Contra Corner – by David Stockman
You can’t build the Empire and drain the Swamp at the same time. That’s because the Swamp is largely the fruit of Empire. And it’s also the reason that the Donald is being rapidly undone.
Indeed, it is the Empire’s $800 billion national security budget which feeds Washington’s vast complex of weapons suppliers, intelligence contractors, national security bureaucrats, NGOs, think tanks, K-street lobbies, so-called “law” firms and all-purpose racketeers. It’s what accounts for the Imperial City’s unseemly and ill-gotten prosperity.
It goes without saying that the number one priority of these denizens of Empire is to keep the gravy train rolling. That is accomplished by inventing and exaggerating threats to America’s homeland security and by formulating far-flung and misbegotten missions designed to extend and reinforce Washington’s global hegemony.
As we demonstrate elsewhere, a true homeland security defense budget would consist of the strategic nuclear triad and modest conventional forces to defend the nation’s shoreline and air space; it would cost about $250 billion per year plus a few $10 billion more for a State Department which minded its own business.
So the $500 billion difference is the fiscal cost of Empire, which is pushing the US toward an immense generational fiscal crisis. But it’s also a measure of the giant larder that fills the Swamp with the projects and busywork of Washington’s global hegemony.
In fact, it is the vasty deep of that $500 billion larder which gives rise to the forces that not only thwart the Donald’s desire to drain the Swamp, but actually enlist him the cause of deepening its brackish waters.
Moreover, these missions encompass far more than direct military occupations, such as in Afghanistan and Iraq; or indirect aggressions, such as in Washington’s arming of anti-government terrorists in Syria and facilitating and supplying Saudi Arabia’s genocidal bombing campaign in Yemen; or even the kind of rank provocation implicit in the 29,000 troops Washington still bivouacs on the Korean peninsula 65 years after the war there ended and the thousands of US and NATO forces which conduct virtually constant maneuvers and war games on the very borders of Russia.
Read the rest here: http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/the-donald-undone-tilting-at-the-swamp-succumbing-to-the-empire/