Economy Military William Astore

What Would It Take for Military Spending in America to Go Down?

Take a moment with retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel William Astore for a little “thought experiment” about that very budget. Can we really be in a world too wild for it to ever decrease?
[Morning Calm Weekly Newspaper Installation Management Command, U.S. Army / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]

By William Astore / TomDispatch

I have a question for you: What would it take in today’s world for America’s military spending to go down?  Here’s one admittedly farfetched scenario: Vladimir Putin loses his grip on power and Russia retrenches militarily while reaching out to normalize relations with the West. At the same time, China prudently decides to spend less on its military, pursuing economic power while abandoning any pretense to a militarized superpower status.  Assuming such an unlikely scenario, with a “new cold war” nipped in the bud and the U.S. as the world’s unchallenged global hegemon, Pentagon spending would surely shrink, right?

Well, I wouldn’t count on it.  Based on developments after the Soviet Union’s collapse three decades ago, here’s what I suspect would be far more likely to happen.  The U.S. military, aided by various strap-hanging think tanks, intelligence agencies, and weapons manufacturers, would simply shift into overdrive.  As its spokespeople would explain to anyone who’d listen (especially in Congress), the disappearance of the Russian and Chinese threats would carry its own awesome dangers, leaving this country prospectively even less safe than before. 

You’d hear things like: we’ve suddenly been plunged into a more complex multipolar world, significantly more chaotic now that our “near-peer” rivals are no longer challenging us, with even more asymmetrical threats to U.S. military dominance.  The key word, of course, would be “more” — linked, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, to omnipresent Pentagon demands for yet more military spending.  When it comes to weapons, budgets, and war, the military-industrial complex’s philosophy is captured by an arch comment of the legendary actress Mae West: “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.”

Even without Russia and China as serious threats to American hegemony, you’d hear again about an “unbalanced” Kim Jong-un in North Korea and his deeply alarming ballistic missiles; you’d hear about Iran and its alleged urge to build nuclear weapons; and, if those two countries proved too little, perhaps the war on terror would be resuscitated.  (Indeed, during the ongoing wall-to-wall coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, North Korea did test a ballistic missile, an event a distracted media greeted with a collective shrug.)  My point is this: when you define the entire globe as your sphere of influence, as the U.S. government does, there will always be threats somewhere. It matters little, in budgetary terms, whether it’s terror, most often linked to radical Islam, or the struggle over resources linked to climate change, which the Pentagon has long recognized as a danger, even if it still burns carbon as if there were no tomorrow. And don’t discount a whole new set of dangers in space and cyberspace, the latest realms of combat.

Of course, this country is always allegedly falling behind in some vital realm of weapons research.  Right now, it’s hypersonic missiles, just as in the early days of the Cold War bomber and missile “gaps” were falsely said to be endangering our security.  Again, when national security is defined as full-spectrum dominance and America must reign supreme in all areas, you can always come up with realms where we’re allegedly lagging and where there’s a critical need for billions more of your taxpayer dollars.  Consider the ongoing “modernization” of our nuclear arsenal, at a projected cost approaching $2 trillion over the coming decades. As a jobs program, as well as an advertisement of naked power, it may yet rival the Egyptian pyramids.  (Of course, the pyramids became wonders of the world rather than threatening to end it.)

No Peace Dividends for You

While a young captain in the Air Force, I lived through the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and a romping, stomping performance by our military in the first Gulf War against Iraq in 1991.  It felt great!  I was teaching history at the Air Force Academy when President George H.W. Bush talked of a “new world order.”  On a planet with no Soviet Union and no Cold War, we even briefly heard talk of “peace dividends” to come that echoed the historical response of Americans after prevailing in past wars. In the aftermath of the Civil War, as well as World Wars I and II, rapid demobilization and a dramatic downsizing of the military establishment had occurred.

