The Joe Biden regime asked the US Congress for a military budget of $813 billion for fiscal year 2023.
This is the largest military budget in US history and exceeds war budgets during the Korean and Vietnam Wars at the height of the Cold War.
To put it in perspective, it is more than the combined defence budgets of the next 11 countries and 12 times that of Russia’s.
One of the excuses advanced by the Pentagon for such massive increase in military spending is the war in Ukraine.
But as William Hartung of Responsible Statecraft pointed out, “… the Ukraine crisis should not be used as an excuse to increase the Pentagon’s already enormous budget.
“The recent emergency supplemental for Ukraine included $6.5 billion in military support, less than one percent of the Pentagon’s total budget.”
Hartung was quite emphatic: “Biden’s new Pentagon budget request is too damn high.”
Lindsay Koshgarian, program director of the National Priorities Project, was equally scathing in his criticism of the massive military budget.
He released a statement saying: “Biden FY 2023 budget puts war before human need”.
Elaborating on his concerns, Koshgarian said: “President Biden’s FY 2023 budget request once again prioritizes violence, the military and war over peace and human needs. But more spending on militarism can’t address the nation’s or the world’s problems.
“At $813 billion, the President’s request for the Pentagon exceeds even the $782 billion budget that Congress just passed by $31 billion. The increase alone is twice the amount that Congress refused for ongoing COVID aid for antivirals, vaccines and tests, after nearly one million Americans have died of the virus.”
Koshgarian put his finger on the flawed US policy.
“Military intervention can’t fix the world’s problems, but that won’t stop contractors and hawks from calling for more military spending. Half of Pentagon funding in a typical year goes to for-profit contractors. Stock prices for weapons contractors have soared since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and weapons company leaders have spoken of the invasion as an ‘opportunity’.”
If larger quantities of ‘sophisticated weapons’ could win wars, the French would still be occupying Algeria and the Americans would be ruling Vietnam.
Let us take a more recent example.
After 20 years of blood-letting in Afghanistan where the Americans murdered untold numbers of Afghan civilians—a number the Americans are not interesting in knowing—they fled with the tail between their legs.
How did the rag tag band of Taliban beat the greatest military machine in the world?
It was not with guns or bombs; it was with courage, determination and Imaan.
These are not qualities known to the Americans.
If the dirt-poor Afghans can chase them right out of Kabul despite the Americans spending more than $2.26 trillion in Afghanistan, how would a larger military budget win them wars elsewhere?
Successive reports by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), John Sopko have revealed how money was wasted, siphoned off or went unaccounted for years in Afghanistan.
In his August 2021 report, the month in which US troops fled from Kabul Airport, Sopko details all the money wasted in a war which had no clear strategy, no direction and the Americans did not even know who the enemy was.
The latest massive US military budget clearly points to the fact that no lessons have been learnt from the Afghanistan fiasco.
The reason is clear.
Military contractors have members of Congress in their pocket.
Congress cannot shovel money fast enough to them who in turn pay for their election campaigns.
Remember, “America has the best democracy money can buy.”
And $813 billion or more can buy a lot of elections even if they won’t win wars!