Monday, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a holiday in the United States for honouring and mourning the military personnel who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces It should be a time for reflection, a time to reconsider priorities, to halt the drift into another conflict and instead contemplate on finding ways to cooperate.  

There are 5,800 nuclear warheads in the United States. The United States already has the largest military arsenal and the widest military footprint in the world. According to the most recent data, the U.S. government spent at least $732 billion in 2019 on its military; we say “at least” because there are secret disbursements of funds to the massive intelligence wings that are not publicly available. From 2018 to 2019, the United States increased its military budget by 5.3 percent, the amount of which is the same as the total German military budget. Almost 40 percent of global military spending is done by the United States. The United States has a combined total of more than 500 military bases in almost every country on the planet. The United States Navy has 20 of the world’s 44 active aircraft carriers, while other U.S. allies have 21 of them; this means that the U.S. and its allied states have 41 of the 44 aircraft carriers (China has two and Russia has one). There is no question about the overwhelming superiority of US military force.

The United States is now using its full ability to expand its nuclear and conventional domination into space and into cyber warfare with its Space Command (re-established in 2019) and Cyber Command (created in 2009). The United States has developed an interceptor ballistic missile (SM-3) that it has tested in space, and it is testing such fanciful weapons as particle-beam weaponry, plasma-based weaponry, and kinetic bombardment. In 2017, Trump announced his government’s commitment to such new weaponry. The U.S. government will spend at least $481 billion between 2018 and 2024 to develop new advanced weapons systems, including autonomous vehicles, counter-drones, cyber-weapons, and robotics. The U.S. Army has already tested its Advanced Hypersonic Weapon, which can travel at Mach 5 (roughly 3,800 miles per hour, five times the speed of sound), so that it can reach any place on earth within an hour; this weapon is part of the U.S. military’s Conventional Prompt Global Strike program.

The U.S. military complex has advanced its hybrid war program. This program includes a range of techniques to undermine governments and political projects, including the mobilisation of United States power over international institutions (such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the SWIFT wire service) to prevent governments from managing basic economic activity, as well as the use of U.S. diplomatic power to isolate governments, the use of sanctions methods to prevent private companies from doing business with certain governments, the use of information warfare to render governments and political forces to be criminals or terrorists, and so on. This powerful complex of instruments is able – in the plain light of day – to destabilize governments and to justify regime change.

The U.S. government, along with its NATO partners as well as U.S. and European weapons manufacturers, continue to flood the world with the deadliest weapons. The top five arms exporters (Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and General Dynamics) are located in the United States. These five firms alone account for 35 percent of the top 100 of the world’s arms dealer sales in 2018 (the most recent figures); the total U.S. arms sales account for 59 percent of all arms sales that year. This was an increase of 7.2 percent over the U.S. sales in 2017. These weapons are sold to countries that should instead spend their precious surplus on education, health, and food programs. For example, in West Asia and North Africa, the greatest threat to the people is not only the terrorist in his Toyota Hilux, but it is also the arms dealer in an air-conditioned hotel room.

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