Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

With a new administration in Washington it will be a challenge to get the 'liberals' to hold Biden-Harris to the few 'progressive promises' they made during their campaign. Biden is bringing back many of Bush & Obama's neo-cons to head his foreign policy. I'll be on this case without hesitation.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

War$, war$ everywhere and not enough money to go around.....

 



  • Glenn Greenwald writes: Joe Biden’s pick to be the next Secretary of Defense is recently retired Gen. Lloyd J. Austin, III. The choice of Gen. Austin further erodes the once-sacred American norm that military officials will be barred from exercising control over the Pentagon until substantial time has passed after leaving active-duty military service.

Before Gen. Austin can be confirmed, Biden will need a special waiver from Congress under the National Security Act of 1947. That law, a cornerstone of the post-World War II national security state, provides that “a person who has within ten years been on active duty as a commissioned officer in a Regular component of the armed services shall not be eligible for appointment as Secretary of Defense.” Enactment of the law after the war, explained the Congressional Research Service, was imperative to “preserve the principle of civilian control of the military at a time when the United States was departing from its century-and-a-half long tradition of a small standing military.” A 2008 law reduced that waiting period to seven years, but Gen. Austin, who retired from the U.S. Army only four years ago, in 2016, still falls well within its prohibition. 

Biden’s choice to lead the Pentagon is also currently a member of the Board of Directors of Raytheon Technologies, the world’s third-largest defense contractor. That means that upon Austin’s confirmation, Raytheon will have a very good friend in charge of the bloated $750 billion annual U.S. defense budget.

  • The Pentagon's once limitless ability to raid the national treasure chest for its endless appetite for more wars and weapons is hitting the wall - especially during the virus pandemic. As working class and poor people are set adrift by Washington and Wall Street the cries for bailout for the people are growing like a massive chorus line.  

Evidence of current Pentagon budget problems centers around a Trump decision to unveil a 30-year shipbuilding blueprint calling for one less big-deck carrier but dozens more warships than previous fleet plans — a course critics say is unaffordable and would lead to massive cuts to the Air Force and Army.

Military officials are sounding alarm bells, warning that the plan could undermine the Pentagon’s efforts to keep ahead of 'technological advancements' by China and Russia.

Plans call for a framework that prioritizes not only shipbuilding, but also “tactical aircraft modernization, long range fires and hypersonics, missile defense, and space capabilities.” 

The problem is that the US treasury, already in massive debt, just can't afford it all anymore. Unless, of course, they just keep printing $$$$$ or completely get rid of Social Security, Medicare and what other little 'social safety net' is left.

  • Jonathan Cook writes: There is a reason that, as we rush lemming-like towards the cliff-edge, urged on by a capitalism that cannot operate at the level of sustainability or even of sanity, the push towards intensified war grows. Wars are the lifeblood of the corporate empire headquartered in the United States.

Whether public or covert, wars provide an opportunity to remake poorly defended, resistant societies – such as Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Syria – in ways that allow for resources to be seized, markets to be expanded and the reach of the corporate elite to be extended.

War is the ultimate growth industry, limited only by our ability to be persuaded of new enemies and new threats. 

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