And indeed, there was initially at least some modest shrinkage of our military after the Soviet collapse, though nothing like what most experts had expected.  Personnel cuts came first.  As a young officer, I well remember the Voluntary Separation Incentive Payments (VSIP) and the Selective Early Retirement Board (SERB).  VSIP offered money to entice officers like me to get out early, while SERB represented involuntary retirement for those judged to have overstayed their welcome.  Then there was the dreaded RIF, or Reduction in Force, program, which involved involuntary separation without benefits.  

Yet even as personnel were pruned from our military, the ambitions of the national security state only grew.  As I wrote long ago, the U.S. didn’t just “contain” the Soviet empire during the Cold War; that empire also contained us.  With its main enemy in tatters and facing virtually no restraint to its global ambitions, the military-industrial complex promptly began to search for new realms to dominate and new enemies to contain and defeat.  Expansion, not shrinkage, soon became the byword, whether in Asia, Africa, or Europe, where, despite promises made to the last of the Soviet Union’s leaders, NATO’s growth took the lead.

So, let’s jump to 1998, just before the initial round of NATO expansion occurred.  I’m a major in the Air Force now, on my second tour of teaching history to cadets and I’m attending a seminar on coalition warfare.  Its concluding panel focused on the future of NATO and featured four generals who had served at the highest levels of that alliance.  I was feverishly taking notes as one of them argued forcefully for NATO’s expansion despite Russian concerns.  “Russia has nothing to fear,” he assured us and, far more important, could no longer prevent it.  “If the Soviet Union was an anemic tiger, Russia is more like a circus tiger that may growl but won’t bite,” he concluded.  Tell that to the people of Ukraine in 2022.

Retired Army General Andrew Goodpaster had a different view.  He suggested that the U.S. could have fostered a peaceful “overarching relationship” with Russia after 1991 but chose antagonism and expansion instead.  For him, NATO’s growth was only likely to antagonize a post-Soviet Russia further.  Air Force General John Shaud largely agreed, suggesting that the U.S. should work to ensure that Russia didn’t become yet more isolated thanks to such a program of expansion.

In the end, three of those four retired generals urged varying degrees of caution. In an addendum to my notes, I scribbled this: “NATO expansion, from the perspective of many in the West, gathers the flock and unites them against an impending storm.  From the Russian perspective, NATO expansion, beyond a certain point, is intolerable; it is the storm.”  If three of four former senior NATO commanders and a young Air Force major could see that clearly almost 25 years ago, surely senior government officials of the day could, too.

Unfortunately, it turned out that they simply didn’t care.  For the military-industrial complex, as journalist Andrew Cockburn noted in 2015, such expansion was simply too lucrative to pass up.  It meant more money, profits, and jobs, as Eastern European militaries retooled with weaponry from the West, much of it made in the USA.  It didn’t matter that Russia was prostrate and posed no threat; it didn’t matter that NATO’s main reason for being had disappeared.  What mattered was more: more countries in NATO, meaning more weapons sold, more money made, more influence peddled.  Who cared if expansion pissed off the Russians?  What was a toothless “circus tiger” going to do about it anyway, gum us to death?

If there ever was a time for peace dividends and military demobilization, the 1990s were it.  This country even had a Democratic president, Bill Clinton, who was focused far more on domestic concerns than foreign policy.  And there’s the rub.  He simply had no desire to challenge the military-industrial complex. Few presidents do.

Early in his first term, he’d already lost big-time in arguing for gays to serve openly in the ranks, leading to his ignominious surrender and the institutionalization of “don’t ask, don’t tell” as military policy.  As that complex then frog-marched Clinton through what remained of the twentieth century, hardheaded hawks like Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz were already hatching their plans for America’s triumphant return to a policy of complete unipolar dominance empowered by a kick-ass military.  Their time came with George W. Bush’s less than legitimate election in 2000, accelerated by the September 11th tragedy the following year.

