By David Swanson
President Obama waited until after the election last week to propose an unpopular idea. He asked Congress for $11.6 billion extra — outside the huge existing military budget — for wars. Here’s his letter including all the gory details. Please read it yourself when you begin to hope that I’m making up some of what follows. This massive pile of money, equivalent to the annual spending that the United Nations says could end the lack of clean drinking water globally, adds between 1% and 2% to U.S. military spending — but is by itself more than the entire military budget of all but 14 other nations on earth, 12 of which top-spending nations are U.S. allies.
This $11.6 billion would be added to another $73.7 billion in off-the-books war spending already appropriated. That’s military spending outside the gargantuan military budget and supposedly for emergency wars that just shockingly arose, although actually for a half-dozen permawars plus basic profiteering and preparation for future slaughters.
While nothing would prevent this new money from being used for any war that the current or next president desires, it is requested in large part for the wars in Afghanistan and Syria/Iraq. That includes supplying other militaries such as the Iraqi, Afghan, and Kurdish armed forces with free gifts of instruments of mass murder, as well as expanding U.S. military facilities in Somalia, Mauritania, Chad, Turkey, and elsewhere.
Also requested: miniature killer drones that can be launched by U.S. troops in Iraq — troops whose boots are, despite White House rhetoric, on the ground. Also requested: a big chunk of change for secret operations that Congress is expected to fund with our money despite not knowing what they are. And another for secret research and testing (which sounds less like an “emergency” war than profiteering on the preparations for more wars down the road). Also in there: funding for a major war on drugs in Libya and West Africa. Not to mention: funds for USAID operations of the sort that have facilitated violent coups in places like Ukraine.
I agree with David Swanson: this needs to be stopped.