Monday, May 10, 2010

A new role for the military

Oh, my, the big chiefs of the military have a real problem. What to do? What to do?

According to journalist Craig Whitlock of the Washington Post, the Pentagon is begging Congress to cease dropping so much money on the troops, since this will eventually drain away resources for weapons and equipment maintenance.

It seems that our illustrious Senators and Representatives, the warmongers responsible for the two wars (or is it three?) in which American troops are engaged, are falling all over one another to show how much they "care" about the health and overall welfare of military personnel. These personnel expenses, that include health care costs, allowances for housing, and increased wages, constitute about one-quarter of defense spending.

Whitlock writes that "Pentagon officials see fiscal calamity" ahead. And, "In the midst of two long-running wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, defense officials are increasingly worried that the government's generosity is unsustainable and that it will leave them with less money to buy weapons and take care of equipment." Will a decision have to be made to use funds to produce more killing machines, while finding more victims to use them on? Or will the choice be to simply provide for the multitudes of maimed and soon-to-be-maimed soldiers and their families?

California Rep. Susan Davis asks, "Are we going to fund weapons or are we going to fund people?" What to do? What to do?

If we're lucky, perhaps the military will transform itself into a new institution that does nothing more than take care of men and women who have few prospects for employment in the private sector. Perhaps it could be turned into an organization whose members are deployed to regions within the United States, where they are needed for rescue service, to assist firemen, police departments, border agents, and to act as overall chivalrous commandos to deal with unexpected crises and catastrophes, and other Acts of God. Right here, within the USA.

And, as a side consequence of the military's transformation, perhaps the world might be spared the next onslaught of American fire power that's required when bringing our peculiar version of "democracy" abroad. Maybe the citizens of one more country might be spared the horror of experiencing the benefits of U.S. style "nation building." And perhaps by intruding less into other people's territories and cultures, we wind up tamping down the escalating hatred and resentment towards this country, and minimizing future quests for revenge.

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