War

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After Controversy Over Condolence Calls, Can Trump And The White House Refocus?

"Part of the problem for Americans is the disconnect Panetta highlights between the military and the rest of society. In 1945, just before the end of World War II, there were 12 million active servicemembers. Now, there are just over a million or so."

"They're the best 1 percent this country produces," White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said Thursday in his defense of President Trump in the White House briefing room.

"It's actually less than 1 percent. That number in 1945 represented roughly 9 percent of the country's total population. Now, the number of active-duty servicemembers is only about 0.4 percent of the population."

"Most of you, as Americans, don't know them," Kelly continued. "Many of you don't know anyone that knows any one of them."

"Americans are far less engaged in the debate over worldwide American missions than they likely would be if they had a daughter or son or neighbor in the fight. That has to have an effect on American society and policymaking."

Rockefeller announces new peace proposal

"On July 13, 1968, Governor Nelson Rockefeller of New York, a Republican presidential candidate, reveals a four-stage peace plan that, he argues, could end the war in six months if North Vietnam assented to it. The proposal called for a mutual troop pullback and interposition of a neutral peacekeeping force, followed by the withdrawal of all North Vietnamese and most Allied units from South Vietnam; free elections under international supervision; and direct negotiations between North and South Vietnam on reunification."

It’s Time to Dismantle Trump’s Murder Budget and Defund Militarism

"The predictable passage of blank checks for war was an expression of the acceptability of the status quo. The status quo was murder, but within the halls of Congress and, of course, the White House, there was a level of comfort with that. From the US's early days, the military evolved largely as a vehicle for colonialism and genocide. As Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz writes in An Indigenous People's History of the United States, "the Iraq War was just another Indian war in the US military tradition." This country's military has long been more of an offensive force -- charging ahead with the winds of white supremacy and capitalism at its back -- than one of "defense." The Iraq War is one moment in its long legacy of actively disrupting, upending and devastating the lives and communities of millions of people of color, both at home and abroad."

"Much of the government seems to view perpetual war as an inevitability, the way most of us, in the words of Angela Davis, "take for granted" the existence of prisons. Davis has written that, although prisons as we know them are a fairly recent addition to the world, they have become so embedded in our society that "it is difficult to imagine life without them." The US's brand of imperialist militarism, too, is seen as natural. In the mid-2000s, many liberal Democrats were arguing for a strategy of amelioration: a small-scale withdrawal of troops, the cutting of some "waste" from the Pentagon budget, a halt to the production of a couple of bizarrely expensive fighter jets. These measures were aimed at mitigating the damage, instead of disrupting the overall project of war, militarism and the destruction of communities, most of them in Muslim-majority countries."

Percentage of GDP Spent on Defense Spending

America spends significantly less of our economy's total output on defense then it did during the cold war, but far more then most other countries.

This percentage is calculated by dividing G160461A027NBEA by GDPA.

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Government current expenditures: Federal: National defense [G160461A027NBEA], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/G160461A027NBEA, February 27, 2017.

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Gross Domestic Product [GDPA], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/GDPA, February 27, 2017.