For as long as anyone can remember, the US military has been an absolute juggernaut on the global stage; and since the end of the Cold War it has been an undisputed juggernaut. There was a time when our military could wipe the floor with just about any other nation on the planet. However, those days are dwindling fast, and you need look no further than the military’s budget for proof.
To be clear our military still burns through a mind-blowing amount of cash. It was about $581 billion in 2015, which accounted for more than a third of the world’s military spending. This fact has been appropriately pointed out by critics of America’s foreign policy for years. It’s this massive budget that allows our imperialistic government to bully the rest of the world with hundreds of overseas military bases and naval vessels, as well as thousands of ground troops and aircraft.
That’s all about to change however. Not only has the military’s spending been diminishing in recent years, but the budgets of our government’s rivals has been going in the opposite direction.
The U.S. military budget has been cut by 25 percent in the last five years. This has resulted in dramatic declines in the U.S. military’s ability to fight and win. Fifteen years of conflict and years of tight budgets have taken a grave toll, worsened by these budget cuts. Top military leaders have told Congress that their readiness is, as the vice chief of staff of the Air Force recently put it, “at a near all-time low due to continuous combat operations, reduced manpower, an aging fleet, and inconsistent funding.”
Meanwhile, China’s military budget has increased 38% over the past four years, and Russia’s military budget has gone up 40%. And to top it all off, the US Army is shedding tens of thousands of jobs and the Air Force has repeatedly tried to downsize. The money that the military does still have, has been squandered on outrageous boondoggles like the F-35. When it’s all said and done, the Pentagon expects our military to shrink down to a size that hasn’t been seen since before World War Two.
This should be a good thing. Anyone who wants to live in a free country, and who recognizes that war is the health of the state, should rejoice in the fact that our hegemonic military is finally starting to wane. We can finally start heading down the path toward protecting our own shores instead of spending billions protecting corrupt regimes and conquered nations. Unfortunately you can always expect our government to ruin a good thing.
The American empire refuses to go quietly. Even though the budget has been significantly cut, and pending the next presidential election, may continue to be cut every year, our government still has delusions of grandeur. We aren’t pulling back our military obligations from across the world, and we continue to challenge Russia and China in their own backyards.
We’re stretching our military to the limit. We give them less and less and expect more and more from them. We’re egging on our traditional rivals at a time when our military is in no position to fight them, much less beat them in a conventional war. The problem isn’t that our military is shrinking to a more reasonable size. The problem is that Washington’s hubris is going to get a lot of young men and women killed.
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Contributed by Joshua Krause of The Daily Sheeple.
Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger .