Neoliberalism

Forget Trump’s Wall and Remember America’s Favorite Wars


 

 

Citizens who are getting very involved in the predictable debacle of the Trump administration should also be reminded that the U.S. is currently involved in at least four covert wars and more secret wars, perhaps in South America and the Middle East.

Wars seem to be an essential element of U.S. foreign and domestic policies. A key element of Trump’s message to his followers is military strength, supposed military weakness, the need for a larger military budget, revamping the Veteran’s administration, and the need for more military research and nuclear arms.  In short, there is no military-related request that Trump, the Republicans and his followers would turn down, even when the Pentagon itself says it does not need the hardware Trump’s party is presenting.

So when people get diverted about the need for a border wall, the invading caravans of women and children, and rising crime from non-American intruders, there are more important things to think about. Citizens should ask: Why did all these covert (openly waged) wars happen, who was the enemy, what benefit did these wars return, and how much did these wars cost in money and lives?

The following list of wars involving the U.S. starts with the Korean War.  This was a war that was supposed to end the expansion of Communist China. It obviously failed. Today, the Chinese own about $1.1 trillion in U.S. Treasury securities and are a major global economic engine. They also are now the major investor in the U.S. So much for being enemies.

So, when the TV commentators are talking about the wall or the investigation into Trump’s self-serving business dealing, here is something else to think about: The   United States has been in an almost constant war footing since 2001. This has come at a cost conservatively estimated at some 2.586 million civilian and military lives.   

More Wars Means Less for U.S. Citizens

It is also important to remember that wars are expensive. The Iraq War cost $1.6 trillion and was supposed to pay for itself by commandeering Iraq’s oil fields, at least that was Vice President Dick Cheney’s cover story at the time the war was being planned. (Note: these wars do not include the cost of U.S. veteran’s health care benefits and other war-related benefits.) These wars and their essential increases in taxes on the middle class are all largely responsible for the nation’s budget deficit for fiscal year 2019 of $985 billion. This is an 18% increase over 2018.

The tax increases from Ronald Reagan, George Bush II and Trump have all increased the deficit. They also all happened during periods of war as tax cuts were given to wealthy Americans.

So the next time you hear the commentators talking about the wall and why it is needed for a “national emergency,” remember America’s wars and try to remember why they were waged in the first place. Better yet, see if you were better off financially, socially, or morally after the wars ended.

Our Favorite U.S. Wars

Name of War   Years   Fatalities
Yemeni Civil War 2009 – 2017 19,406
Iraqi Insurgency 2004 – 2017 17,198
al-Qaida vs USA and allies 2001 – 2017 8,593
Afghanistan war 2001 – 2017 130,807
Iraq vs US led coalition (2003-2011)* 2003 – 2003 7,927
First Gulf War 1990 – 1991 23,946
Lebanese Civil War 1975 – 1990 132,518
Panama Coup and US Invasion 1989 – 1989 920
Vietnam War 1965 – 1975 2,048,050
Laos Civil War 1959 – 1973 21,500
Dominican Republic Coup 1965 – 1965 4,027
Congo Crisis 1960 – 1965 7,175
Vietnam Civil War 1955 – 1964 164,923
Indonesia vs PRRI, Permesta and Darul Islam 1953 – 1961 33,965
Taiwan Strait Crisis 1949 – 1954 10,025
Korean War 1949 – 1953 995,025

Source:  The Polynational War Memorial. * This war date comes from The Balance.

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Chuck Epstein

Chuck Epstein

Chuck Epstein has managed marketing communications and public relations departments for major global financial institutions and participated in the launch of industry-changing financial products. He also has written by-lined articles for over 50 publications, five books and served as editor and publisher of nation’s first newsletter on the topic of using the PC for personal investing and trading. (“Investing Online, 1994-1999). He also is a marketing consultant, writer and speaker on topics related to investor protection and opportunities in the very dynamic cannabis industry.

He has held senior-level marketing, PR and communications positions at the New York Futures Exchange, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Lind-Waldock, Zacks Investment Research, Russell Investments and Principal Financial.

He has won national awards from the Mutual Fund Education Alliance (MFEA) and his web site, www.mutualfundreform.com, was named best small blog in 2009 by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW).

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