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My Turn: What if we weren’t still defending an empire?

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The House and Senate have passed and President Obama will sign a $632.8 defense spending bill for 2014.
That is more than the combined defense spending by the next 10 countries . . . including China, Russia, the United Kingdom, Japan, France, Saudi Arabia, India, Germany, Italy, and Brazil.
Because we have to protect our empire.
I know what you’re thinking . . . Davy, what are you talking about? What empire?
America’s empire, our empire . . . an empire of more than 150 countries around the world where more than 150,000 U.S. Army, Navy, Marine, and Air Force personnel are stationed . . . 68 years after the end of World War II and 20 plus years after the end of the Cold War.
While I can’t list more than 150 countries here, you should know that:

  • Our empire in Europe includes Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
  • Our empire in Asia includes Australia, British Indian Ocean Territory islands (primarily the island of Diego Garcia), Japan, Kyrgystan (a landlocked nation of about 5 million in Central Asia, just west of China), Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand.
  • Our empire in Africa and the Middle East includes Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates.
  • If you didn’t already know it, our empire even includes Canada, Greenland, and Honduras.

If the hundreds of American bases and thousands upon thousands of soldiers, sailors, marines, and air force personnel aren’t enough, we currently have 10 active duty aircraft carriers roaming the world’s oceans with 3 more aircraft carriers in construction or in design to protect our empire in the future.
And, if hundreds of thousands of armed services personnel and fleets of aircraft carriers aren’t enough, we’re spending trillions of dollars to develop, build, operate, and maintain super high-tech aircraft like the F22 interceptor and the F35 attack aircraft.
Who does the Defense Department, Congress, and the White House think we are defending our empire against?
It can’t be al-Qa'ida, the Taliban or any of the other scores of groups designated by the State Department as terrorist organizations that threaten national security.
After all, none of those organizations (to my knowledge) have land armies, ocean-going navies, or super high-tech air forces.
Do they?
Because, if those organizations don’t have land armies, ocean-going navies, or super high-tech air forces, why are we spending more than $632.8 billion on defense this year?
If we’re defending an empire that does not need defending, one wonders, where would hundreds of billions of wasted ‘empire defense dollars’ be better spent?
Perhaps you should ask your representative in Congress.

Comments? Questions? Contact the author at: or Tweet: @DavyZJones



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