Andrea Mazzarino Forever Wars

What Our Forever Wars Really Cost You

Why is it so hard for so many in Washington to imagine spending the sort of money on our needs that they wouldn’t think twice about forking over to the military-industrial complex?
[The U.S. Army / CC BY 2.0]

By Andrea Mazzarino / TomDispatch

As a Navy spouse of 10 years and counting, my life offers an up-close view of our country’s priorities when it comes to infrastructure and government spending.

Recently, my husband, a naval officer currently serving with the Department of Energy, spent a week with colleagues touring a former nuclear testing site about 65 miles north of Las Vegas. Between 1951 and 1957, the U.S. conducted more than 1,000 nuclear tests in those 680 square miles of desert and only stopped when scientists began urging that the tests be halted because of soaring cancer rates among the downwind residents of Arizona, Nevada, and Utah.

My spouse’s trip was a kind of ritual Department of Energy personnel undertake to learn about nuclear weapons as they maintain our country’s vast and still wildly expanding arsenal.

Meanwhile, unable to afford to take time off from my job as a therapist, I found myself once again working double shifts. After all, I was also watching our two young children (ages four and six), shuttling them to appointments and activities along the narrow roads of our rural town, handling a sudden school shutdown due to flooded roads that halted school buses, while working. And mine is really the usual story for so many of the partners of this country’s 1.3 million active-duty military personnel when they are sent elsewhere on assignment.

My six year old typically woke me at night to ask whether his dad was shooting at people and started throwing the sort of tantrums that had become uncharacteristic since his father stopped serving months-long deployments on submarines. Once recently, he even conned his already overworked bus driver — our county, one of the richest in the country, has a deficit of such drivers, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic — into taking him home rather than to his after-school program. He let himself into our house and appeared at my office door to “make sure you haven’t left, too.”

It was hard to miss the irony of being overstretched at home by poor infrastructure and gaps in care (even as I went into debt to pay for the most affordable childcare center in the area) at a moment when the government was perfectly happy to fund my spouse to tour a mothballed nuclear testing site. His trip came on the heels of two 14-hour days he spent at the Capitol displaying a collection of model warheads to members of Congress. They then chatted with one another and him in a rare bipartisan moment that we as a couple witnessed.

At that time, members of the House of Representatives had yet to even vote on the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill to fund our country’s roads, bridges, buses, and electric grid, which to our relief would pass two weeks later. And when it comes to President Biden’s shrinking Build Back Better bill, who knows if it will ever be passed?

It’s about time! was all I could think when I heard that the first bill was about to be signed into law. I couldn’t help imagining how useful so much of what’s packed into both of them would be for people like me — not least of all things in the Build Back Better plan like universal pre-K and some paid family leave, four weeks of which I could have used over the past two months of my husband’s military travels and my own late nights. And mind you, as someone with a great job and a relatively high family income, I have it much better than the vast majority of Americans, military or not.

20 Years of War

Meanwhile, as I’m sure you know, Congress has been blindly supporting wars and counterterror operations in dozens of countries globally from Afghanistan and Iraq to Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and beyond for two decades now. Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema, and other congressional representatives in the House and Senate have been quibbling for months over whether to allow Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices or pay for dental and vision benefits on the premise that such expenditures might add to our high national debt.

Yet they’ve voted repeatedly and without quibble or question to fund a Pentagon that has run a failing $8 trillion (and counting!) war on terror financed on just such debt. In fact, both of our recent infrastructure bills could have been paid for at their original higher funding levels with money to spare, had we not decided to go to war after 9/11 in a big-time fashion or even stopped the fighting after killing Osama bin Laden in 2011.

Finally — can you hear my sigh of relief? — President Biden actually cited the more than $2 trillion cost of the Afghan War in his defense of his administration’s decision to pull out of that country. That the cost of such a failed war wasn’t common knowledge, even then, should be (but isn’t) notable.

How could that be when “a trillion dollars” for infrastructure work here at home is a commonplace figure in debates everywhere, regardless of which side you’re on?  How can the cost of that bill be labeled as the “communist takeover of America” by Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and resisted tooth and nail by so many others like her when they say nothing about the costs of war?

