Michael H. Wilson at Evergreen Libertarian:
Since this is the only focus group I have access to I’ll pitch this piece your way.
This is a piece I am hoping to use as a brochure this summer at an outdoor booth or two, so any comments you may have are much appreciated. Thank you,
Imagine if you will that you and I are supposed to be friends, but I’m taking away some of your money and telling you it is for your own good. Not only do I take some of your money, but I am giving it to the guys you are competing against. Well that is going on right now.
The U.S. government has over 250,000 military personnel stationed on over 750 bases in more than 120 countries. This is a drain on the American economy and is a subsidy to our global competition. This does not include those in Iraq, Afghanistan or related theatres of operations.
When we include such items as military pensions, the C.I.A, Department of Homeland Security and other related items the budget to defend the United States comes to over $2000 for every man, woman and child in our country.
Since the end of World War II the American taxpayers have helped protect the nations of Western Europe and Asia from a possible attack from the Soviet Union, or its allies, but the Soviet Union is no more and the Cold War has ended. But now that the nations of Western Europe are back on their feet the transfer continues and is detrimental to the American worker who is competing in a world market.
Today we have 53,000 troops stationed in Germany from which we buy a large number of cars and other items. Germans pay about one fourth what we do or just over $500 each to defend their own nation.
We have 50,000 troops in Japan. From Japan we buy cars and other consumer products from electronics to steel. Japan spends roughly $400 for every person
In Korea we have 28,000 and again we buy a number of vehicles from Korea as well as other industrial and electronic products. Korea also spends about $500 for every person on defense.
We maintain roughly 9,000 troops in England. Who are we protecting the English from? Do they expect the Normans to come across the Channel again? The last time they did was 1066.
Then there is Italy where we have roughly 9,000 troops. Italians spend about $600 each for defense.
Approximately 48% of the world’s military spending is from the U.S.
Estimates place the cost of our defending other nations at one-fourth our national defense budget, at least $250 billion annually, or almost $800 for each American citizen. This is more than the nations where we have troops stationed pay to defend themselves!
The political leadership in America has failed to explain the costs of this deployment to the people, nor do we have an understanding of the consequences of this long term commitment or of the negative reaction from the people whose nations we invade.
Some sources estimate the U.S. has used the military to intervene in the affairs of other nations over 100 times since 1900. That does not include WWI & WWII
Is it wise for these foreign nations to depend on the U.S. for this commitment?
What will happen should the U.S. have to withdraw from these commitments due to crisis elsewhere that is of a military nature, or a financial one in America?
Major General Smedley D. Butler USMC, retired, now deceased and twice a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor had this to say about war:
“WAR is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.”
When was the last time your Senator or Congress person explained how much it costs to keep our troops overseas?
Call them and ask!
“If any question why we died/ Tell them, because our fathers lied.”
Written by Rudyard Kipling after his son John died in 1915 in World War I. The situation today is not a whole lot different.
Michael H. Wilson is editor of Libertarian Party of Washington State News & Views. His blog’s mission is to “support the ideas of civil liberties, economic freedom and non intervention. “Let me be a free man…free to travel… free to stop…free to work…free to choose my own teachers…free to follow the religion of my Fathers…free to think and talk and act for myself.” Chief Joseph, Nez Perce… Bring All the Troops Home!”