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Can increasing the U.S. military budget keep us safer?

Written By | May 4, 2017

MONTGOMERY VILLAGE, MD., May 4, 2017 – On April 3, 2017 president Trump met with the president of Egypt Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. It was the first time that the latter had visited the White House in his current position. President Obama had shied away from asking him to visit because of reported civil rights abuses and the way he became the leader of Egypt.

The president of Egypt is one of the trends of authoritarian/nationalist leaders that have taken over countries in the last few years.

In the televised meeting and press conference, president Trump warmly welcomed al-Sisi and promised increased cooperation between the two countries. He also emphasized that with his plan to radically increased military spending in the US, this friendship would mean a lot to Egypt. He went on to warn common enemies of destruction if they tested the might of the United States military.

He also continued his campaign message that we will not be disrespected as a nation.

Trump’s proposed budget increases the military budget by more than $54 billion. This increase is mostly for the building and deployment of traditional weapons. The funds for this increase will come from the proposed cuts to domestic programs, including environmental protection, renewable energy, education, support for science and the arts and mostly from the dismantling of the Affordable Care Act (Obama care). Competing for these cuts are also Trump’s proposed tax cuts mostly for corporations and the wealthy.

Competing for these cuts are also Trump’s proposed tax cuts mostly for corporations and the wealthy.

Competing for these cuts are also Trump’s proposed tax cuts mostly for corporations and the wealthy.

The US already spends more money on its military than the next eight countries combined. The military budget is 16% of all fiscal and about half of the discretionary spending in our country.

Military budget comparisonEstimates in the recent past are that our military budget is about 45% of the worlds.

These large sums are current budgets without the additional $54 billion increase that Trump proposes. One of the issues that apparently won the presidency for Trump was the fear that many of our compatriots perceive mostly from terrorist organizations like ISIS. Following this line of thinking, many Americans are afraid of domestic terrorist acts.

Other proposed actions by Trump target terrorists by increasing the budget of Homeland Security and Border Patrol.

The FBI and other law enforcement bodies have kept us safe from homegrown terrorists, the so-called “lone wolves”. It is impossible to tell how much terrorism would have been inflicted on our citizens without the good work of these agencies. Comparing the acts of terrorism in our country with other countries and even with other hazards in our normal life, they are minimal.

More people die from accidents with furniture than terrorism in the US.

The last two administrations have done a very good job keeping us as safe as it is possible.

The question that we should ask ourselves is whether a massive increase in military spending will make us even marginally safer. The largest aircraft carrier or most sophisticated warplane does not protect us from a determined terrorist operating in our open society.

Some would even claim that massive increases in our military budget may make us more vulnerable. Our vulnerabilities will be exploited by those that see only terrorism as the only weapon that can hurt us. If we decide to exert our power, this will create even more enemies.

So, if in fact this massive budget increase does not make us significantly safer, then what is its purpose?

The only logical answer is that it will result in a geometrical increase in the arm’s race in the world today. Russia, China, and North Korea will follow suit, as they cannot become vulnerable to our might.

Will this be good for us and the citizens of the other countries? No, we are already seeing the effects in ours. Only the “military industrial complex” (as pinned by President Eisenhower) stands to gain enormously.

This is the time for more diplomacy not bravado.

Read more from Mario Salazar on CommDigiNews

Mario Salazar, the 21st Century Pacifist, believes our military should be smarter, not larger. He is in Twitter (@chibcharus), Google+, LinkedIn and Facebook (Mario Salazar).

Mario Salazar

Mario Salazar is a combat infantry Vietnam Vet, world traveler, renaissance reconnaissance man, pacifist, metal smith, glass artisan, computer programmer and he has a Master of Science in Civil/Environmental Engineering. Now retired from the Environmental Protection Agency and living in Montgomery County, Mario will share with you his life, his thoughts, his musing on living in yet another century of change. He will also try to convey his joy of being old.