America’s New Normal Is War

Ever since 9/11, endless conflict has been this country’s new normal.  If you’re an American 21 years of age or younger, you’ve never known a time when your country hasn’t been at war, even if, thanks to the end of the draft in the previous century, you stand no chance of being called to arms yourself.  You’ve never known a time of “normal” defense budgets.  You have no conception of what military demobilization, no less peacetime might actually be like. Your normal is only reflected in the Biden administration’s staggering $813 billion Pentagon budget proposal for the next fiscal year.  Naturally, many congressional Republicans are already clamoring for even higher military spending.  Remember that Mae West quip?  What a “wonderful” world!

And you’re supposed to take pride in this.  As President Biden recently told soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division now stationed in Poland, this country has the “finest fighting force in the history of the world.”  Even with the mountains of cash we give to that military, the nation still “owes you big,” he assured them.

Well, I’m gobsmacked.  During my 20-year career in the military, I never thought my nation owed me a thing, let alone owed me big.  Now that I think of it, however, I can say that this nation owed me (and today’s troops as well) one very big thing: not to waste my life; not to send me to fight undeclared, arguably unconstitutional, wars; not to treat me like a foreign legionnaire or an imperial errand-boy.  That’s what we, the people, really owe “our” troops.  It should be our duty to treat their service, and potentially their deaths, with the utmost care, meaning that our leaders should wage war only as a last, not a first, resort and only in defense of our most cherished ideals.

This was anything but the case of the interminable Afghan and Iraq wars, reckless conflicts of choice that burned through trillions of dollars, with tens of thousands of U.S. troops killed and wounded, and millions of foreigners either dead or transformed into refugees, all for what turned out to be absolutely nothing.  Small wonder today that a growing number of Americans want to see less military spending, not more., representing 86 national and state organizations, has called on President Biden to decrease military spending.  Joining that call was POGO, the Project on Government Oversight, as well as William Hartung at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.  And they couldn’t be more on target, though they’re certain to be ignored in Washington.

Consider the recent disastrous end to the Afghan War.  Viewing that conflict in the aggregate, what you see is widespread corruption and untold waste, all facilitated by generals who lied openly and consistently to the rest of us about “progress,” even as they spoke frankly in private about a lost war, a reality the Afghan War Papers all too tellingly revealed.  That harsh story of abysmal failure, however, highlights something far worse: a devastating record of lying on a massive scale within the highest ranks of the military and government.  And are those liars and deceivers being called to account?  Perish the thought!  Instead, they’ve generally been rewarded with yet more money, promotions, and praise.

So, what would it take for the Pentagon budget to shrink?  Blowing the whistle on wasteful and underperforming weaponry hasn’t been enough.  Witnessing murderous and disastrous wars hasn’t been enough.  To my mind, at this point, only a full-scale collapse of the U.S. economy might truly shrink that budget and that would be a Pyrrhic victory for the American people.

In closing, let me return to President Biden’s remark that the nation owes our troops big.  There’s an element of truth there, perhaps, if you’re referring to the soldiers, Marines, sailors, and airmen, many of whom have served selflessly within its ranks. It sure as hell isn’t true, though, of the self-serving strivers and liars at or near the top, or the weapons-making corporations who profited off it all, or the politicians in Washington who kept crying out for more.  They owe the rest of us and America big.

My fellow Americans, we have now reached the point in our collective history where we face three certainties: death, taxes, and ever-soaring spending on weaponry and war.  In that sense, we have become George Orwell’s Oceania, where war is peace, surveillance is privacy, and censorship is free speech.

Such is the fate of a people who make war and empire their way of life.

Copyright 2022 William J. Astore

William Astore, a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF) and professor of history, is a TomDispatch regular and a senior fellow at the Eisenhower Media Network (EMN), an organization of critical veteran military and national security professionals. His personal blog is Bracing Views.


  1. SUSTAINABLE real economic growth based on the added aid of debt-free trade.
    This market driven process has begun. We’re adding the “Yang to the Yin” as a path to a monetary completion where balance and symbiosis govern.

