that fellow committee member Republican Senator Richard Lugar had also called for discussions of withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, but had escaped Edelman’s criticism. Clinton has said she is “shocked by the timeworn tactic of once again impugning the patriotism of any of us who raise serious questions” about the Iraq war.
Senator Clinton needed that anti-neocon pretense in order for her to be able to campaign effectively for the votes of Democrats during the then-upcoming 2008 Democratic Party Presidential primaries. Edelman was that extreme a neocon: he demanded it even of a Democratic Party politician who would soon be running for that Party’s Presidential nomination and needing to fool her Party’s primary voters in order to have any realistic possibility to receive her Party’s nomination.
Edelman was nonetheless appointed by the U.S. Senate on 12 August 2011 to be a Director of the Orwellianly (“Newspeak”) named U.S. Institute of Peace, and he still is a Director of that pro-U.S.-aggression propaganda-organization.
The other co-chair of this Commission, and of its report, Admiral Roughead, is a Director of Northrop Grumman, which is America’s fifth-largest manufacturer of mass-murdering machines, and he also is a writer for the neoconservative Brookings Institution, where, in February 2013, prior to the post-2014 soaring U.S. ‘defense’ budgets, he co-authored a report, “National Defense in a Time of Change” saying:
Our spending [on ‘defense’] now constitutes 46 percent of the entire world’s allotment (IISS 2012, 31). The next highest is China, with a reported budget of $89 billion, although this figure is surely underreported and does not account for disparities in compensation, procurement, and infrastructure costs. A remarkable chasm of commitment to strong military forces exists between the United States and most other countries. Comparisons of defense spending as a percentage of gross domestic product do not capture the magnitude of U.S. spending nearly as well as do per capita expenditures, which give a snapshot weighted by population but absolute in terms of input. Our country spends $2,250 per person on our military forces every year; Russia spends $301 per person, Iran $137, and China $57 (IISS 2012, 467–473).
So, now that this Grumman Director is working under a President (Trump) who is even more neoconservative than was Obama (or maybe even than Senator Clinton), he’s screaming for yet more money for himself and his investors, in the form of increasing ‘defense’-contracts.
That’s whom America’s troops are actually fighting for — the owners, and their executives — people who want more money and don’t care about the millions of people around the world that they help to kill and the millions of others whose continuing lives they make hellish (including even some destitute Americans who need the social services that will be cut in order to fund purchases of yet more bombs and missiles). America’s masters today are such psychopaths as this. Even 46% of the entire world’s military budget isn’t enough to satisfy them. Most individuals who become convicted and executed aren’t nearly as harmful as these people are, who ride so high the American nation, and (they demand) the entire world. They’re like Hitler’s Nazis, but on nuclear steroids. And the U.S. Congress appointed this Commission.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.