One sure way that China will become a ‘threat’ to the U.S. in the South China Sea is if the U.S. continues to press it there militarily. The US Senate Armed services Committee’s proposed multi-billion dollar Pacific Deterrence Initiative to counter China’s rise with deployment of intermediate range missiles and development of “expeditionary airfield and port infrastructure” in East Asia is particularly threatening.
Unfortunately, a presidential campaign in the United States doesn’t allow for the time or space to conduct a rational dialogue on the importance of restoring stable and predictable relations between the United States and Russia.
Webinar: America’s endless wars come home: the militarization of the police
The use of military equipment against Americans protesting police brutality demonstrates the link between militarization abroad and at home. The War on Drugs, the War on Terror, the bloated Pentagon budget, pork barrel politics of Members of Congress, have all led to systematic militarized violence against Americans. If police see themselves as soldiers, and the neighborhoods they patrol as battle space, then ordinary American citizens are the enemy.
Congress Could Rubber-Stamp a Defense Spending Spree
The annual US defense budget has never been crafted through a particularly transparent process. Now, a global pandemic has taken the yearly passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) from merely murky to downright opaque.
Throwing more money at tools of military confrontation is not only a waste of resources, but it likely invites blowback. A major military buildup in East Asia would needlessly antagonize China at a moment when cooperation with Beijing should be the focus, as it's clearly necessary to address the global recession, current and future pandemics, and climate change.
Coronavirus? What coronavirus?: Congress is setting national security priorities as if it's been living in a cave.
by William Hartung and Ben Freeman
Arms and Security and Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative
Despite the extraordinary and dire threat of the coronavirus, many Members of Congress are effectively ignoring it as they deliberate the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) – the annual bill that decides the details of the Pentagon budget. They are now poised to authorize a near-record level of Pentagon spending that will do little to combat the threat of the coronavirus or future pandemics. In these unusual times, it is business as usual for Pentagon pork.
More than a half-century ago, exactly one year before he was assassinated, Martin Luther King Jr. brilliantly identified the keys to the American political, economic, and social crisis that has worsened over the years. At the Riverside Church in New York City, King linked the militarism of the Vietnam War; the racism of American society; and the inequality and materialism of the American economy to demand a movement toward social justice that we seek today. The central civil rights leaders of the time, including Ralph Bunch, asked King to radically alter the speech and to dissociate racism from the Vietnam War. The central newspapers of the time, including the New York Times and the Washington Post, maligned the speech, terming it an “oversimplification” that would hurt both the civil rights movement and the anti-war movement. Fifty-three years later, we are still trying to solve the ills of racism, militarism, and materialism that beg for social justice.
The 10% Solution: Cut The Pentagon To Fund Domestic Needs
As the House and Senate consider the Pentagon budget, it’s long past time to reduce the department’s bloated budget and shift funding to what Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. described as “programs of social uplift.” It will be a test of whether Congress is ready to rethink what makes us safe at a critical turning point for America and the world.
Covid-19 Means Good Times for the Pentagon, Or How to Vaccinate the Military-Industrial Complex
In 2017, at this site, Pentagon expert William Hartung first laid out the then-trillion-dollar national security state budget. By 2020, according to the calculations of TomDispatch regular Mandy Smithberger, it had already topped $1.2 trillion and, as she and Hartung reported in September 2019, military officials were starting to imagine a Pentagon budget alone that might reach nearly a trillion dollars. There’s a phrase for this in our language: highway robbery.
In repressive states across the world, I have often watched with deep dismay the response of foreign military and police forces towards political reform movements or popular mobilization efforts. In many cases, brutal tactics, sometimes made possible by U.S. equipment, are used to stifle civil society and to guard the regime in power from criticism, accountability and reform. Yet, even as a member of an organization that tracks and scrutinizes the policies and behaviors of U.S.-backed foreign security forces, I was ill-prepared for the surreal yet painfully familiar scenes that have taken place across the United States since the killing of George Floyd.
Rethinking Land-Based Nuclear Missiles: Sensible Risk-Reduction Practices for US ICBMs
The United States developed its nuclear weapons policies early in the Cold War—some 60 years ago—and they were shaped by the weapons technologies of the time. These technologies have changed radically since then, but the United States has not modified key nuclear policies to reflect those changes.
Trump, Bolton, and Pompeo: Loathsome Peas in a Pod
For nearly a year and a half, from April 2018 to September 2019, the Trump administration was in the hands of a “war cabinet.” With Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State, and John Bolton as National Security Adviser, Donald Trump created one of the most aggressive foreign policy teams in the history of the presidency. Bolton and Pompeo were fixated on going to war against Iran; were contemptuous toward our European allies and the entire European Community; and were opponents of arms control and disarmament.