Secretary of War Robert Gates, in his commencement speech at Notre Dame over the weekend, warned against cuts in the US military budget. Not surprising (even though Gates has gotten some praise for his proposals to trim some of the waste and duplication in the Pentagon budget). Gates (how he escaped jail for his role in the Iran-Contra coverup in the ’80s is beyond me) inadvertantly touched on some of the basic tenets of US Empire (protecting shipping lanes and access to cheap energy sources), but basically he offers no sustainable vision for the U.S.’s role in the world, it’s basically “let’s hang on to as much of our military Empire for as long as we can.”
In contrast, Peace Action board member, professor, scholar and author Larry Wittner offers a much more critical view of U.S. and global militarism, including weapons sales and military spending, in his piece on History News Network. And, he offers a better path forward, a much more sustainable policy of coordinated international intelligence and police work rather than an endless “war on terror,” peaceful, diplomatic engagement with the world, and investment in human needs.
Speaking of making the call, be on the lookout tomorrow from an Action Alert from Peace Action and other organizations to call Congress and demand an end to the war in Afghanistan and a rejection of congressional efforts to expand presidential war-making authority.