  2. “What Would It Take for Military Spending in America to Go Down?”

    Giving up America’s empire. So long as the U.S. wants to maintain its empire, it will spend as much as it can on the military. No one ever talks about that, and it’s the main if not only reason for the huge and immoral amount of money that the U.S. spends on its military and intelligence. Maintaining an empire is expensive!

  3. The Author’s summation and conclusion at the end of his article is brilliantly on target and very frightening.
    I became aware both of the hypocrisy and destructive potential of capitalism when I was just 10 years old. My uncle was a CIA agent assigned to the overthrow of democracy in Honduras in the 1960’s which was accomplished.
    We are now Oceania in this present time that may well end all life on Earth. Beware of Complacency!

  4. ” ….what would it take for the Pentagon budget to shrink? ”
    Rather clear to me – it would take removing the pols from office who keep growing it and replacing them with those who would shrink it. That means no more corp financed pols from corp financed parties – that means no more D/Rs ….

    1. SH
      You must be having a laugh! There are no sets of political, legal, economic or civil forces which could ever achieve disarmament, significant reductions in the military budget.

      Recall, Gorbachev’s ofter to Reagan that nuclear weapons be dis-invented was laughed at.

      The bottom line is that the military has a stranglehold on central government and anybody seeking to push back such a monopoly will be “Kennedied”.

      1. SH
        So what if the church itself was central to the largest streams of bloodletting known to man.

        How do you reconcile such a glaring contradiction? What is martyrdom? What is church?

  5. A civil war might could work, but the greed, arrogance and complacency is too diffused throughout this nation to mount an effective opposition. We long ago splintered into mindless gobs of beliefs and views as the lords and kings plotted and lied their way to power. We have ignored history in favor of myths and rarely demanded simple truth from a government that kept secrets and schilled meaningless rhetoric. Those folks in the world actually oppressed seem to have some natural immunity to propaganda. Alas, it will likely take a devastating foreign defeat by a ‘coalition of the truly fed up and knowledgeable who have lived it’ to overcome the leadership of greed. If we survive, we might be more competent at figuring out what matters and what does not.

    1. War ? Too much work and pain and suffering. Why don’t you just agree to trade debt-free and create lots of wealth abundance on the back of real economic growth? It’s not just a platform for prosperity, but peace too.

      1. Why not just outlaw foreign direct investment and respect the sovereignty of others nations while we are at it? Because we, you nor I, have power. Because leaders dragged us past those and other dangerous markers long ago. What’s more, they clearly have no intention of backing down and frankly, we have no effective way to stop them. They don’t give a damn about trade, they don’t even have borders. Plenty of them don’t even live in this country, this USA that has borders for most people but not borders for capital. They, and their capital, go where and when they want and connive and take what they want and kill whomever they want and are not held accountable and yet profit from it. Then they tax us and raise or buy enforcers to use force in our name? That, my friend, is imperialism and world order stuff, not trade stuff. Put away the economic jargon and try some world history.

      2. —>> Because we, you nor I, have power.

        The consumer now has the monetary stage to monetize and distribute his/her own sovereign , bullion backed digital currency in support of real economic growth. There’s no source of greater wealth creation than the whole real economy. The elite get a piece, as you know. The paradox is that the INTRODUCTION of bullion based medium that now features real-time market pricing could never be governed and implemented from the top-down. There’s no way to avoid a massive debt-bubble POP in that manner. The introduction has to be organic and bottom-up where the governance is from the grass roots of the marketplace. This affords a safe and sane leak on the back of real economic growth. Real growth is the focal point and the end in mind.

      3. To Rita,
        We do have an “effective way to stop them”, but we haven’t used it – voting, not for DRs as we have done over and over, expecting different results – as Biden explained “nothing will fundamentally change”, nothing that is until we stop voting for candidates from fundamentally corrupt parties – we have other, better, choices and have had for decades, it’s time, past time, to vote for them ….

