“If the US opposes an absolutely non-confrontational, reconciliatory text, there can be no doubts that Washington intends to have the armed confrontation in Ukraine continued. It could be seen only as an attempt to ‘undermine’ the humanitarian mission,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on 22nd August 2014. The military actions of USA in various parts of the world, particularly in the Middle East add veracity to the Russian statement. Why should the USA stop wars? Lobbyists pay top dollars to influence decisions of political decision makers who can become immensely rich by perpetuating war policies. USA spends more money on its military war machinery than the combined top 8 military budget of the rest of the world.
During his watch as Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfled announced USD$2.3 trillions missing from the Pentagon. The next day, terror struck at the World Trade Center and the missing money was forgotten. The Iraq invasion followed. That invasion was a contractors’ bonanza, reaping over USD$138 in direct contracts. Military contractors such as Halliburton and the Carlyle Group are also noted for their association with influential political figures. When Dick Cheney was Defense Secretary, he paid Halliburton subsidiary Brown & Root Services over $8.5 million to study the use of private military forces with American soldiers in combat zones. Halliburton crews also helped bring 725 burning oil wells under control in Kuwait. Cheney later became the Chairman and CEO of Halliburton Company from 1995 to 2000. The Bush family’s connection to the Carlyle Group and Bin Laden family has also been widely known.
War keeps USA ticking. The F-35 is another financial fiasco but contractors’ delight. The Pentagon has stuck with the F-35 Lightning Joint Strike Fighter program despite dozens of technical problems and delays, strategic concerns, and massive cost overruns that have nearly doubled the initial cost estimate, raising the cost of building the planes to around USD$400 billion with a lifetime cost of up to USD$1.5 trillion. Notwithstanding these known issues, countries with strong USA ties have not been deterred to buy these grossly expensive hardware. Australia and Japan and Singapore are both queuing up as buyers of the flawed planes.
Defence expenditure all over the world are escalating. Singapore is a small nation but has a big appetite for defence spending. In her 2014 budget, almost 13% of government expenses goes to defence, twice as much as healthcare expenditure. If printing money is a panacea for economic woes, wars certainly are better stimuli for the economy.
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?