This is part of our ‘newspaper of record’ helping out with the pro-war propaganda, Russia having shown our foreign-policy and military establishments, entirely controlled by the Israeli-neocon ideology of world domination by military power, that they couldn’t run a pre-school sandbox. Our military needs credible enemies desperately, as the F-35 enormous failure is getting a lot of publicity, and they haven’t won anything for such a long time, no good news out of our military-foreign policy establishment at all. Also, nothing scary enough, those lies are losing effect.
The story they slide over in that middle paragraph, I don’t know why they hide it, is the ‘special cables’, which are, among other things, the network of hydrophones which allow tracking all submarines and the connections to the splices in foreign cables by which NSA reads all of their traffic.
The last figure I saw for US military spending was $1.3T. That buys satellites and submarines and very fancy networks of undersea cables. Those are expensive.
Our military loves the Russians, I think. Conventional weapons for the most part. True, they may have something sneaky in electronic warfare, but a few Russian planes, boats and missiles will make a lot of US weapons spending look at least OK.
The US has no natural enemies in the entire world. We are an isolated continent that could subsist quite well even if completely cut off from the world. It wouldn’t be convenient, but would be far more inconvenient for the world.
The natural advantages of the US are such that, if we could reduce our overhead due to things like the military-industrial-complex tax of $1.3T per year, we would quickly under-price many products from other countries.
That is, US GDP is about $18T. Considered as an overhead cost, $1.3T / $18 T = 7.2%., but that is an under-estimate, as it includes the totally wasted $1.3T in the total. There would additionally be drops in many prices as the military stops using the resources and crony-capitalism gradually recedes.
Ask a CEO how many fingers he would be willing to give up for a 7% reduction in costs relative to competitors.
We have massive control of the world’s culture and reliably extract $ from that fact. The morons running our country don’t notice this advantage, can’t understand how to exploit it, and so bomb our customers, spending $1.3T as they do so, and losing every engagement for the last 14 years, spreading war and terrorism and refugees as they do so. Now they are concerned about the survivability of their underseas network, having taught the world the tricks that can be done to such vulnerable infrastructure.
The military and its NSA taught us that our secret services cannot keep America’s secrets secret. Actually, Snowden forced the admission, most likely none of the previous spies told anybody, so NSA didn’t.
Now they are telling us they can’t protect our infrastructure from the predation they pioneered on the USSR’s underseas cables. And no doubt other infrastructure, but they haven’t told us about that yet. More Snowdens are needed and the Intercept had a new one last week, so Peak Information is still correct.
von Clauswitz said that defense was stronger than attack as a strategy. Our military does not seem to have adequate defenses for anything : the government’s databases have been slurped out one at a time without NSA or anyone else appearing to notice. The NSA reads every byte transiting the network, and doesn’t notice databases contents or IP addresses going by, apparently never having thought to check for that kind of thing. The Navy knows where every enemy submarine is, except possibly the ones cutting the hydrophone cables, them never having thought of defense of the network. The Army never defeated IEDs well enough to actually control any population, despite very great costs and efforts.
Previous wars were slow enough that the civilian government could replace the 4 or 5 generals that needed to be checked out, the top of the command structure, to see if they actually could fight battles. Lincoln, for example, replaced or passed over McDowell, McClellan, Halleck, Buell and others. Uniformly, governments find that peace-time generals are not useful when war happens, they lose engagements and men and materials. This has been true of peacetime generals since at least Rome.
Knowing that fact, I believe it would be most prudent to abolish the military immediately. That will eliminate any possibility of war and thus eliminate the need to lose those initial 4 or 5 battles while testing the peacetime generals. I am not entirely positive that there would be that many battles in a modern war, meaning we would certainly lose. Opponents would lose also, of course, but I am not responsible for their stupid military decisions, nor saddled with results.
If you don’t want to lose a war, don’t go to war. The problem with negative-sum games is you can lose …
We have been losing at a cost of $1+T per year for 14 consecutive years. Nobody in our whipped-cur congress seems to think it important enough to attend to either the cost or the loss. Nobody among our contenders for the Presidency, either.
I could do this again for more than a few areas of crony-capitalism in the US. Our medical spending is at least 5% of GDP higher than the rest of the industrialized world find adequate. Our fire and police protection very likely are multiples of 7% high. Our public school system should be abolished for many reason, but useless overhead is good enough, that is > 5% of GDP. Youtube exists as a superior replacement that would eliminate the very negative social consequences of the public school system, such as producing so many illiterates who hate education and educated people. Much of college could be replaced with the web. Jobs would replace a lot of welfare spending.
So a few reforms, besides freeing resources to apply to other uses, would result in at least a 15% decreased cost of doing business here in the US of A. That is not counting 2nd-order effects of lowered costs to suppliers who can thereby lower their costs, etc.
So the only thing that is preventing the US from ruling the world of commerce, and thereby providing enough jobs to get us through the coming rough patch, is a bit of political reform.
The alternative to drastic reform is that we become the latest Empire to die of military spending, a fact that no intelligence agency has yet noticed or succeeded in convincing its empire of before the failure.
Obviously, we will have to begin by hanging congress, as they no longer respond to constituents’ expressions of interest.