Thursday, June 18, 2009

Peaceful investment creates more jobs than war investment

Source: The U.S. Employment Effects of Military and Domestic Spending (UMass Political Economy Research Institute, 2007)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Ending of America's Financial-Military Empire

The Ending of America's Financial-Military Empire by Michael Hudson in CounterPunch lays out some of the international economic background which makes the transition to a peace economy even more essential. Here are some excerpts:

... At the root of the global financial crisis, he [Russian president Dmitry Medvedev] concluded, is the fact that the United States makes too little and spends too much, particularly its vast military outlays, such as the stepped-up US military aid to Georgia announced just last week, the NATO missile shield in Eastern Europe and the US buildup in the oil-rich Middle East and Central Asia. ...

Aside from no longer financing the U.S. buyout of their own industries and the U.S. military encirclement of the globe, China, Russia and other countries would no doubt like to enjoy the same kind of free ride that America has been getting. As matters stand now, they see the United States as a lawless nation, financially as well as militarily. How else to characterize a nation that proclaims a set of laws for others – on war, debt repayment and treatment of prisoners – but flouts them itself? The United States is now the world’s largest debtor yet has avoided the pain of “structural adjustments” imposed on other debtor economies. U.S. interest-rate and tax reductions in the face of exploding trade and budget deficits are seen as the height of hypocrisy in view of the austerity programs that Washington forces on other countries via the IMF and other Washington vehicles. ...

If China, Russia and their non-aligned allies have their way, the United States will no longer live off the savings of others in the form of its own recycled dollars, nor have the money for unlimited military expenditures and adventures.

Full article:

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cartwright: U.S. Force-Sizing, Basing Strategy Need Overhaul

This is an excerpt from:
Defense News, June 4, 2009

Cartwright: U.S. Force-Sizing, Basing Strategy Need Overhaul


Over the next few years, the U.S. military is likely to become engaged in a number of hot and cold conflicts, each spanning five to 10 years, meaning the Pentagon must "adjust" its decades-old force sizing and basing constructs, says Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs. ...

... Cartwright said he continues to press for development of a new weapon that would allow Washington to take out a fleeting target in a manner of minutes.

The Marine Corps general said he has concluded conventionally armed bombers are "too slow and too intrusive" for many "global strike missions."

Cartwright for several years has advocated for a "prompt global strike" weapon, which would be ultra-fast and fitted with a conventional warhead.

Congress, due largely to worries that other nations, like Russia, would be unable to quickly determine whether an in-flight warhead was nuclear, has refused to fund the program.

Cartwright said even congressional skeptics of the idea realize there is a "military requirement" for such a fast weapon to take out fleeting targets.

The requirements for such a weapon are "starting to emerge," he said."At the low end," a PGS weapon would probably need to be launched and hit a target within "one hour," Cartwright said. "At the high end," the time frame could be as short as "300 milliseconds."

The military might need a "hypersonic" weapon that would travel in the exoatmosphere to take out a limited number of fleeting targets, he said.

Finally, Cartwright told the audience the Pentagon is examining a new concept, called "extended deterrence," something "we're trying to force into the QDR."The idea would be to field a weapon so effective that it would dissuade enemies from carrying out a specific activity, while also "not starting a nuclear arms race" and "giving allies comfort."

The options for an "extended deterrence" capability, he said, are not limited to nuclear-armed weapons.

Full article at