After 15 years of grinding war with no obvious end in sight, pundit outrage may be misplaced. Focusing on Washington rather than on distant war zones, it becomes clear that the military establishment does indeed have a strategy, a highly successful one, which is to protect and enhance its own prosperity.
Imagine parents endlessly praising their son as "the smartest, handsomest, most athletically gifted boy since God created Adam." We'd conclude that they were thoroughly obnoxious, if not a bit unhinged. Yet the military remains just this sort of favored son, the country's golden child. And to the golden child go the spoils.
In a nation where millions of working families still can't earn enough to pay rent, pay the bills, and put food on the table at the same time -- and where in fiscal year 2013 there were 4.9 million households with no income but SNAP, including 1.3 million households with children -- relying on the charity of PB and J Day is not a substitute for justice.
But you would never know it if you listened to the cries coming from key members of Congress and hawkish D.C. think tanks. It is important to note that these substantial proposed increases in Pentagon spending are arbitrary numbers cherry-picked from past Pentagon five-year plans, not careful assessments of current defense needs.
As millions of Americans struggle with inadequate health care, low wages, deteriorating public services and uncertainty about their futures as the wage gap between the wealthy elite and the working poor widens, billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars are pouring into the coffers of the Department of Defense every year.