Eisenhower warned us about the military-industrial complex. Today it has indeed acquired “unwarranted influence” over our national priorities. The US military budget ($1.6 trillion in 2015) equals the next 7 largest in the world combined. Has it made us safer? Our infrastructure, meanwhile, is in disrepair, schools decay and millions of Americans worry about losing health care.
National security in the 21st century depends on the basics: Food, water, and energy. Global warming dries up rivers and threatens crops. Today’s tragedy in Syria began with climate disruption. Our military are fully aware of this, calling climate a “threat multiplier”. It’s our politicians that are blocking action, and the corporations they serve. Getting to know our neighbors is a better strategy than stocking up on guns at home. Likewise, being responsible leaders in a complex world is better than exhausting our treasure on military power, while our children go begging at home.