Chart: Defense Cuts in Debt Deal Are Not the Security Threat We Should Be Worrying About

Last year, the United States slipped to third in clean energy race behind China and Germany.  Many more countries spend a larger fraction of GDP on clean energy than we do — and are planning to increase that edge.  For instance, South Korea plans to spend $36 billion on renewable energy by 2015 to become a leader in this fast-growing market.

While the debt deal torpedoes U.S. energy investment for the foreseeable future, blowing up America’s ability to defend our economic, energy, environmental security, the media is focused on the impact of the cuts on the uber-bloated defense budget.

I am reposting this chart from The Economist because of overblown articles like this from USA Today:

Cuts to defense spending in the debt reduction bill could total nearly $1 trillion over 10 years — more than double what President Obama had proposed earlier this year — and sap American military might worldwide, say analysts and members of Congress….

Thomas Donnelly, a military analyst at the American Enterprise Institute, said the Pentagon cuts won’t require “long knives so much as chain saws.”

Oh, no.  Instead of military spending that is “bigger than that of the next 17 countries combined,” we might only have a military budget that is bigger than the next 15 countries combined.

Darn you Canada and Turkey!  Of course, even that assumes those other 15 countries don’t slash their military budgets over the next decade.  Yeah, it’s a real chain saw massacre!

The bottom line is that the United States continues to run 2+ wars and be policemen to the world while conservatives insist that we must not have millionaires spend a dollar more in taxes to pay for any of that.  At the same time, the real long-term threat to US security —  global warming and peak oil — get eviscerated in the debt deal while conservatives insist we must not have uber-profitable oil companies give of one dollar of their lush subsidies.  Ah, but that is news, is it?


Below are old comments from the earlier Facebook commenting system:

The only hope for the Nation in my eyes is for the Military to place sustainable energy and economic security on the top of its National Security list and treat it with the respect it deserves. Since the Military is second only to protecting the wealthy in the eyes of the Tea Party and it holds a sacred pedestal with a lot of money, perhaps it alone will be able to instill some rationality into this circus.

Can/should the the Nation’s Military turn a blind eye to a National Security threat that originates within our borders? Is the damage and destruction done to the Nation by the Tea Party any less than the attack of 9/11? Is a viable economy required to support this kind of Military spending in the first place? By allowing the American economy to become eviscerated by the Tea Party Vermin, TPV, the Military is writing its own obituary.

4 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 2 at 10:51am

  • b040875 (signed in using Yahoo)

“By allowing the American economy to become eviscerated by the Tea Party Vermin, TPV, the Military is writing its own obituary.”

Here’s my nightmare scenario – sometime in the future, when America reaches the food-riot stage, the corporatists will have a Blackwater/Xe-style paramilitary force that may very well try to overtake the regular army. And if anyone can bring this about, it’s the Banana Republicans.

1 · Like · Reply · August 2 at 11:21am

Joan Savage · Top Commenter · SUNY-ESF

The war profiteer hyenas emit distracting howls when the military speaks up on strategic priorities.

1 · Like · Reply · August 2 at 11:48am

Leif Erik Knutsen · Top Commenter · Friends with Joseph Romm

The Tea Party Vermin have been relentless, and have had some success, in mixing Church and State, (of course only their approved Church), and the tax payers are already funneling vast amounts of tax money into Blackwater/Xe-style paramilitary endeavors. Consequently it is not out of the question that the TPV will be capable of spinning tax support for enforcing Corporate Greed. My suspicion however is that by that time corporations will have extracted all the easy pickings that the earth has to offer and the Green Awakening Economy will become the obvious course of action. The problem with allowing that scenario to run its course, as we all know, is that humanity will have already stepped across the door step of doom and it will be all over but the shouting.

Like · Reply · August 2 at 12:17pm

Jim Vijay · University of Florida

Does that chart include dollars given by the US to countries like Pakistan, Egypt, Israel, etc explicitly for the purchase of (US usually) military hardware? Or is that included in the State budget?

Does it include dollars spent by the CIA for military operations like operating drones and other operations that in the past had been done by the military?

Does it include funding for the private security firms like Blackwater (or Xi?)?
…See More

Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 3 at 3:07pm

George Ennis · Top Commenter · University of Toronto

I am surprised at the number of people who actually believe that their will be defense cuts.

How long will it take before the GOP points out that the DEmocrats are putting fighting soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan and Yemen in harm’s way because of the cuts? So as this President and the Democratic party has always done they will fold and forgo most of the cuts on defense and instead take the GOP alternative which is further cuts on domestic spending.

The US will continue to engage in endless wars in a widening and desperate effort to find and secure access to cheap (ish) oil.

Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 2 at 12:54pm

  • James Hwang · Top Commenter (signed in using Hotmail)

The good news is that the military cuts are separate from the wars so the GOP can’t use that argument. BTW, we only have troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The other countries we only have drones. But I wish they would’ve capped war funding at $450 billion over the next decade like Reid’s plan did.

Like · Reply · August 2 at 1:03pm

Alex MacPherson · Software Engineer Co-op at Enterasys Networks

Well thanks to military funding, your able to share this with people around the world. The internet is a descendant of ARPANET, which was funded by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency of the US Department of Defense. I’m sure the commerce that the internet has sprung year over year is well over $700B.

The common misconception is that it funds weaponization, but it also funds advanced technology research.

Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 2 at 11:26pm

Robert Fanney · Top Commenter · Flagler College

How about $50 billion a year in renewable energy investments? Of course, we might need to raise revenue for such a plan. Carbon tax please?

Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 2 at 3:12pm

John Haynes · Works at University of Pennsylvania Health System

: well, that’s a telling chart.

Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 3 at 1:07pm

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