21.04.2016 Author: Vladimir Platov

Militarization of the U.S.

2343333Speaking at the recent session of the economic forum in Davos, the head of the US Department of Defense, Ashton Carter, urged countries to slow “the pace of militarization,” saying: “We are telling everyone, not only China but all involved: stop, stop building up military strength”.

Like all of Washington’s policy in recent years, these words of the American politician who develops and implements US military doctrine, are the best proof of the hypocritical and two-faced character of White House policy, which sets out to strengthen its leading role in the world, particularly in terms of military affairs, at the expense of other States. In particular, the latest report of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), serves as confirmation of that. The report states that the USA remains number one in terms of total spending for military purposes. Its share in total world arms spending accounts for 36% (596 billion dollars).

However, SIPRI reports that, in fact, increase military expenditure can be observed in most countries and their total, compared to the previous year, increased in 2015 by 1% to $1,676 trillion dollars. Moreover, according to SIPRI, this reflects a critical trend in world spending on arms, as previously, over the last four years, spending fell annually.

The clear reason for the growth in world military spending is Washington’s policy of developing and then deploying propagandacampaigns against “threats to democracy from particular countries”. Among them the US lists Iraq, Iran, China, North Korea, and Russia. With the help of available media and particular journalists, including those who work for the CIA, the White house creates an “enemy”. It, then convinces political elites of other countries to increase military budgets and ramp up spending on the purchase of weapons manufactured by US military-industrial complex, on additional deployment of American armaments, military equipment and soldiers in growing number of countries. All of this occurs at the expense of social programs.

For example, at the end of 2015, the U.S. media sounded the alarm because of alleged intention of China to build “another Chinese wall” on the territory of Japan, a chain of Islands near the U.S. base on Okinawa, Taiwan and the Philippines. As The Wall Street Journal points out, this is unacceptable and, therefore, the newspaper suggests that the countries of South-East Asia build up their military potential with the direct participation of the United States. Moreover, according to journalists, this militarization must include not only the supply of sophisticated weapons systems, but also an increase in the number of U.S. troops in other countries. The WSJ gives a passing mention to the fact that though “in this case US military spending will increase, later it will pay off”.

With the help of such campaigns created in Washington, the US intends to increase its budget appropriations for the placement of arms and military equipment in Eastern and Central Europe to 3.4 billion in 2017 – more than four times the current 789 million. American politicians explain this step, primarily as “means to deter Russia“. But it is not Russia that threatens Europe, in fact, NATO has already almost completely surrounded Russia. With the active participation of the United States, it has placed U.S. missile defense systems and military bases on the borders with Russia.

It’s Washington, who drags a growing number of countries into increased Western weaponry purchases. A clear example of this is the significant increase of Saudi Arabia’s share in the world’s military budget, which according to SIPRI, in 2015 amounted to 5.2% ($87.2 billion).

The USA is making a fortune on arms exports to the Middle East. Representative of the U.S. State Department David McKeeby “revealed” that in the last eleven months, the United States sold the Gulf countries military equipment at a sum of $33 billion. In these circumstances the militarization of the region has assumed alarming proportions. The coalition led by Saudi Arabia and backed by Washington, London, and Paris is conducting massive strikes on civilians in Yemen and committing war crimes, and in Iraq American air strikes cause hundreds of deaths every day. Meanwhile, the USA continues to export weapons and various military equipment to a very unstable region.

As noted in one of recent publications in The American Conservative, increasing the pace of global militarization, the USA is using NATO as political cover for illegal wars. In recent decades this Alliance has become Washington’s tool to legitimize use of military intervention outside of UN jurisdiction. This does not make these wars legitimate, however, and imposes an undesirable financial and moral burden on all of its participants. When European governments have to support wars in other countries to prove their “devotion” (as many Central and Eastern European countries did in Iraq), it puts the European members of the Alliance in a terrible position as participants in an illegal or criminal war that has nothing to do with their safety. When the United States violates international law under the auspices of NATO (as, in particular, it was in Kosovo, Iraq, Libya and many other countries), it involves the whole Alliance in these violations.

Opposition to this policy of Washington’s is being shown both outside the United States and on the domestic front. Most Americans (61%) favor reducing the defense budget of the USA in key areas, which was confirmed, in particular, by the recent sociological survey of the University of Maryland. Americans who supported the cuts in military spending, in particular, spoke out in favor of military budget cuts: the Air Force and the U.S. Navy by 2 billion dollars, the army by 4 billion, nuclear power by 3 billion, and the missile defense system of the country by 1 billion dollars.

Vladimir Platov, an expert on the Middle East, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”

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