Dedicated Defense & Streamlined Security
Security, defense and war are three different things. They should be treated that way.
Dedicated Defense & Streamlined Security
Our American identity is based largely on might and military capability, and as we are ourselves a party of Second-Amendment advocates we are grateful for this identity as it has afforded the platform on which our other rights may flourish.
|Agency Budget||Total Expenditure|
|Department of Defense||$637 billion
|Veterans Affairs||$164 billion
|Homeland Security (includes Coast Guard)||$38 billion
|National Intelligence Program (Funds all civilian intelligence agencies and the Military Intelligence Program (MIP) which is funded outside of the defense budget||$67 billion
|International Military Aid (direct weapons grants through the state department)||$10.95 billion
|Service-member retiree pay||$85 billion
|Interest on National Debt due to war. 2015 interest on debt was $233 billion. Estimates for percentage of debt due to war range from 50%-80%. We're estimating 50%.||$117 billion|
Total: $1.12 trillion
This identity has fueled our rise to become the most powerful nation on Earth, and it has empowered our allies as well, creating an alliance that is the undisputed paragon of military capability. Yet with this strength comes not just responsibility but also perspective, for a lack of one leads to a lack of the other - a situation we sadly find ourselves in today.
The Global War on Terror has thus far cost $5 trillion. Our $600 billion annual defense budget is roughly only half of our total military spending once Veterans Affairs, interest on war debt, external spending for clandestine activities, homeland security and other paramilitary operations abroad are considered. That means over the past 15 years, we've spent nearly $20 trillion on wars or our means to wage them. That's more than the rest of the planet combined several times over.
What has it gotten us? We are no safer. We are no smarter. We're not better people, stronger people - and the world is far from being a better place.
We must have security. But we must have it without bankrupting ourselves or neglecting other critical social focuses.
That is the perspective we have lost as a nation. We ignore this elephant in the room because military spending is in many ways a sacred cow in American politics, for questioning the military industrial complex that President Eisenhower so wisely warned us against is often considered tantamount to treason by politicians who are themselves purchased by the industries that make weapons for a living. It's a warning that cannot be repeated enough:
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter with a half-million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.
Every time an effort to refocus this perspective arises, it faces immediate assault from the political class who use fear mongering and outright lies to suggest that we are somehow losing our military edge to foreign adversaries. And it's an assault that's based on total, complete and absolute nonsense.
You'll hear that “China and North Korea have more naval craft than us,” which is technically true. The thing about that statistic? They're counting the rowboats. The United States more than 20 aircraft carriers - and we're building another 10 aircraft carriers on top that are even more powerful than the ones we have now. Russia and China each have one aircraft carrier - that were each built in the early 1980's.
You'll hear that 'China and Russia are modernizing their navy and China is building new destroyers.' They are. Today China has roughly 25 that have been built since 1990. The United States Navy has two classes of destroyers, Arleigh Burke and Zumwalt, both of which are far larger, far more sophisticated and far more powerful than anything Russia or China has.
Between these two classes, we presently have 64 built and are planning to build another 40. Our allies South Korea, Japan and Great Britain have at least 63 destroyers that they could bring to our aid in a conflict. Combined, that’s at least 125 destroyers held by the United States and her allies vs. 37 destroyers held by China and Russia combined. A similar story emerges with submarines, aircraft and nearly every other area of military capability.
Of our submarines, we maintain 14 Ohio-class nuclear missile submarines, which are each armed with 24 Trident-II missiles that have a range greater than 4,000 miles. Each Trident-II missile carries up to 12 nuclear warheads with a destructive yield of up to 475 kilotons - more than 25 times more powerful than the bomb that destroyed Nagasaki in the Second World War. That means our submarine fleet, alone, can destroy every single city on the planet (including our own) and still have nukes to spare.
Add this to the rest of our armaments and the 100 million-strong gun owners in the United States - a force four and a half times larger than every professional military on the planet combined, and we see the honest truth laid bare: our capabilities are not only far from weak, they, along with our allies, simply outclass the rest of the world. We're made to be fearful of other nations and their attempts to even hold a candle to us not because of their hostile intent, but because our nation is bound to a military industrial complex that profits by building and selling weapons of war.
That is something we intend to stop. And we intend to do so simply through transfer of focus through enlightened perspective. Defense contractors aren't really “defense contractors,” they're just expert engineering firms we just so happen to pay to build weapons. They do a very good job at it because they do a very good job at everything, so instead of paying them to build systems that kill, we'll pay them to build systems that advance life.
The same is true with our service members, veterans and other workers disaffected by a lackluster economy. Instead of hiring you to stand in harm's way, we seek to see you hired in jobs close to your families and loved ones that build next-generation systems that prevent harm from manifesting in the first place. You served our country, and you did it well. We'd love the opportunity to hire you back to serve us again by building things that we actually need as a society.
Shifting away from using “defense” as shorthand for employment by way of the military, it's straightforward to instead move to jobs by way of investment in advanced manufacturing that makes us the darling of the developed world once again. With that mindset applied, it becomes just as straightforward to re-calibrate our military and security focus to a streamlined model that serves a dedicated purpose on a meaner, leaner footing. We intend to do this by splitting security, defense and war into three separate functions, described as follows: