February 7, 2005 - Now that it’s safe to bet that world military expenditures in 2005 will exceed one trillion dollars (that’s one with 12 zeros or $1,000,000,000,000) and possibly even more with Black Budgets, the world is sure to grow increasingly more chaotic . Small poor countries feel more threatened than ever by neighboring countries with bigger weapons. Some of these smaller countries spend more on military and weapons than on health care, education, and other social services combined. The United States government's military spending accounts for almost 50% of the world’s total military spending, more than all other countries combined. The United States’ largest national export is weapons, and the weapons corporations sell to anyone anywhere that has cash. Weapons Corporations, like International Money Lenders, have no allegiance to their own countries. Eighty percent of their weapons are sold to non-democratic regimes around the world. In many cases these US-made weapons are used on American soldiers in subsequent conflicts. The United States is not the only one in the weapons game. Russia, China, Europe and other countries are also selling weapons to the highest bidder and in many cases sell to both sides of a conflict.
The U.S. government is exporting what the Pentagon calls "security" around the World and is, at any given time, training soldiers in over 70 countries. One of the best known of these training programs is the Pentagon's International Military Education and Training Program (IMET). Soldiers in these US training programs come from warring countries and countries with the most horrific human rights abuses on record, including Indonesia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Congo, Columbia, Iraq, Afghanistan and many other countries inside what Thomas Barnett, author of "The Pentagon’s New Map" calls THE GAP. Thomas Barnett goes on to say that the US is selling security in the "GAP" and the "GAP" is measured in" billable hours." "Security" is the new buzz word for the "military industrial complex" and has increased 80% since the fall of the Soviet Union, making war a big money-maker for the multi-national corporations. This has been dubbed "a permanent war economy." Barnett says that if you give him any pissed-off 18-, or 19-year-old American kid who likes to play video games, he will show you the soldier of tomorrow.
In 2002 James Glaser stumbled across the VFW web page section for eligibility and, to his surprise, found 67 places on the globe where America has been at war in some way since after WW II. Antiwar.com and Lew Rockwell state that we have engaged the enemy 23 times since 1945, but the Congress of the United States put that number at 67. Here is the list as written in the VFW site:
Quemoy & Matsu Island , Taiwan Straits, Congo, Laos, Vietnam, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Korea, Cambodia, Thailand (in direct support of Cambodia Operation), Operation Eagle Pull-Evacuation of Cambodia, Operation Frequent Wind-Evacuation of Vietnam, Mayaguez Operation, Operation Urgent Fury-Grenada, Lebanon, Germany (West Berlin), Austria, Korea, Japan, Italy, Trieste, Germany (except West Berlin), Austria, Asiatic Pacific, Korean Service Medal (Army, Navy, Air Force), Berlin, Lebanon, Libyan Operation El Dorado Canyon, Persian Gulf Operation Earnest Will, Panama Operation Just Cause, Somalia-United Shield-Operation Restore Hope, Haiti-Operation Uphold Democracy , Operation Southern Watch (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Oman, Gulf of Omen W. Of 62' E. Long, Yemen, Egypt, Jordan), El Salvador, Bosnia-Operation Joint Endeavor, Operation Joint Guard, Operation Vigilant Sentinel, Operation Northern Watch, Operation Maritime Intercept, Operation Joint Forge (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Operation Desert Thunder, Operation Desert Fox, Thailand Military Operation, Cuban Military Operation, Iranian, Yemen & Indian Ocean Operation, Lebanon, Libyan Expedition, Panama - (pre and post invasion), Liberia (Operation Sharp Edge), Rwanda (Operation Distant Runner). Vietnam Service Medal, Iraq Operation Desert Storm/Operation Desert Shield, Combat Action Ribbon, Korean Service, Kosovo Campaign Medal (Allied Force), Joint Guardian, Allied Harbor Sustain Hope/Shining Hope, Nobel Anvil, Kosovo Task Force Hawk, Kosovo Task Force Saber, Kosovo Task Force Falcon, Kosovo Task force Hunter, Kosovo Air Campaign, Kosovo Defense Campaign.