  6. impossible—amerikans love violence, support imperialism and exploitation by vast majorities—80+% supported invasions Vietnam, Iraq, 90% Afghanistan
    “amerikans have always been genocidal enjoying killing from afar”. Philip Slater
    polls consistently show US military most admired institution, 2nd police in USA
    most recent IPSOS study—only 15% US adults moral enough to believe torture never justified–apparently the peculiar amerikan cult, “sensitivity training” has failed to train very few how to feel

    1. @george simmel
      The U.S. is exactly the type of country that should be expected when it’s founded on genocide, slavery, destruction of the natural environment, and attracting people who want to get rich and/or who are religious fanatics. Lowering U.S. military spending isn’t “impossible,” but it’s highly unlikely under these circumstances and when the U.S. wants to maintain its empire and dominate the world.

  7. There is evidence that thoughts create action and can actually modify our material world significantly. Positive thoughts allow for the possibility of positive outcomes, whereas negative thoughts like “that’ll never happen” close the field of possibilities. The idea is to put as many positive thoughts into the field of consciousness of humanity as possible, and as thoughts go energy flows, and change occurs. Albeit slowly. For a long time I have advocated to cut military spending in half and for the US to be a leader in Nuclear arms elimination. The truth is, that there will not be a nuclear war. If there is, we have the end of everything. So the presence of nukes is really no deterrent when an hand full can poison the world for every living being. It simply does not matter anymore who shoots first or if one country does not shoot at all. War is insane, killing too. We need to change the SYSTEM.

    1. @Edward William Case
      One must differentiate between realistic expectations and hope. We should NEVER give up hope; I’ve learned from playing sports that if you keep trying, you never know what might happen no matter how bleak it looks. But if you’re over optimistic and don’t keep your expectations realistic, you will have incorrect strategies and tactics, and will end up so disappointed that you will give up and stop fighting.

  8. What it would take for US military spending to go down would be for we, the people, to take our country back into our own hands. Of course, we’d have to deprogram all of the people who have been mesmerized by the incessant propaganda of the establishment and its mouthpieces, the mainstream media. And I mean both Trumpers and BlueAnons. Read The Left Will Never Achieve Its Goals Until It Confronts the Establishment Propaganda by Caitlin Johnstone on her website.
    Then watch How to Start a Revolution DVD documentary and read From Dictatorship to Democracy the book by Dr Gene Sharp. Afterwards, read his three-volume series, The Politics of Nonviolent Action, which gives us actual tools to use to take back the country.

    1. To Susan,
      Of course we could sit around and read a bunch more books and discuss them. We could march and petition and call until our soles (souls) wear out, our fingers wear down, our ears fall off – the problem is we have been doing all that for decades, and nothing has fundamentally changed, and, as Biden has told us, “nothing will fundamentally change” – until, that is we dethrone corporate backed politicians, aka D/Rs, from office and replace them with folks who owe nothing to them and all to the people they ostensibly represent.

      If we march, let us march to the polls …..

      1. @SH
        I agree with Susan Mercurio here. This is a battle, first and foremost, for hearts & minds. Without winning that battle, how do you propose to get people to vote out the two gangs and vote in decent politicians (which is an oxymoron, but it doesn’t have to be this bad)?

    2. Susan … Education is highly over-rated. Doing on the basis of getting a benefit dovetails with the learning in a far better way. People follow. Setting successful examples is a proven road to success. Look at the success of the microwave oven and the market saturation in the first 40 years and they aren’t even good for you. People don’t understand a damn thing about them. They just followed examples of people who liked them.

  9. So, what would it take . . . . ? If war is often referred to as politics by other means, then peace will also have to discover the ‘other’ means. And that might already have happened! There is a line in the mind that has only recenly been successfully crossed. It only needs numbers now to change the existing politcal narrative and blow the status quo right out of the water.