The good news is that, whether you know those war figures or not, the difficult legwork of tracking down where those trillions of federal dollars have gone has actually been done and is available to anyone. In 2010, I was one of about two-dozen people — including social scientists, an Iraqi medical doctor, a journalist, and two human-rights lawyers — who started the Costs of War Project at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies. We were nearly a decade into the U.S.-led wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, initiated in response to the September 11, 2001, attacks by President George W. Bush and being carried on at the time by President Barack Obama. Anthropologist Catherine Lutz, political scientist Neta Crawford, and I were then concerned that Americans weren’t paying enough attention to what those wars were costing in lives and dollars.

Nor was the government helping. Costs of War economist Winslow Wheeler found that the Pentagon frequently failed to keep track of the money it spent, while its officials often entered made-up numbers in logs supposedly tracking supplies (like weaponry) to make budgets balance more comfortably and so influence future congressional funding. As we were soon to discover, the Department of Defense routinely failed even to keep track of whom it owed money to, no less how much.

What’s more, congressional funding for additional expenses unrelated to overseas wars, while stuffed into the Pentagon base budget, was regularly justified by this thing called “terrorism” that was everywhere (and nowhere) at once. Those terror wars of ours increased that base budget by at least $884 billion from 2001 to 2022.  

We relied on all kinds of sources from government watchdog agencies like the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) to local doctors and journalists in the distant lands our country was disrupting to fill in our gaps in knowledge until we gained a clearer picture of just how much those wars of ours had cost.

Some 10 years after the Costs of War Project’s initial launch, the project, now led by Stephanie Savell, Catherine Lutz, and Neta Crawford, is 50-people strong and has tracked so many things, including the more than 929,000 people killed in those wars of ours, almost half of them civilians, and the $8 trillion spent on them. That figure, however, doesn’t even include future interest payments on war borrowing, which we have estimated may total $6.5 trillion by the 2050s.

Yep, you got it! The interest alone that this country will fork over for those wars would have undoubtedly been more than enough to fund both infrastructure bills in their original forms.

Spent on America?

But it’s all for a good purpose, right? After all, in a Congress in which the two parties are now eternally at each other’s throats, the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act managed to pass in January by an overwhelming margin of 377-48 in the House and 86-8 in the Senate. That act authorized $731.6 billion, including $635.5 billion for the Department of Defense, $26.6 billion for Department of Energy national security programs (which presumably includes pilgrimages to ancient nuclear testing sites), $69 billion for overseas military operations, and $494 million for other “defense-related” activities. Included in that bill, to be sure, were some modest increases in military health care for families, including a few hours of “respite care” for military family members supporting someone with a developmental disability. But essentially none of that money went to improving the American quality of life. Want to guess if Senators Manchin and Sinema supported it? No need to even ask, is there?

Under the circumstances, I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that the Pentagon’s total assets, as measured by its ships, aircraft, buildings, vehicles, computers, and weapons, have risen steadily since 2000 even as government investment in non-military infrastructure continued at a paltry rate — unchanged since the 1970s. Of course, those hundreds of billions of dollars “invested” in military infrastructure during just the first decade of the war on terror would have led to strikingly greater capital improvements if invested in education, health care, and green energy at home.

If you take a closer look at how our money has been spent on infrastructure in these years, everything just gets uglier and uglier. For example, more than half of the money the U.S. government spent on what were called “reconstruction efforts” in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan actually went to funding and arming local security forces. In Afghanistan, we recently saw just how well that turned out.

Beyond that, examples abound of so-called development money poorly spent or not accounted for. As a 2011 SIGAR report made all too clear, for example, one federally funded project in Afghanistan, the Commander’s Emergency Response Program, was tasked with building roads in that country. The investigation found that of 11 road projects surveyed, nine lacked plans or resources for future maintenance.

Similarly, according to a paper by Costs of War Project co-director Lutz and grassroots organizer Sujaya Desai, a 2012 SIGAR report revealed that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers could not account for 95% of the materials it purchased that year to construct roads and other infrastructure in Iraq, including, for example, $1.3 billion in fuel that it had theoretically paid for. In 2011, the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan estimated that $31 billion to $60 billion were squandered in both war zones in incidents of waste, fraud, and abuse. Even the lower estimate would have covered about a year of paid family leave for working Americans.