Some of these countries are repeated, but the dates of action are different. That means that we have repeatedly returned to some countries for new engagements much like we are now doing in Iraq. As you can see by this list, America has been very busy in the last 50 years and our "Military Might" (Military Industrial Complex) has been in the forefront of U.S. Foreign Policy.
The USAF had dropped 1.5 million tons of bombs on Laos and 150,000 tons of bombs on Viet Nam. More recently, the U.S. bombings, military invasions of forgiven countries, and the U.N. sanctions (mainly maintained by the U.S.) are responsible for the high level of deaths and violence due to sanctions. Such actions caused the deaths of over 1.5 million Iraqis; about 50% of these deaths were Iraqi children less than 5 years old. Of course, this number will continue to grow because of the use of Depleted Uranium munitions. DU was also used in Yugoslavia and Afghanistan.
Over 10,000 tons of bombs were dropped on Afghanistan. The United States reports that it flew over 110,000 air sorties against Iraq, dropping to date over 100,000 tons of conventional bombs, nearly seven times the equivalent of the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. Of this bombardment, 93% consists of free-falling bombs, most dropped from over 30,000 feet and indiscriminately killing millions of civilians. At least 7% of the bombs in Iraq had electronically guided systems; more than 25% missed their targets. Most of the targets were civilian facilities. In 2004, it’s been estimated that the United States fired 2,500 tons of depleted uranium munitions on Iraq with the radio-active equivalent of thousands of Nagasaki bombs with a half-life of 4.5 BILLION years. Data from William Blum’s book Rogue State, supplemented by casualty data from various sources, estimates that between 10 million to 16 million 10,000,000 deaths were directly or indirectly related to United States’ hegemony
Researchers estimate that since 1945 at least 50 US and Russian nuclear weapons have been lost and remain at bottom of the sea, called broken arrows from subs, ships and planes. The US alone officially lists 11 nuclear bombs lost and never recovered in accidents. Thousands of incidents mar the safety record of nuclear plants, nuclear facilities, bombers, subs and ships. Due to government and business secrecy, it is difficult to determine with certainty the extent of some events documented by government and non-government sources.
Due to nuclear testing starting from 1945, 1,025 nuclear detonations, including five upper-atmosphere tests called 'operation starfish,’ I believe have added to today’s global warming problem.
Currently, the total U.S. nuclear stockpile is estimated to consist of almost 20,000 nuclear warheads, including almost 3,000 reserve strategic and tactical warheads, which are not attached to delivery vehicles. The United States is also deploying space based weapons systems for world domination that has moved the arms race into the heavens.
The current Russian nuclear stockpile is estimated at 19,500 nuclear warheads. Unlike the United States, Russia possesses these reserves at least in part because dismantling the warheads has proven prohibitively expensive. And unlike the United States, Russia continues to produce limited numbers of new nuclear warheads, largely because its warheads are designed to have a far shorter operational lifespan and, therefore, must be replaced more frequently. China at present has 2,350 nuclear warheads. Thousands of these US, Russian, and Chinese nuclear warheads remain on hair-trigger alert. Many of these weapons systems are outdated and controlled by failing computer systems.
It’s now very clear that US aggression over the last 50 years is economic and strategic conquest pure and simple, as Michel Chossudousky so well put it. Sadly, the United States has, to my estimate, dropped over 100,000,000 tons of bombs on foreign lands over the last 50 years. What will it take for these weapons systems to be completely dismantled and for the world to come to its senses, a nuclear war, a serious accident? Who is responsible for this ever increasing mess, the Military Industrial Complex? Are the leaders of these countries or the world elitist who control them responsible? I don’t have the answers maybe all of the above, but one thing is certain; at this rate man will pay the ultimate price sooner than latter.
Courtesy and copyright Randy Atkins