Getting my mind around the military we have

by Mary Ann McGivern

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I never use the term “defense.” Our military is aggressive, not designed for defense. The current president’s call for a wall may be xenophobic or job-protectionist, but it is certainly not about defense. The U.S. is still careless about cargo containers and Coast Guard training and equipment. But we have fighter planes deployed around the world and nuclear missiles on high alert.

The New York Times takes a hard look at U.S. military equipment and troops, asking what is on President Donald Trump’s mind as he calls for more troops and planes and ships. The Times article, “Is America’s Military Big Enough,” is filled with terrific graphics that show our mass of soldiers and equipment and compare them with the armaments of the rest of the world. For a long time now, the U.S. has been equipped to fight two wars in two different parts of the world at the same time. We have enough to do that.

I don’t know what Trump has in mind. But then, I didn’t know what President Barack Obama and Congress had in mind when they initiated expansion of our nuclear weapons program. I do not pretend to read the minds of our political leadership, though I do suppose that they believe more military spending will garner more votes and less spending will lose votes. They can’t believe more nuclear weapons will make us more secure.

The problem is that we the people seldom see our military array as The New York Times displays it this week. Take a look. Contemplate the size. No dollar signs attached. Just look at the sheer size. Then say no.

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