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Empire in Decline, Really? The American War Machine Continues to Grow


Empire in Decline, Really? The American War Machine Continues to Grow

Vijay Prashad

Last week, on July 26, the United States House of Representatives passed the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, which will then go on to the U.S. Senate and finally to the U.S. president. It is worthwhile to note that 139 Democrats, including the entire Democratic Party leadership, voted for this bill. This Act provides the U.S. government with $717 billion for a year’s military spending. This is $100 billion more than was spent last year (which is itself more than half of the annual Chinese military budget). No country spends money on its military like the United States.


Assuming we could even get enough politicians in office that would attempt to turn off, or turn down, the war machine, I question whether it is even possible at this point. Who is controlling whom? The military is now controlling our foreign policy, not Congress or the president. In fact, both Congress and the president are ignorant as to the extent of the military’s involvement across the globe.

History, though, shows a strong link between empires in decline and a final last effort to recover by disproportionately expending its resources on war.


Empire is living on money borrowed from life itself. Yeah, I would say decline is in gear.


I’m reminded of the occupant of his offal office sneeringly smug response to McCain having been a prisoner of war - to the effect that he prefers people who are not taken prisoner.

I now see what was actually being said. A statement of a fraud embracing thief among fraud embracing thieves - dog whistle for: you will be robbed blind; the news will be presented in narcissistic claims with lying innuendo that it is to the benefit of someone other than thieves, McCain was a thief that got caught.

As far as the Viet Nam war is concerned - it WAS the action of thieving imperialist war machinery - this however if not kept in mind results in deafness to the dog whistle from drumph


I tend to think of it as a clutch having been popped and the gears stripped: no more “growth”, much less traction, and the wheels spinning to burn the hell out of any rubber on the rims.


yuppers, empire in decline requires every scrap of nutrient from every ravaged table.

Its show (it all) time … in every sense of the word


It’s up to We the People to bring this puppy down.

We’d best be getting organized to do it.


Yeh, but it creates “money” (the U.S. Dollar) that is a global financial lingua franca, so it can get away with this shit.


Say no more…


Correct! This is the way the Roman Empire eventually fell. It’s inevitable. The heavy war stuff is only the dying bird madly flapping it’s wings to stop it’s eventual death.


Well the American people are apparently powerless to even slow down the war machine and have no voice in the matter. This government overwhelmingly supports the warhawks and nothing will change the course. That is reality. Any large opposition will be be dealt with in an extreme murderous fashion. The F-35 outlay for production has been boosted to over 400 billion I believe. Obscene lack of sane leadership and the public peons who desire change might as well be deaf mutes. Yet let’s go vote for more of the same, the only options on every ballot.


Yes the US is a power on decline. But it is still the the single most powerful nation. This is what wounded predators do. The become more aggressive and spend more on their military ventures , they destabilize the world until they are either defeated
militarily or so bankrupted they implode. The US is losing influence throughout the world as Chinese influences growing rapidly. Even Europe is slowly shying away from US bullying. The war budget of US capitalism is not sustainable. The Chinese are spending much more on developing infrastructure and research and development in industrial and research technology… The US still leads in weapons research but the edge there will soon evaporate. The lesson is that no power stays on top forever. The starvation of economic development to maintain military dominance has an inevitable cost on long term sustainability. Capitalism encourages inequality, war, and racism. It will eventually be destroyed by international working class revolution. See www.plp.org.


But aren’t nations moving away from the US dollar, like China and Russia, and if it gets worse, I bet Theresa May will be leaving too. But that’s a good thing. : ) Of course, Trump’s weird ideas for business and tariffs and taxes will pretty much kill off this nation. I wonder if the separate U.S. states will start becoming their own little nation dynasties?


The World described in the article is a dystopian American made one! It is unsustainable. Today is not the same as the days that the British Empire did its building. Today even the least and poorest of countries have access to modern, deadly weapons. The more the US intimidates and applies deadly violence to numerous other countries, the more pay back it will receive. Bad Karma is a bit**. Once you’ve created it, there is no way to get rid of it. American suffering hasn’t yet begun, but it will!


Well, well put. This entire structure needs to be cut down at the root. The evidence shows that the root is in the banks behind the so-called “war on terror”.


Funny, I remember reading an interview with Putin about 10 years ago, during which he (Putin) predicted that the US would break apart like the USSR did and it would be due to overreach of military and military spending.


What if it were to happen at the same time, the official crossing of a trill.4mil/year payoff and breaching of the runaway threshold that triggers unstoppable global warming?

Oh, just a coincidence you may say. Nothing is ever really planned this way. Let’s pop a pill and hit the hay, there’s a better day tomorrow, when I’ll tell you all about our sorrow. But I can’t hear you when you start to shout, ‘cause you can’t tell if you’re starting a fire or putting one out. You sound just like an ugly lout who wants to get his way, as you intone “at the end of the day”. The polly-sighers will gnash and moan. Pooh-poohers will roll their eyes and groan, while millions are driven from their homes. And who will tell the tale? The arguments have all grown stale. There’s no one left to go your bail. Better save your piss to fill the pail, that’s all there’s left to drink. It’s much later than you think.


You read an interview with Putin? You’re on somebody’s list now. And I’m sure that interview turned your brain and should to mush because you know, that’s what those Rooskies do to our innocent, exceptional people.


The growing military budget is destroying the economy and the planet. We are motivating Russia and China to militarize, also. Kiss the planet goodbye.


The health of empire need not be equated with its military spending, military results, or general level of activity.

The character and speed of decline of all this deserves some attention, but prediction is surpassingly difficult. It’s a lot like saying that the stock market is going to crash. You bet it is, but which companies, how far, and what day are all relevant, and every answer becomes “I don’t know” or “it depends.”

It is worth recalling that all of us are supported by an ecology, not what we in the usual sense call an economy.

Good luck, everyone.