Why Is the US Fighting Six Wars While Americans Suffer at Home?
Congress just passed a bipartisan $740 billion defense bill while millions of Americans risk being evicted from their homes. Christmas is coming and our troops are stuck overseas while their spouses and children are suffering. What are we defending against, while our families are being ripped apart?
I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of nuclear annihilation… I believe that even amid today’s mortar bursts and whining bullets, there is still hope for a brighter tomorrow…
- Martin Luther King Jr.
MLK was speaking about the Vietnam War. Has anything fundamentally changed since then? Our poor and our desperate, seeking economic security, are still sent to fight in wars that we ourselves manufacture.
Now we are fighting a war on our own soil. A war against a deadly virus. And our leaders have chosen to spend our tax dollars on their foreign investments instead of supporting the American people.
It took just days for Congress to approve a $740 billion defense budget. The American people have been waiting nearly 9 months while a COVID-19 stimulus and relief package has stalled in Washington.
It’s about time we chose the interests of our own people over the interests of military contractors and the politicians they put into office.
Why we must end the endless wars
COVID-19 showed us just how fragmented our society is. There is no safety net for millions of Americans. When push comes to shove, now we know who gets the shove. We are told to tighten our belts while corporations get handouts.
The U.S. military-industrial complex doesn’t need a safety net. The U.S. military spends 37% of global military spending — that’s 37% of the military spending of every country combined. War is their business. And business is good.
Here’s how ending the wars will build a better America and protect our Constitution.
Allow for smarter spending
Six trillion dollars has been spent on the “War on Terror.” That’s enough to send every kid in America to college and make sure everyone has a living wage. Instead, we are sending our kids to pointless wars and shutting down small businesses.
Ending the wars will free up trillions of dollars that our government can spend on constructive projects for us, the people. New roads and bridges, safer police and firefighters, better education for our children, access to healthcare for every citizen — we have the money. It’s time we keep it at home and spend it at home.
Protect our planet
The U.S. military is the world’s largest producer of greenhouse gasses. We aren’t only killing our own citizens and innocent civilians abroad, we’re killing the planet itself.
Our children will have no future because the war machine is stuck in gear. We invade resource-rich countries to secure their fossil fuels instead of investing in green energy.
Wall Street, fossil fuel companies, and defense contractors still have oversized influence on our government.
By ending the wars, we can shift this paradigm and demand our politicians invest in the future of technology, not the dwindling resources of the past.
Protect our troops
Our troops come home broken if they come home at all. More than 7,000 troops have been killed overseas since 9/11. For what? Very little has improved in the region. If anything, the rise of ISIS made things much worse. We just create vacuums of power that risk even more troops.
We must stop sending our troops to needless deaths. It’s the same year after year, holiday after holiday. We get to pass around Christmas gifts and have dinner with our families, while our troops’ lives pass them by. It shouldn’t be this way, especially not when we have so many battles in our own backyard.
Ending the wars will bring our troops home and put good working people back where they belong — in American communities.
Honor the Constitution
Sending troops abroad exceeds our constitutional mandate. Referring to standing armies, Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution states that “no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years.”
We’ve been in Afghanistan for 20 years. The Afghanistan War is older than some U.S. soldiers fighting in it. Some troops haven’t even seen their kids grow up because they are stuck in a cycle of endless war.
We must end the cycle of endless war to preserve the spirit of the Constitution that makes up the heart of our nation.
Be a global leader
America used to be the beacon of light that the world followed. We were the shining example of liberty and justice.
But that light is diminishing the more we use violent tactics instead of peaceful diplomacy. The rest of the world is turning against us. We’ve lost the moral right. We’re bombing other countries so much that we’re running out of bombs.
The more troops we station in other countries and the more we seek out war, the more the world loses its trust in America.
By ending the wars, we can still defend our nation and our allies. We will fight when necessary and protect the rights of peaceful people. But we must stop fighting for land, resources, and ideologies that are not ours to control. Especially when our own citizens are suffering from poverty and illness.
Together, we can end the endless wars
We can break the cycle of endless wars. We can bring our troops home and build a better America. We can do it if we work together.
The American Union, a block of non-partisan swing voters, is fighting to put policy over politics and improve the lives of all Americans.
We have the legislation that can end America’s endless wars — this is one of the planks of the Blueprint for a Better America. With this legislative package, we will ensure the protection of our borders according to our constitutional rights while prioritizing spending on things that benefit American here at home.
Get notified of new blog posts and other events by subscribing to the American Union newsletter here.