Nor has all of this war spending made us safer. Stephanie Savell, for instance, did a case study of the U.S. war on terror security assistance to the African country of Burkina Faso. What she showed was how our ongoing security operations in the name of counterterrorism actually tend to do just the opposite of keeping us or anyone else safe. According to Savell, security assistance to foreign governments in just 36 of the 79 countries where we’ve recently conducted such operations cost the U.S. a total of $125 billion between 2002 and 2016. Yet the effect of such assistance, as she made all-too-vividly clear in one country, has been to bolster an authoritarian government, repress minority groups through violence, and facilitate war profiteering, while failing to provide needed humanitarian aid of any sort in the contested areas.

$8 Trillion (And Counting)

Our problem in this country, folks, isn’t lack of funds, no matter what the Republicans, Manchin, and Sinema may claim. Our problem is that we’re not paying attention to where our money actually goes or truly thinking about how it might be better spent.

As Pentagon experts William Hartung and Mandy Smithberger explained recently, even an exceedingly modest reduction in Pentagon spending of $1 trillion, or 15% of total current expenditures over the next decade (as recommended recently by the Congressional Budget Office), would still leave the Pentagon with a staggering $6.3 trillion to spend in those same years. Unfortunately, everything’s moving in the other direction. As those two authors remind us, only recently the Biden administration requested $750 billion for the next Pentagon budget and for nuclear weapons development at the Department of Energy. The Democratic-controlled House promptly responded (with, of course, strong support from the Republicans there) by voting to add $25 billion to that already stunning sum, even as the arguments only continued about how little to spend on us here at home.

If there’s one thing that’s reminiscent of overseas adversaries like Russia from which we theoretically seek to defend ourselves, it’s a tendency to spend increasing amounts of money on military assets at the expense of the general population, while demonizing those who would dare challenge that way of cutting up the national pie.

Every American should check out the Costs of War Project website to see how much money we’re still spending on military operations and decide for themselves whether it might not be better spent domestically. And if you think it might, Hartung and Smithberger’s article on cutting fat from the Pentagon budget is an excellent place to start. Send it to your elected representatives and ask them why we’ve spent $8 trillion on these endlessly failing wars of ours when we could have been building a social safety net here at home instead.

In the meantime, let me tiptoe into my son’s bedroom and make sure he’s truly sound asleep and then catch a few winks myself.

Copyright 2021 Andrea Mazzarino

Andrea Mazzarino, a TomDispatch regular, co-founded Brown University’s Costs of War Project. She has held various clinical, research, and advocacy positions, including at a Veterans Affairs PTSD Outpatient Clinic, with Human Rights Watch, and at a community mental health agency. She is the co-editor of War and Health: The Medical Consequences of the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


  1. On top of all this military nonsense, which you have so accurately and comprehensively covered, our US military is the biggest polluter on the planet. Not only are we not any safer, but the path we’re on will eventually kill us all.
    Gee, we wonder why other countries don’t like us while we continue bombing them. So, they will attack in clandestine ways This requires police detection, not a military response.
    Suppose we took the Chinese tack and built schools and hospitals around the world while helping to feed them. We wouldn’t need a gigantic military to defend us.

    1. The rich are vampires. In 2020, for example, workers lost $3.7 trillion while billionaires gained $3.9 trillion. Some 493 individuals became new billionaires while an additional 8 million Americans dropped below the poverty line. Indeed, the very rich are different. But it goes further than money. Much further.

      In early 2019, the Los Angeles Times wrote about “enormous wealth being focused on endeavors and technological breakthroughs that promise at least a shot at longevity, if not immortality.” The article details:

      Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison has channeled much of his fortune into keeping the Grim Reaper at bay. Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page reportedly are heavy into anti-aging research, as is Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. Dmitry Itskov, a Russian billionaire, has launched the 2045 Initiative, which aims to map the brain so our minds can be downloaded into robot bodies or synced with holograms.

