It’s been a while since I found an article in The Nation with which I agreed nearly entirely. It’s not often that a broken clock is accurate twice a day, but it does happen. And it just so happens that international policy and Ukraine figure prominently. Biden supporters could label it “pro-Putin propaganda” if they realized it didn’t completely support our covert war in that Eastern European country. Article makes no bones about the fact that we can’t meet Ukraine’s defense demands, that these endless conflicts are destroying our future, and that we need to finally put a stop to the rogue bipartisan war machine that has been operating for the better part of a generation.
Some of the more compelling arguments were made somewhere around the middle of the essay. You know the first words are going to be harsh on the GOP because The Nation. We produce about 12,000 155mm rounds every day, yet the Ukrainians have shot that many and more in only the past two days. The worldwide savings rate has decreased as a result of the negative economic repercussions of the United States’ perpetual state of war. If not for the Vietnam War, the Great Society, the Democrats’ most ambitious attempt at sweeping social reform, may have succeeded. Once in office, Lyndon Johnson famously declared that “that bitch of a war” had damaged his ability to manage the country at home. The article went on to explain that Reagan took out loans to fund these travels, while Nixon ended the draft in 1973, thereby ending the anti-war movement:
Biden wants us fighting on four fronts throughout the world: Russia, China, Iran, and an ever-evolving list of terrorist organizations. He enjoys the support of political figures of both parties, the wealthy, and the media.
None of these so-called “enemies” really endangers U.S. citizens in any way. The claim that the United States is fighting for universal human principles is laughable in light of its history of supporting dictators and torturers, breaking international law, and invading other nations.
The United States’ ability to influence the physical connections of other countries is a sore point of contention in every theater of battle. The United States maintains 750 bases in 80 nations. Both liberal and conservative experts have long recognized that the United States’ supposedly “superb” military is actually excessively large, ineffective, and costly. In 2024 alone, the military budget is set to hit $842 billion. A total of almost $1.3 trillion is needed for national security, including funding for homeland security, the State Department, and the anticipated budget for veterans’ benefits. A lot of money is being given to a military that hasn’t won a major conflict since 1945.
As long as these “forever wars” took place in remote locations that most Americans couldn’t identify on a map, and as long as the Pentagon strategically distributed contracts to different congressional districts, it was all politically feasible. Regardless of where they were or how much money they had, American viewers could cheer for the national team on their favorite entertainment channels. If representatives lost all contact with their constituents, they may engage in the “great game” of international politics for financial gain.
In terms of producing weapons for Ukraine, we have exhausted our resources. Ukraine has exhausted its anti-aircraft Stinger missile supply that would have lasted 13 years and an anti-tank Javelin missile supply that would have lasted 5 years. Ukraine consumes as many 155-mm howitzer shells as the United States produces in a month in only two days. Neither we nor our NATO allies can provide what Ukraine requires for the “victory” we’re promising it.
While publicly preparing for a war with China over Taiwan, Washington is also preparing to defend Taiwan. Computer war games have indicated that a week into conflict, the navy would be completely depleted of long-range weaponry. Because of a shortage of new recruits, the Army wants to reduce its troop strength by 10,000 while the Air Force requires 1,650 additional pilots and the Navy requests several hundred extra vessels. Biden has pledged to arm Taiwan so that it becomes a “porcupine” aimed at China. We still haven’t delivered the promised $19 billion in arms to Taipei.
Our regional GDP is just slightly lower than China’s at 15%. More countries conduct trade with China than with the United States. Trade and fiscal deficits are constant problems. The dollar’s proportion in global savings has decreased from 70% to 60% in the previous 20 years, yet it is still the most significant currency. The rate at which we are aggressively acquiring assets from outside parties is causing concern amongst our financial backers.
The war hounds may be loosed “over there,” but they won’t starve here. And scoff at our bright future.