When the World Is the Enemy, by Brad Wolf

When everybody is your enemy, you get in a lot of fights. From Brad Wolf at consortiumnews.com:

When every conflict or area of instability is perceived as a threat, the world becomes the enemy, writes Brad Wolf.

U.S. soldier on night patrol in 2012 near Combat Outpost Terezayi in Afghanistan. (U.S. Army, James Estrada)

I recently spoke with the foreign policy aide of a United States senator in a scheduled lobbying call for our antiwar organization.

Rather than use the standard lobbying points about wasteful Pentagon spending, I asked for a frank discussion regarding ways our organization might find a successful strategy to cut the Pentagon budget. I wanted the perspective of somebody working on the Hill for a conservative senator.

The senator’s aide obliged me. The chances of any bill passing both chambers of Congress that would trim the Pentagon budget by 10 percent, according to the aide, were zero.

When I asked if this was because the public perception was that we needed this amount to defend the country, the aide responded that it was not only the public perception but the reality. The senator was convinced, as were most in Congress, that the Pentagon’s threat assessments were accurate and reliable (this despite the Pentagon’s history of failed forecasting).

As described to me, the military assesses threats across the globe including such countries as China and Russia, then designs a military strategy to counter those threats, works with weapons manufacturers to design weapons to integrate into that strategy, then produces a budget based on that strategy. Congress, Democrats and Republicans alike, overwhelmingly approve the budget. After all, it’s the military. They clearly know the business of war.

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