Thursday, October 20, 2011

Military Budget and the 1%

Our Military Budget, not counting emergency spending sent through congress, is 48% of the world’s military budget. We could just about take on everyone and be evenly matched. Add in our Allies, and we have nearly 75% of the world’s military budget. The second largest military is China, and we spend 7 times as much money as they do. We spend 85 times more than Iran. Why is this necessary?

The reason for our gross military spending is simple: Profits. Our military operations are increasingly being carried out by private profit making companies funded through our tax dollar. War is big business, besides winning Oil contracts for companies like Exxon-Mobile and BP in Iraq, private military contracts have gone up and up. There are companies that provide products such as Lockheed Martin, who was given 7 billion tax dollars last year. Other Companies provide services, they known as private military and security contracting companies (PMSCs). Xe, formally know as Blackwater are one such PMSC. They are basically private profit driven mercenary Amries. During the 1991 Gulf war, there was 50 soldiers for every PMSC operative, ten years later there was 10 troops for every PMSC operative. Today they are the 2nd largest force in our military. There are so many problems with the US relying more and more on private mercenaries, I don’t want to bog down the blog with.

For me, here is the kicker: this is a huge amount of money that travels in a circles and makes a few people very rich. These companies make huge profits from tax dollars, those profits can then be used to lobby to keep our war machine alive, and to grant them additional contracts, which makes them more profits, those profits can then be used to lobby to keep our war machine alive, and to grant them additional contracts, which makes them more profits, and so on. This is why are military is so grossly huge.

Here is one example: Bechtel is the 3rd largest company in US, has large contracts in around the world. The CEO, Riley P Bechtel, is the 50th richest person in the country. This company doesn’t have a good track record on human rights issue, or environment. They are now heavily involved in developing and producing our nuclear weapons. This is a company that has always put profits over people, and the are making NUKES?!?!?! I don’t feel safe about that. We can already destroy the whole world many times over, what do we even need nukes for? Well, companies like Bechtel, lobby to get Iraq contracts, get back door deal type contracts, that guarantee profit. Bechtel’s Iraq contract was worth nearly a Billion of tax payers dollars. They can then use the power and influence to affect policy, the policy then gives them more tax payer money, that they can use to influence more policy.

This trend of privatizing our military, and making war profitable, is criminal. And it is all funded by our tax dollar, and supported through our complacency. W Bush made steps in this direction, as does Obama, as would Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney, John McCain, Herman Cain, or anyone else who stands a chance of getting elected. This is one of the sick injustices that we are given no political alternative to. Which is why we occupy.

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