If only President Donald Trump had the courage to stand by his campaign pledge on defense, the U.S. would significantly cut down on its huge defense spending. In 2011, the U.S. spent more (in absolute numbers) on its military than the next 13 nations combined.
Currently, it has dropped to the next 7 nations combined, with a budget of over half a trillion dollars dedicated to the military each year. Despite calls by anti-war activists to reduce the country’s defense spending, politicians at Capitol Hill have turned deaf ears to these calls.
The fact is that, part of the reason the U.S. has a mammoth defense budget is because of the country’s posture as the world’s policeman. Many allies, especially those in the Western military alliance, NATO, virtually put their defense spending on the head of the United States. This is severely draining the U.S. federal treasury; U.S. taxpayers’ funds are used to take care of defense of other Western nations.
Trump said during the campaign that all close allies of the U.S, including NATO members, will have to pay for their defense. Trump’s statement drew hatred toward him among NATO leaders. They didn’t want him to win the election.
But of course, the Deep State in Washington needed only a month to break Trump down on his alternative views on how the U.S. should spend on defense. NATO leaders who didn’t want Trump in the White House are now his good friends — simply because he has changed his stance on NATO. The U.S. will continue to spend on NATO. This year, Trump has even proposed to increase the defense budget.
As Trump is blinded by the Deep State, deviating from his key campaign promises, the Deep State and other Western allied countries that are hiding behind the U.S. for so-called protection are now happy.
Some of these allies are even wasting U.S. military hardware. After all, they are not the ones bearing the cost of the weapons. Why should they consider the economic implications before deploying them?
But it seems the excesses are too much that highly respected people in the U.S. army are now speaking publicly about it. David Gerard Perkins is a four-star general in the U.S. army. He commands the Army Training and Doctrine Command of the country.
Speaking at the Association of the United States Army’s Global Force Symposium in Huntsville, Alabama in March this year, General Perkins revealed that a close ally of the U.S. used a $3 million Patriot missile to shoot down a $200 drone purchased from Amazon.com by an adversary.
Patriot missiles are manufactured by the U.S. defense corporation Raytheon. According to Raytheon, 13 countries, including the U.S., have the weapon. All 12 countries possessing the weapon are close U.S. allies.
The four-star general didn’t just make the revelation, he also questioned the economic consequences of this action by that particular country, which he refused to name.
“A very close ally of ours was dealing with an adversary that was using the small quadcopter UASes and they shot it down with a Patriot missile,” General Perkins told the gathering, who watched the general like a being from another planet in a shocking mood.
General Perkins further noted the reckless actions of the country’s ally would encourage the adversary to launch more of these cheap drones to lure the use of expensive missiles such as the Patriot missile, to shoot it down.
“Now, that worked, they got it… that quadcopter that cost $200 on Amazon.com did not stand a chance against a Patriot. I am not sure that it is a good economic exchange ratio, in fact, if I am the enemy, I am thinking ‘I am just going to go on eBay and buy as many of these $300 quadcopters that I can and expend all these Patriot missiles’,” Gen. Perkins said.
To put this concern of General Perkins in proper context, the U.S. can’t blame this ally who used the super-expensive missile to down the little drone. The U.S. has showed its allies that military confrontation is the best solution to a disagreement.
If these allies are now deploying weapons given to them by the U.S. indiscriminately, the U.S. should keep quiet and bear the cost. That is the consequence of choosing war over peace.
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