  10. It might be instructive to look back nearly a century ago to the tragic end of another “defense economy”.

    The crippling debt that reparations of WWI, imposed on the Weimar Republic granted Germany few options, outside of revving up industry, by arming itself for another insane conflict.

    The trouble with tanks and planes…they really don’t provide a nation much in terms of basic needs and education. (excluding of course the school of hard knocks)

    Anyhow, the nation gets caught up in a loop of printing money it doesn’t have to produce weapons it should never use. (sound familiar?)

    Germans love stringing endless series of letters together, and created a horse-choking term to describe it: “Wehrwirtschaft”…. The phrase “Where we’re shafted” might prove an effective mnemonic device.

    Mark Twain’s observation about whether history repeats or rhymes seem’s remarkably accurate; in that the path Germany took, was forced by the deprivations of an idiotic war it lost.

    We Americans on the other hand, went galloping down that road, with no more forgivable motivation than greed.

    Listen. I want to be proud of my country as much as anyone; but if that means ignoring history and basic human decency, by voting for assholes like Dubya, Trump, Hillary, Biden, or whatever other hot-mess that this duopoly serves up; then count me out.

  11. Would Trump have made a deal with Putin to prevent this war??
    Would he have put America first by giving up parts of Ukraine and saved Ukraine lives, their towns, and a world wide recession /depression, and possible WW3??

    Trump would have understood or not understood that Ukraine crisis is exactly like the Cuban missile crisis and have negotiations and talked to Putin??? Just like Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev used diplomacy instead of threats, and war stance.
    Would we be less likely to have the Ukrainian war and its possible expansion, if we had a Kennedy for President??

    Joe will not let Russia win and Vlad refuses to lose, therfore there will not be a good outcome.

    1. @Keith Mcmaugh
      Trump was not a politician, for better and for worse, did not conduct himself properly in public, and would fly off the handle every time he got upset. I’m glad that he’s not in the White House during this situation, we’d probably already all be dead from nuclear war. Same result if Clinton were president, for different reasons. As much as I totally hate Biden, at least he said that he won’t allow the U.S. to directly fight Russia, he nixed the proposed insane no-fly-zone over Ukraine, and he realizes that preventing WWIII here takes priority over everything else. JFK and Khrushchev would be far preferable to these two, but we could do worse than Biden.

      None of this is to say that the current situation is largely Biden’s fault, starting with the 2014 coup in Ukraine that I have no doubt he was a large part of.

    2. To Keith,
      Trump, sir, is no Kennedy … Isn’t Trump the one who dropped the MOAB in Afghanistan ?

  12. Every dollar spent on DoD, et al? The price of the military, all operations, all financial, retail, educational, energy, prison, space, AI, surveillence, and, well, add to all of those at the trough, from Burger King, the Rheem A/C, and, this is trillions for those mercenaries.

    Now, the price of this extortion ring? Just what is the price of destruction, of depleted Uranium? Price of all that mind power in the tens of millions of lifetimes spent on military, and that is also in K12, the college courses, all of this rotten exceptionalism and agnotology and plain empty wrong propaganda history?

    The cost of war, the cost of military, USA, style is in the tens of trillions of dollars. It is an evil thing, no?

    And remember, the USAF does nothing but Bad. A fun pedigree Astore has.

    More – — – –


    Until June 1944, the United States, the most powerful industrial power of the Second World War, had made the main contribution to the battle against Nazism in Europe through the courage of its pilots and Lend-Lease. Lend-lease was a special program authorized by the White House to supply military and civilian aid to America’s foreign allies, which assumed that whatever of those deliveries survived by the time the war was over, would either be returned or paid for by the recipients. Britain received $31 billion worth of military goods (around $400 billion in today’s prices), while the Soviet Union received similar assistance to the tune of $11 billion (140 billion). This assistance was vitally important for the British, who were losing the Battle of the Atlantic, and also for the USSR in the first year of the war, when this country suffered significant losses. However, shortly after the war, the issue of payment arose for the US-supplied military equipment that had not been destroyed in battle, and which had saved the lives of many US soldiers who had avoided direct participation in the war. The exact sum was negotiated for several years, and was repaid only during the 2000s. However, being a great power, which had made the main contribution to the allied victory over Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union could afford not to agree with the conditions put forward by the United States.

