Personal security is in many ways related to national security.
Certainly, a nation as large as the U.S. needs a coast guard, border controls, an air force, a national guard, and similar structures for defensive purposes.
What it doesn’t need is a colossal, power-projecting juggernaut of a military at $800+ billion a year that focuses on imperial domination facilitated by 750 overseas bases that annually cost more than $100 billion just to maintain.
True security, whether personal or national, shouldn’t be about domination. It should be focused on providing a collective standard of living that ensures all Americans can afford nutritious food, a decent place to live, adequate clothing, a life-enriching education, and health care.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower understood this. In his farewell address as president in 1961, he warned us about the military-industrial complex and its anti-democratic nature.
Even more importantly, he called for military disarmament as a “continuing imperative,” and he talked of peace, which he tied to human betterment, and which he said could be “guaranteed by the binding force of mutual respect and love.”
Ike knew that huge, offensive-minded military budgets constituted a theft from the people; even worse, he knew they constituted a betrayal of our national ideals.
A hugely powerful military establishment had “grave implications” to the “very structure of our society,” Ike presciently warned.
We have failed to heed his warning.
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