    2. While the Chinese way seems a lot more sane & moral, in the end it’s just more wrecking the planet. Chinese society has been around a lot longer than ours, and it is usually a lot wiser. But the Chinese have a lot to answer for, starting with their gross overpopulation — for which they at least created the one-child-family policy that has reversed this massive problem — and their push to get everyone off bicycles and into cars, the exact opposite of what should be done around the globe. Just another evil empire, though it doesn’t seem as bad as this one.

  2. Yikes. A lede that states, right there: “As a navy spouse of 10 years and counting . . . .” says so much about the contradictions and hypocrisy. It’s really a shame to think of how many holes are in this piece, the biggest one being the concept of 20 years of war. Twenty! It’s as if this spouse has been in a bubble. Twenty! Without the context and history of this white supremacist government and the endless wars and coups and proxy shake-ups and all the black budgets, and the deeper amount of money tied to the Military Industrial Complex, this piece is just more of the same quasi-elitist pro-Capitalism writing.

    Look, here’s my “as is list” — As a military brat of 32 years, as a college faculty of decades instructing military in college courses, as a newspaper reporter who covered Fort Huachuca on one of his bears, as a social worker who worked in a facility that housed homeless veterans and their families, as a reporter and writer who spent time in Central America writing about those lovely ops of killing, rape, poisoning, theft, and as a person who was a contractor teaching communications to soldiers and civilians at Fort Bliss, and, as an independent writer and logistic expert working in Vietnam on biological surveys of forestland and bats, and, well, as someone who pout on a 20th anniversary of the Vietnam War in El Paso with people like Ly Le Hayslip (When Heaven and Earth Changed Places) , Dan Yen (former vice mayor of Saigon when Steinbeck went through), Tim O’Brien (The Things They Carried) and so many others looking back into the looking glass, and into the future, I can wholeheartedly say YOU need perspective.

    Like, General Butler’s: “I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”

    Twenty years of wars? This society is based on death, known as Murder Incorporated, and if Coca Cola had a problem with the label, Killer Coke, and if Dole and Del Monte have a history as part of the United Fruit Company, and if Cocaine and Contras rings a bell, and if Operation Paperclip rattles some nerves, and if knowledge of Unit 731 (Japanese bio-weapons) comes to mind, and if you know anything about poisons and bioweapons used in Korea, and, Viet Nam, and if there is any sense of he deaths from the nuclear fuel processing in and around Hanford, and, and, and.

    Look, boot camp in all branches of the mercenary services creates PSTS and physical ailments that stay for life. I’ve worked with homeless veterans, and all the women hooked on substances and who found themselves on my caseload were raped in their respective branches by their own kind. Sadistic “leaders” pounding stupidity, fear and physical harm into young bodies, well, that’s not normal. And, unfortunately, as someone who has been to boot camp and been to advanced training in US Army, I can say the entire mentality and SOP of the military is as warped as ever.

    So, Navy officer is your spouse? Come on. I was in Hanoi, in the same cell Navy Man Killer McCain was locked up in. I met women who were at a Catholic orphanage and seen the photos of dead children of that Navy bombing run. The whoring US Navy, napalming in the morning, and drinking rum coolers in the afternoon with their sundry prostitutes and young boy masseuses.

    The cost of war? It is a cancer, like the white race, a cancer that eats way beyond some bs set of budgets set forth in bills and appropriations packages. And you profess being a mental health professional!? All that secondary and tertiary costs of military-energy-chemical-ag-pharma-finance-real estate-banking-mining-aerospace-AI-prison-surveillance-prison complex.

    Shoot, if only if only we’d have the real costs of military, including the Navy officers and their pay and their dirty work, and then all the people in their family and friendship circles who also pay for that epigenetic hell of being a part of a mercenary force. Part of the War Profiteer Brigade.

    1. it’s not white supremacy, that’s just a gaslighting red herring.
      It is ALL about wealth.
      What about China and India and the Saudi?
      Sure, there are clans within each giving credence to the racist dog whistle but the facts point more toward religious affiliation which have ethnic histories..
      It is all about the money game.
      “Pew Research, wealth and religion”
      and find
      “How income varies among U.S. religious groups”

      1. You’re making an important point, I think.
        If or I you were to visit a party thrown by the ultra-rich, we’d no doubt find all kinds of people there: black, white, brown, Christian, Jewish, atheist, European, Asian, Arab, straight, gay, cis, trans…
        The only thing they’d have in common would be being ultra-rich, and they’d be howling with laughter at us paupers thinking that any other division other than that between the ultra-rich and the rest of the world matters.

