Click on picture above for a better view and to read the quote.
While military spending has escalated in recent years and Dwight D. Eisenhower warned Americans in the 50s about the danger of the military/industrial complex, none of the candidates are seriously discussing this issue and all of them except Ralph Nader seem to favor military spending at record levels according to an article published on 02/21/08 on the Foreign Policy in Focus web site. Here is a snippet from that article:
One issue that will not be discussed in tonight's presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama is our nation's burgeoning military budget. Earlier this month, the Bush administration announced a proposed military budget of $614 billion, not counting the full cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This represents the highest level of spending since World War II, even though our most dangerous adversary is a dispersed terrorist network measured in the tens of thousands, not a nuclear-armed Soviet Union whose armed forces were measured in the millions. If Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Michael Mullen have their way, these massive levels of spending will continue even after the end of the war in Iraq, with a "floor" on military spending of 4% of our Gross Domestic Product. Not only have the major presidential candidates been largely silent on these record expenditures, but they want to increase them. Barack Obama has said we will probably need to "bump up" the military budget in a new administration, and both he and Hillary Clinton have committed themselves to increasing the size of the armed forces by tens of thousands of troops. On the Republican side of the aisle, John McCain and Mike Huckabee are looking to spend even more than their Democratic counterparts.
To watch a 5 minute YouTube clip on Ralph Nader's position on the military budget click here. Ralph says that the military budget is not driven by defense considerations as much as by the corporate needs for profits obtained from selling weaponry to the U.S. government.
The Unitarian Universalist Association passed a resolution in 1979 encouraging congress to reduce our defense spending and reorder our national priorities.
The resolution says in part:
BE IT RESOLVED: That the 1979 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association urges its members, churches and societies actively and persistently to work for change in federal spending priorities; that such efforts include, but not be limited to:
- Establishment of workshops, seminars, and forums to bring to public attention the disastrous consequences of ever-increasing defense spending;
- Organization of petition drives, letter-writing campaigns, etc., to the appropriate officials in the U.S. Congress and the administration; and
- Where appropriate, direct non-violent political action; and
- Our call upon the citizens of all nations to work for a similar reordering of their national priorities.
Link: Foreign Policy In Focus | Dems: What about the Military Budget?.