On December 15, 2021, the U.S. Senate passed the 2022 military spending bill. This bill authorizes a budget of $770 billion ostensibly for military and national security and is now being sent to President Joe Biden’s desk for his signature.
The bill in question, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), was passed on December 15 following the Senate Armed Services Committee’s decision to add $25 billion to the Biden administration’s already bloated budget for the Pentagon.
The Senate’s vote comes on the heels of the House’s passage of the bill by a 363-70 vote. Right now, the bill still requires Biden’s signature to become law.
As Press TV noted, Biden’s military budget represents a considerable increase from the preceding Trump administration’s budget. The final budget the Trump administration signed off on was $740 billion.
Ironically, Press TV observed that Democrats criticized the budget for “being too generous.”
The Senate Arms Services Committee panel’s decision to tack on $25 billion ticked off several antiwar activists. Progressives were also mad at the level of spending, and stressed how that money would be better allocated towards domestic projects.
“Just the proposed $25 billion increase to the Pentagon budget alone could end homelessness in the United States, making clear that senators are more interested in increasing the profits of military contractors than meeting the needs of everyday working people,” Carley Towne, co-director of the anti-war organization CodePink, declared in an interview.
“While millions of Americans are steeped in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, facing eviction, and struggling to pay medical bills amidst an ongoing health pandemic and recession,” Towne continued, “The Senate Armed Services Committee decided to hurl even more taxpayer dollars at an increasingly privatized for-profit war industry.”
At this point, we have to ask ourselves: Is this orgy of national defense spending going towards actual defense?
Most of what constitutes national defense these days are really functions that involve the U.S. keeping troops abroad in countries that have the resources to defend themselves on their own (Think Germany, Japan, and South Korea).
For one, I’d favor defense spending for shoring up our border and preparing targeted punitive action against cartels, human traffickers, and other criminal actors that destabilize our border. I’m not keen on using military resources to fight never-ending wars or using punitive actions in far-flung lands that have no strategic value for the U.S.
I doubt that many legislators in D.C. will get this, so liberty conservatives will have to step up to fill in the void by assuming office, and once firmly nestled in power, they can pass pro-foreign policy restraint legislation.