Published Feb. 18 in Il Manifesto in Dinucci’s “Art of War” column, which examines Trump’s proposed military budget. Translation by John Catalinotto.
The “Budget for the Future of America,” which the U.S. government submitted, shows what the Trump administration’s priorities are in the federal budget for fiscal year 2021 (which begins Oct. 1).
First of all, it reduces social spending: For example, it cuts the required budget for the Department of Health and Human Services by 10 percent. Meanwhile, health authorities themselves report that influenza alone has caused about 10,000 deaths in the USA from October to February, out of a population of 330 million.
This news is kept quiet by the big media, which instead are raising a global alarm over the 1,770 deaths due to the coronavirus in China, a country with 1.4 billion inhabitants. One must suspect the real purpose of the relentless media campaign, which sows terror on everything Chinese. To justify the U.S. Budget, its framers insist that the U.S. “faces challenges from resurgent rival nation states, including Russia and China.” [For all quotes about the budget, see tinyurl.com/qnfcuu6/.]
They charge China with “waging cyber-enabled economic warfare against the United States and its allies” and of “wanting to shape the Indo-Pacific region,” which is critical to U.S. security and economic interests, “in its image.”
In order for the region to be “independent of malign Chinese influence,” the U.S. government is providing “$30 million for the Global Engagement Center to counter Chinese propaganda and disinformation.”
In the context of “growing strategic competition,” the U.S. government states: “The Budget prioritizes funding for programs that would deliver warfighting advantages against China and Russia” and all other adversaries. To this end, President Trump announced that, to ensure internal security and promote U.S. interests abroad, my Budget provides $740.5 billion for National Defense” (while it provides $94.5 billion for the DHHS).
The military budget includes $69 billion for overseas war operations, more than $19 billion for 10 warships, $15 billion for 115 F-35 fighters and other aircraft, and $11 billion to strengthen land armaments. The Pentagon’s science and technology programs require $14 billion for the development of hypersonic and direct energy weapons, space systems and 5G networks.
These are just a few items on a long shopping list (with public money), which includes all the most advanced weapons systems, with colossal profits for Lockheed Martin and other weapons industries.
In addition to the Pentagon’s budget, a number of military expenditures are entered in the budgets of other departments. In fiscal year 2021, the Department of Energy will receive $27 billion to maintain and modernize the nuclear arsenal. The Department of Homeland Security will also receive $52 billion for its own secret service. The Department of Veterans Affairs will receive $243 billion (10 percent more than in 2020) for retired military personnel.
Taking these and other items into account, U.S. military spending will exceed $1 trillion in fiscal 2021. The military expenditure of the United States exerts a driving effect on the military expenditures of other countries, which, however, remain at much lower levels. Even taking into account the Pentagon budget alone, U.S. military spending is 3 to 4 times higher than China’s and more than 10 times higher than Russia’s.
In this way “The Budget supports U.S. military dominance in all warfighting domains — air, land, sea, space, and cyberspace,” says the White House, announcing that the United States will soon be able to produce 80 new nuclear warheads a year in two plants. The budget for the future of the U.S. may mean the end of the world.