The might of the United States military is insurmountable, even in the event that the entirety of the world’s forces were allied against the U.S., the federal government has ensured that for the time being the average citizen need not have a care in the world.
This is not necessarily a good thing. With safety comes sedation, but those who monger fear are not doing so out of some moral obligation to ensure the populace does not become blind in its comfort. While social safety nets are snipped and the cost of education skyrockets in the absence of government interest in nurturing intelligence, politicians continue to yell loudly that we do not have enough tanks.
Only the most uninformed or ignorant are unaware that the USA has the largest military budget in the world. Certainly the ongoing arms buildup extends beyond purely defensive interests, and even beyond military matters altogether. The primary concern of those who yell is—and will continue to be into the indefinite future—money.
The economic inertia of the American military industrial complex is as powerful as its physical capacity for destruction. Not only are corporations such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing and even Goodrich involved in manufacturing, but as successful publically traded businesses their influence extends into every corner of the globe with an Internet connection. Moreover, there are not only the obscenely rich folk who consciously choose to put their assets towards bringing tools of death into the world every day, but also countless factory workers, pencil pushers and security guards whose lives are rooted in their careers, and who lack either the money or volition to leave such work.
Tanks and fighter jets will continue to roll out, and so too must justifying that over a fifth of the national budget be spent yearly on defense. U.S. presence in the world long ago shifted from spreading democracy to maintaining the military bases with which the democratic spirit was seeded. In tilling the soil and uprooting unwanted governments, we only anger the worms, who then set to eating the sprouts.
It’s a vicious cycle. The continuous deployment of U.S. forces the world over is often thought to be a necessary part of the balance of global power. If the U.S. were to convert their foreign military bases to community centers and put their soldiers to work building hospitals and schools, then according to the average media-fed citizen, the communists and terrorists would have us subservient by the very next week.
The Cold War may have ended, but much of the hate and fear remains. When consuming television, movies or video games, one is bound to note the pattern that if the bad guy isn’t Communist chances are they’re just old-school Nazis or dinosaurs. We have fetishized our decaying public remembrance of living in fear that at any moment we might be obliterated.
But nuclear disarmament was and is a joke, in the event conventional warfare fails to satisfy the egos of aging generals and tyrants, the first nuclear strike will likely be the last decision made with even the slightest hint of rationality. At least they thought to take the first shot, right? That name might make it to the history books assuming any semblance of humanity survives the following nuclear winter.
Fortunately people are self-concerned and few are foolish enough to risk their own demise, but all it takes to assure destruction is one sour apple, likely housing worms. In the meantime an impregnable military defends the U.S. and continues to grow – not due to any threat, but because of an ever inflating need to spend money and the simplicity in justifying continued military expenditures to the public.