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Friday, 14 July 2017

Here's Why Americans Shouldn't Blindly Support US Foreign Policy

Chris Kanthan

Americans vigorously debate domestic issues, but rarely question U.S. foreign policies. This is partly because the mainstream news media and the politicians are often on the same foreign policy page and use identical and simplistic talking points. In addition, and thanks to our abysmal educational system and the entertainment media, Americans are apathetic or awfully misinformed about history and world affairs. The illusion is that we are always fighting either to spread freedom and democracy or to defeat an evil regime (somewhere most Americans know nothing about). However, here are the real reasons why the elites manufacture wars and why we must challenge their propaganda.

Wars Mean Enormous Profits

The first characteristic of our foreign policy is the spending of trillions of dollars on military, wars and 800+ military bases around the world. This insatiable appetite of the military-security complex contributes to our unsustainable national debt. This year, America will spend $500 billion in interest payments alone. That's 20 walls for Trump supporters and, if you are a progressive, free premium healthcare for 50 million Americans.

Congress allocates more money for "defense" than almost all the other countries of the world combined! Half of that money goes to private military contractors who benefit from what amounts to a massive welfare system. This also creates an unethical feedback loop where the contractors return some of the money to the politicians. Unlike a free market, many defense contractors enjoy monopolies regardless of their performance. Hence we spend $1.5 trillion on F-35 fighter jets that can't supply enough oxygen for the pilots; or how about those spanking new combat navy ships that repeatedly break down. It's mind-boggling that the Department of Defense has never been audited and can't account for $10 trillion of spending since 1996 (that's half of our national debt).

With the money we have spent just on the war in Afghanistan, we can pay off most of the student loans of young Americans! Each U.S. soldier deployed in Afghanistan costs the taxpayers $2 million! Why? Thank private military contractors who swindle the government by overcharging and cheating in numerous ways. For example, one contractor charged $8000 for spare parts that cost $450; another charged $900 for something that's worth $7! Sometimes soldiers and officials are also caught up in bribes and kickback schemes.
We have spent more money on "reconstruction" in Afghanistan than on Marshall Plan that rebuilt Europe after WW II. Wow! Did we eradicate poverty and extremism, build schools and hospitals, and turn Afghanistan into a paradise? Well, 40% of the country is now under Taliban, opium production is at record level, ISIS is growing, and 72% of adults still can't read or write. But it's all good, because the real reason we are there might be to secure unfettered access to the rare earth minerals.  

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