    This means that the current lend-lease system for Ukraine is fundamentally different from the one we had during World War II. The United States and Britain are ready to support both radical Islamic groups and Ukrainian neo-Nazis both of whom are complicit in war crimes. Their shared goal is to weaken Russia and make it more compliant. At the same time, unlike the semi-terrorist groups active in the Middle East, Kiev is potentially able to pay for the supplied weapons. The main goal is to save the territories and then start making people pay the bill by freezing their bank deposits for “restoration” purposes, confiscating their foreign currency assets, selling off forests and subsoil – something that was actively done already before the war. If the people of a country impoverished by war are no longer able to pay jacked up direct taxes, no problem – they will have to pay indirectly via excise taxes. As a result, many European and American businessmen will receive a multi-year annuity to be paid for by ordinary Ukrainians.

    Moreover, millions of Ukrainian refugees will be brought back home and start earning their living instead of just spending Ukrainian money. As a result, the average Ukrainian citizen, convinced by propaganda that despite the loss of Mariupol, Nikolayev, Odessa, Kherson, and possibly Kharkov and Chernigov, he has won the war, will have to pay, along with his children and grandchildren, the multibillion-dollar “war debt,” while occasionally wondering why he has to cough up so much for utilities and electricity.

    The Ukrainian authorities now have to make the people believe that there is still free cheese in the mousetrap. At the same time, they keep offering the NATO countries to sell rather than donate weapons to Ukraine, even though the government was unable to fully meet its defense spending targets even before the war actually broke out. However, ordinary Ukrainians, both in the rear or at the frontlines, sincerely believe that their country is getting everything, from the latest anti-aircraft systems to body armor, just for free. This is not so, of course, but they will never be allowed to see numerous agreements on military supply payments, which are so easy to keep under wraps as “confidential.”

  13. The price of war, military . . . And Rep. Eliot Engel, Jewish, supporting these Nazis? Sadistic, and surreal.

    US lawmakers welcomed notorious Georgian warlord now boasting of war crimes in Ukraine


    Top lawmakers in US Congress hosted Mamuka Mamulashvili, an infamous Georgian Legion warlord who has boasted of authorizing field executions of captive Russian soldiers in Ukraine.

    In an interview this April, Mamulashvili, was asked about a video showing Russian fighters who had been extrajudicially executed in Dmitrovka, a town just five miles from Bucha. Mamulashvili was candid about his unit’s take-no-prisoners tactics, though he has denied involvement in the specific crimes depicted.

    “We will not take Russian soldiers, as well as Kadyrovites [Chechnyan fighters]; in any case, we will not take prisoners, not a single person will be captured,” Mamulashvili said, implying that his fighters execute POWs.

    The warlord’s battle dress shirt was emblazoned with a patch reading, “Mama says I’m special.”

    1. @Paul+Haeder
      “Top lawmakers in US Congress hosted Mamuka Mamulashvili, an infamous Georgian Legion warlord who has boasted of authorizing field executions of captive Russian soldiers in Ukraine.”

      Tells you all you need to know about where this country is at.

  14. military spending cannot be reduced until the empire now a morally depraved cultural desert disintegrates—full collapse predicted by many in less than 10 years…no accident the anglosphere has never produced a moral philosophy..Adorno dismissed all of anglophone philosophy as a “defense of technocratic capitalism”
    the best that can be said

    1. @george simmel
      Or we could decide that we no longer want to have an empire, but instead to just get along with everyone else on Earth. That would take some mental, emotional, and spiritual evolution, but it’s possible.

    2. So George, what do we do, wait around ’til it “disintegrates” spontaneously?

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