Global Conflict. Global Warming: A Human Race Against Time
By Brian Bogart
If one piece of knowledge could explain the stubborn warrior mindset of the Bush administration, it is this; if one piece of knowledge could explain what we perceive as persistent bipartisan political incompetence, it is this; if one piece of knowledge could explain our constant involvement in dubious wars since World War II, it is this: that a single group of influential Wall Street and Washington insiders—the Committee on the Present Danger—created and has expanded the so-called defense industry as the official economic engine of the United States for sixty years.
Back in the summer of 2005, I spoke about Cold War architect Paul Nitze, whose career spanned eight presidential administrations and influenced every administration since World War II. Today I offer a clearer perspective built on research into this group Nitze helped create. Think about that name, or just call it the Committee to Maintain a Present Danger. Because of what the Committee started during President Truman’s administration and because of its continued efforts through 2007, United States forces have served in 155 conflicts abroad since the institutionalization of the defense industry in 1947, increasing in frequency decade by decade. Today US forces occupy 735 bases abroad with 6,000 minor and major bases domestically, and the US military has more than 750,000 troops abroad. On average in any particular year these days with weaponry our top export, some 60 wars are underway around the globe. For the last several years, the total US defense budget has exceeded $1 trillion annually. The second largest federal expenditure is education, which received $56 billion in 2005, and less than $50 billion in 2006.
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