The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewTom Engelhardt Archive
Michael Klare: The Coming of Hyperwar
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

Imagine, for a moment, a country that no longer rebuilds or reinforces its sagging infrastructure but just can’t stop pouring money into its military. Oh wait, you don’t have to imagine that at all! You just have to look at the United States. This fall, for instance, the president who swore he was going to give us an infrastructure plan that would blow our minds discovered that, after a tax cut for billionaires, a ballooning national debt, and a staggering $716 billion Pentagon budget, there were few dollars left over for much of anything else. In October, Donald Trump began talking about cutting agency spending by 5% across the board and about a possible $700 billion limit on the 2020 Pentagon budget. As December began, he became even more emphatic on that point, tweeting that he should talk to the Chinese and Russian presidents about halting an arms race and so cut down on military spending that was… well, not to put too fine a point on it, “Crazy!

Hmm… and just how long did that sentiment survive? Well, that was Monday, December 4th. On Tuesday, the newly nominated head of U.S. Central Command, Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie, appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee and insisted that any future Pentagon budget below $733 billion would “increase risk and that risk would be manifested across the force.” That very day, Secretary of Defense James Mattis and the chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services committees, Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-TX) and Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) trooped to the White House for a lunch meeting. The next thing anyone knew, the 2020 Pentagon budget was to be a modest $750 billion. “The President fully supports the National Defense Strategy and continuing to rebuild the military,” an administration official told CNN. “With the help of Sen. Inhofe and Chairman Thornberry, President Trump agreed to $750 billion topline.”

Well, honestly, what can you expect of a Pentagon incapable of auditing itself? How could it possibly solve a total stumper of a division and subtraction problem like: What’s 5% less than its 2019 budget? (And here’s a little footnote to that change in numbers: Senator Inhofe walked out of that lunch and within the week had purchased “tens of thousands of dollars of stock in one of the nation’s top defense contractors.” Raytheon, to be exact. When that buy made news, he blamed it all on his “financial adviser,” claimed to know nothing about it, and cancelled the order.)

ORDER IT NOW

And then, of course, there’s always the purely secondary question: What is the U.S. military — its budget already bigger than of that those of god-knowshow-many-other countries combined — going to spend all that money on? Fortunately, TomDispatch regular Michael Klare has a thought on the subject. He suggests that, in the years to come, increasing billions of those dollars are going to be invested in creating a future battlespace in which “intelligent” machines fight our wars and, in the end, the only role left for humans may be the dying. In other words, we’re heading for a militarized, remarkably automated, artificially intelligent hell on Earth. What about an $850 billion budget, just to ensure that we’re the first ones there?

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, Donald Trump 
Hide 6 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
    []
  1. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:

    Wait! Is there hope for Mr. Engelhardt in his battle with TDS?

    Now I really want to know what Mr. Engelhardt thought of the Trump/Putin summit in Helsinki, and the President’s awkward retraction at that creepy presser attended by Bolton, et al. Remenber? The one where the lights literally went out?

    • Replies: @anonymous
    , @anonymous
  2. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @anonymous

    On the other hand, and once again: why does Mr. Engelhardt enjoy the privilege of having these introductions published separately from the article of the, as he vainly reminds us, “TomDispatch regular”?

    Mr. Klare’s article is here separately, where it can receive comments; so we’ll have commenters literally talking past each other, diminishing one of the best aspects of TUR.

    Assuming (very) hypothetically that TomDispatch or its parent The Nation wanted to amplify a TUR article written by, say, Linh Dinh or C. J. Hopkins, it’s hard to imagine Mr. Unz requesting, much less receiving, such an annoying little soapbox.

  3. JLK says:

    When you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

  4. MarkU says:

    Current developments alone are making nuclear war increasingly likely, the introduction of automated warning and response systems will make it practically a certainty.

    The major nuclear powers are holding the (nuclear) gun to each others heads, just how insane does anyone have to be to make the other side more paranoid?

  5. o4554747 says:

    I’m sure Tom would not know what to do with an original thought. Until he faces the complex problem, suffer to those who fll for his piggy back reactions.

  6. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @anonymous

    The just announced troop withdrawal from Syria could be just another lie.

    But in the meantime, whether and how it’s addressed by Mr. Engelhardt will be a good screen for his TDS.

    Waiting…..

Current Commenter
says:

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Tom Engelhardt Comments via RSS
Personal Classics
Eight Exceptional(ly Dumb) American Achievements of the Twenty-First Century
How the Security State’s Mania for Secrecy Will Create You
Delusional Thinking in the Age of the Single Superpower