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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

$916 billion: US military spending is as wasteful as it is dangerous

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From 1984 at the height of the Cold War -- when the Reagan Administration was pursuing an extraordinarily aggressive and violent imperialist agenda centred around death squads, support of military dictatorships, the Star Wars initiative and military spending -- the US has spent more on its military than any other country in the world by far.

While it has long been a fundamental myth of US imperialism and its legions of media apologists that military spending is defensive and meant to protect "freedom" and "democracy", the lie is put to that by the very fact that the US spends as much on its military as the next nine largest national military budgets combined!

A new report released on April 22 shows that US military spending reached $913 billion in 2023. The rest of the top ten combined came to $882.4 billion. US spending on its war machine accounts for a staggering 37% of the global total.

Yet, despite all the claims, this staggering level of spending and the military adventurism it results in has never made the world a remotely safer place.

Quite the opposite.

Far from being reluctantly propelled into hostilities by popular war fever, leaders incite that fever in order to gather support for their war policies. Thereby do they attempt to distract the public from pressing domestic matters, serve the overseas interests of U.S. investors, justify gargantuan military budgets, and present themselves as great leaders.

Imagine, though, what could be done for schools, hospitals and health care, fighting poverty, building housing and on and on and on with even a serious fraction of that $916 billion.

Canada -- with governments that have long been an enthusiastic lapdog that are generally keen to please their Washington masters -- has capitulated to pressure from the US and has been pumping more and more into its military budget which has now reached $27.2 billion.

Remember that the next time a politician in either country tries yet again to claim we "just don't have the money" to fight poverty, homelessness and other injustices, or pitches an austerity, "belt-tightening" agenda.



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