  3. My first question – why is your husband still in the Navy when it is obviously costing you for all this BS?

    1. Some, or many, in the USA like their cake and how to eat it too. Look, most Americans with investments, in these stock investment products, they do quit well with many “investments” in the direct pool of military offence industries, and many Americans really do think there are great opportunities going into the Academies of Murder to turn out to be good warriors, you know, innocents, soldiers who will do good and will turn the entire mercenary system around.

      Husband part of the PTSD making industry, US Navy, within and outside the USA, and, well, a spouse who makes a living with PTSD counseling and a Cost of War project. If that isn’t schizophrenic, then, well, happy trails to the Peace Colleges around the country. Whoops, no peace colleges to be found, but plenty of War Colleges and School of the Americas 3.0!

      1. I asked the question of the author of the post – she is the one I would like to answer …

    2. people aren’t born understanding the system and once it locks you in, you are slaved to it or you’re on tour own

  4. Who woulda thunk, oh Klanada, for example:

    Is the Canadian or Chinese Military a Greater Threat to Humanity?

    As the likelihood of military conflict with China grows it’s worth assessing the balance of power. This offers an indication of which parties are likely to be the primary belligerent force (because they would prevail in a conflict).

    When it comes to international bases China has a single one in Djibouti. One Canadian ally, the US, has 800 international bases in over 70 countries while the UK has dozens of international military installations. Even the Canadian military has three times as many international bases as China. Canada has military installations in Kuwait, Jamaica and Senegal and is negotiating to set up “lily pads” in Tanzania, Germany, South Korea and Singapore. On a per capita basis Canada has over 100 times China’s international bases.

    The Canadian government says its international bases are designed to “project combat power” under US leadership. The planned base in Singapore is explicitly about countering China.

    But it’s not just bases. Canadian Navy vessels regularly patrol the Mediterranean, North Sea, Caribbean, etc. Last month HMCS Winnipeg joined with a US destroyer to pass through the Taiwan Strait and a 2018 Reuters headline noted, “Canada joins effort to counter China with Asian warship drills”. The Chinese navy isn’t part of NATO or other alliance operations and does not regularly patrol far from its shores.

    (In an illuminating comparison Australian military writer Brian Toohey notes that China has four nuclear-powered, ballistic missile-armed submarines (SSBNs) that can each carry 12 missiles with a single warhead. To hit the continental US the easy to detect subs would have to bypass US subs in the region. The US, on the other hand, has 14 SSBNs that can each launch 24 Trident missiles, which each contain eight independently targetable warheads able to reach anywhere on the globe. In other words, one US submarine can destroy 192 targets (cities) compared to 48 for all the Chinese submarines combined.)

    Alongside the naval presence, Canadian troops are stationed in about two dozen countries around the world. Hundreds are in each of Latvia, Ukraine and Iraq but small numbers are also in places such as the West Bank and South Korea (Canadian troops have been based there since the early 1950s Korean War, which was partly a war against China). Unlike Canadian forces, Chinese troops are rarely deployed internationally outside UN missions.

  5. How is this a concern? Crocodile tears for the families of evil people warring on others around the world, but nothing for the victims of the U.S. military (which BTW include the Earth itself and everyone/thing living here)? Sorry, definitely not my concern.

    “Why is it so hard for so many in Washington to imagine spending the sort of money on our needs that they wouldn’t think twice about forking over to the military-industrial complex?” Easy: The U.S. military mainly exists to maintain & expand the U.S. empire and carry out its wishes regarding international affairs. The military works for the rich, just like the cops, and the rich don’t give a damn about the problems of regular people. They’ll spend infinite amounts of OUR money on the military because it’s fighting for their interests, but they don’t want to spend a dime on fixing the problems of regular people because it’s not. The rich own & run the government, which at least theoretically runs the military, so …

  6. I don’t fault the writer for her husband being in the military. I applaud her for her insights into our military’s waste. Bravo for your work!

