Our Overgrown Military Establishment – Opinion

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As we all were caught up in the horror unfolding in South Florida and as a sitting President turned an once revered law enforcement organization into his Praetorian guard, the Cold War Between the United States of America and a tiny country that hardly resembles the Soviet Union got another lease of life. To accommodate Finland and Sweden, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was expanded.

It is important to remember that there is no NATO counterpart on the other side. Is there anyone who has seen the Warsaw Pact or heard of it lately? I haven’t.

I can think of no national security or foreign policy rationale, or justification for extending membership in NATO to Sweden or Finland, especially as Russia and Ukraine continue killing each over, wait for it, Ukraine’s potential membership in NATO.

The West isn’t at war, nor should it be at war with Russia, a country with less than half the GDP of California. There is no Soviet Union. There is no risk that Russia will invade Finland or Sweden. For that matter, France, Germany or England.

An enlightened American foreign policy isn’t turning old enemies into new enemies. America and our Western European allies have squandered the “Peace Dividend” that we were left by Reagan, Thatcher, and Pope John Paul II. Instead, Washington’s politicians wasted trillions to convert plowshares and Raytheon shares.

“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”

Since the 1950s, Washington D.C. has been ruled by The Military Industrial Complex. They serve companies such as Raytheon. Capitol Hill’s armchair warriors, representing both parties and the only true bi-partisan Caucus, have worked tirelessly to keep American taxpayers in perpetual financial debt by confiscatory taxation. This is necessary to ensure that we are always ready for war.

It isn’t supposed to be like this. In his farewell address to his new nation, George Washington, a seasoned General turned first President of the United States, warned about “overgrown military establishments.” 165 years after Washington’s warning, in another farewell address to the nation, Dwight D. Eisenhower, another General turned 34th President of the United States, warned about a “permanent armaments industry of vast proportions…”

It should come as no surprise that those most opposed to war are those who’ve seen it and experienced it. Washington and Eisenhower both were battle-tested war men. This is probably why they are respected and admired as statesmen dedicated to peace, tranquility and morality.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Ronald Wilson Reagan and others were committed to peace and success. Reagan believed peace could only be achieved through strength. Reagan and Washington understood, like Eisenhower and Washington before them that the best way of avoiding war was to prepare and be ready for war.

JFK’s death in Dallas on November 22nd 1963 would have left a legacy that ended the Cold War and prevented it from having a profoundly destructive effect, such as the inciting of conflicts in Asia and Central America. That task fell to Reagan who on June 12, 1987 accomplished the same thing JFK had intended, but was too late.

With six words, President Reagan fulfilled the vision and dreams of Washington, Eisenhower, and JFK, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” And so unleashed a new era in international politics. This was an era when the United States was undisputed world superpower. It was not just by a small amount, it was by a large extent. An economic and militarily stronger nation than all others. An honorable nation, whose leaders speak softly and carry large sticks.

America today has a president that can’t speak, even though he is carrying a wet noodles. It is his unambiguous admission of weakness that makes him provocative. Reagan, Eisenhower, JFK and General Washington knew that economic prosperity and individual freedoms were the key to ending political chaos at home and abroad.

America requires a leader who can understand these principles from the bone marrow. Before we can say goodbye to the American Dream, we must have another leader.


Joe Armendariz is the Director of Government Relations & Public Affairs for Armendariz Partners, LLC. The former executive director of Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association and Santa Barbara Technology and Industry Association and Chairman of California Center for Public Policy, he is now the Director of Government Relations & Public Affairs for Armendariz Partners LLC. He is a person who views his views and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of any group affiliations. Contact him at: 805.990-2494

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