The Pentagon recently called for another astronomical spending increase at a time when the country’s defense budget is larger than the next eight biggest nations’ budgets — combined.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon has begun to restrict the public’s access to data on the 17-year-long War in Afghanistan. Watchdog group SIGAR noted that this data had been publicly reported in the past decade and had shown the situation is deteriorating.

However, despite the clear failings and lack of transparency, the Department’s proposal garnered bipartisan support. Shortly after the budget request became public, NJ’s District 4 Congressional Candidate, Josh Welle, took to twitter to proclaim “General Mattis is keeping the DoD on track.”

Welle is a Democrat. He also has strong ties to the military-industrial complex and is the co-founder of a DC-based tech company which contracts with the Department of Defense. Previously, he wrote for Harvard Business Review that “firms have much to gain by expanding business into Afghanistan.”

This view of war as a business opportunity is a dangerous drain on lives, tax-dollars, and prosperity. Instead of writing another blank check to perpetuate war, why not invest in the American people?

For example, the increase of the Department of Defense 2018 budget is $80b over last year’s figure. If spending were to simply remain static, these funds would more than cover tuition-free public college for all, a policy proposal considered unrealistically expensive at $71b.

It’s long overdue we take account our reckless militaristic spending and instead promote stronger social and economic programs.

Jim Silverman
Holmdel

 

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