    1. I didn’t say that I faulted the writer for anything. What I said is that her problems from the evil things that her husband and his military do are not a legitimate concern. Our concerns should be with the military’s victims, not the families of its perpetrators.

  7. A major cost is massive loss of sanity. Why would any in their right minds – other than the bought and paid for – think the same state front that’s dropped nuclear bombs on others and used its own soldiers (aka cannon fodder) as lab rats for radiation tests gives a sh*t about any of us proles in the Homeland as well as ‘over there’?

    Life under empire is all about adjusting to its noble lies. Like the one that keeps getting trotted out about how military spending needs to be balanced on some cost-account ledger controlled by legally organized crime rackets, where bizzness to the tune of trillions is off the books, by the needs of ‘we the people’, as if to appeal to our abusers for a bit more consideration while they’re defending the interests of the Fortune 500.

    How long will people swallow swill like peace dividends while class war advances its perfectly consistent policy of feeding the empire and bleeding the republic? And as for Build Back Better, what an apt advertising slogan for disaster capitalism cashing in con-tracts on ‘we the people’?

    “Whether the mask is labeled fascism, democracy, or dictatorship of the proletariat, our great adversary remains the apparatus—the bureaucracy, the police, the military. Not the one facing us across the frontier of the battle lines, which is not so much our enemy as our brothers’ enemy, but the one that calls itself our protector and makes us its slaves. No matter what the circumstances, the worst betrayal will always be to subordinate ourselves to this apparatus and to trample underfoot, in its service, all human values in ourselves and in others.”
    —Simone Weil

    “I am not a capitalist soldier; I am a proletarian revolutionist. I do not belong to the regular army of the plutocracy, but to the irregular army of the people. I refuse to obey any command to fight from the ruling class, but I will not wait to be commanded to fight for the working class. I am opposed to every war but one; I am for that war with heart and soul, and that is the world-wide war of social revolution. In that war I am prepared to fight in any way the ruling class may make necessary, even to the barricades.”
    —Eugene Debs

  8. I’ve seen a few pieces by thus author before, and contradictions always stick out, but in this one the about the ” Republicans, Manchin, and Sinema” being the problem is truly remarkable. Does she honestly think the Dem Party leadership doesn’t back those two rightwing Senators? Or that the Dem Party is not just as subservient to those insane military budgets? Manchin and Sinema do what they like at the pleasure of the Dem Party leadership–including the fellow at the top, Biden.

  9. No doubt it’s nice to be able to write a jeremiad like this when your ‘spouse’ is still raking in those Department of Defense bucks. The hypocrisy on display here is astonishing.

  10. Grateful for your critical thought and patriotic dissent. It’s not often that the entire central nervous system is on display when it pertains to just how exceptional (and constantly under attack) we are.
    I’ve heard it started very clear from multiple administrations “I don’t apologize for anything”.
    At a time when the challenges of our species existence requires a cooperative peace, what instead is leadership up to, once again.

  11. I ❤ your understanding of what is being done by our government to us and to everyone else in the world, but I encourage you to learn Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). It is an empirical description of how our monetary system works.

    You are confusing the “debt” with the “deficit,” a common mistake. Stephanie Kelton has a number of excellent videos on YouTube about these two entities, and how they work.

    You can watch Real Progressives to learn the nuts and bolts of MMT.

  12. the hypocrisy is less concerning than the shallowness. DOD is the largest employer on earth. the US military and ancillary industries are cleverly distributed across nearly all congressional districts. sanders has voted for every military appropriation. US exports nearly nothing except weapons and war. structurally the US economy would collapse if this were dismantled. Given that the actual unemployment exceeds 35%— only those receiving benefits are now counted- it is doubtful that a transition to a different economy is logistically or politically possible

    1. @alexandr herzen
      It’s neither hypocritical nor shallow. The military/intelligence/industrial complex exists to serve the empire and its owners. You’re correct that they’ve created a situation wherein even supposed anti-war politicians won’t oppose the military because it provides jobs in their districts, but that’s not the reason for its existence; instead, it’s the reason that its existence will continue.

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