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Trump's Austerity Budget Increases Military Recruiters' Power to Prey on Youth

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Rory Fanning speaks in Japan on a Veterans for Peace trip in 2016. (Photo: Yoshiaki Kawakami)

Since election night 2016, the streets of the US have rung with resistance. People all over the country have woken up with the conviction that they must do something to fight inequality in all its forms. But many are wondering what it is they can do. In this ongoing "Interviews for Resistance" series, experienced organizers, troublemakers and thinkers share their insights on what works, what doesn't, what has changed and what is still the same. Today's interview is the 23rd in the series. Click here for the most recent interview before this one.

Sarah Jaffe, Truthout

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Friday, March 24, 2017 | Donald Trump's budget slashes social programs while inflating an already massive military budget, meaning that for many people in already underserved and underemployed communities, the military will be the closest thing to a welfare state they have.

https://riseuptimes.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/if-war-is-the-answer.jpg?w=540 Today we bring you a conversation with Rory Fanning, a veteran and conscientious objector, and author of the book Worth Fighting For: An Army Ranger's Journey Out of the Military and Across America. His work centers on opposing US militarism at home. He is also the coauthor, with Craig Hodges, of the new book Long Shot: The Triumphs and Struggles of an NBA Freedom Fighter. He lives in Chicago, which has become ground zero for military recruiting in the country, and often speaks at high schools there. "There are more kids signed up in Chicago JROTC and NJROTC than any other school district in the country; ten thousand kids: 50 percent Latino and 45 percent Black," he told me. We spoke about opposing Trump's military buildup, the roles that veterans and athletes can play in movements for change, and the long tradition of imperialism in the US.

Sarah Jaffe is a reporting fellow at The Nation Institute and has covered labor, social and economic justice and politics for Truthout, The Atlantic, The Guardian, In These Times and many other publications. She is the cohost of Belabored, a labor podcast hosted by Dissent magazine, and the author of Necessary Trouble: Americans In Revolt (Nation Books, 2016). 

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How to Revive the Peace Movement in the Trump Era

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  • Why we need a peace movement - and why we don't have one 
  • Antiwar Organizing and the new movements
  • Related: How activists have already scored victories against Trump's policies

Daniel May, the Nation

https://www.thenation.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/May-Peace_img.jpg?scale=896&compress=80March 16, 2017 | Over the past 75 years, the United States has built the greatest war-making force the world has ever known. Today, our country boasts an infrastructure of global surveillance, flying killer robots, and floating aircraft carriers, all administered from a network of more than 800 military bases in over 70 countries. In recent decades, we decided to erase from that infrastructure any semblance of democratic accountability, allowing the president to make war almost anytime, anywhere, for any reason.

This year, we put at the helm of this global killing regime a reality-TV star who has promised to “bomb the shit” out of our enemies, attack the families of terrorists, and reinstitute torture—and who, in February, proposed increasing the already bloated military budget by $54 billion. Imagine the response of this president to a significant terrorist attack, the damage to our democracy and our world that he might unleash. It helps clear the mind.

Daniel May has been an organizer with ACORN, the IAF and the SEIU.

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How activists have already scored victories against Trump's policies, Adam Gabbatt, the Guardian 

Through marches and dogged pursuit of elected officials, people across the US have helped to block some of the administration’s most anti-progressive policies

 

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How US nuclear force modernization is undermining strategic stability: The burst-height compensating super-fuze

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  • We cannot foresee a situation in which a competent and properly informed US president would order a surprise first strike against Russia or China. But our conclusion makes the increased sea-based offensive and defensive capabilities we have described seem all the more bizarre as a strategy for reducing the chances of nuclear war with either Russia or China.
  • Related: Trump’s Proposed Increase in U.S. Defense Spending Would Be 80 Percent of Russia’s Entire Military Budget

Hans M. Kristensen, Matthew McKinzie, Theodore A. Postol, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

1 March 2017 | The US nuclear forces modernization program has been portrayed to the public as an effort to ensure the reliability and safety of warheads in the US nuclear arsenal, rather than to enhance their military capabilities. In reality, however, that program has implemented revolutionary new technologies that will vastly increase the targeting capability of the US ballistic missile arsenal. This increase in capability is astonishing—boosting the overall killing power of existing US ballistic missile forces by a factor of roughly three—and it creates exactly what one would expect to see, if a nuclear-armed state were planning to have the capacity to fight and win a nuclear war by disarming enemies with a surprise first strike.

Because of improvements in the killing power of US submarine-launched ballistic missiles, those submarines now patrol with more than three times the number of warheads needed to destroy the entire fleet of Russian land-based missiles in their silos. US submarine-based missiles can carry multiple warheads, so hundreds of others, now in storage, could be added to the submarine-based missile force, making it all the more lethal.

Hans M. Kristensen is the director of the Nuclear Information Project with the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) in Washington, DC. His work focuses on researching and writing about the status of...

Matthew McKinzie is the director of the Nuclear Program of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in Washington, DC. He and Kristensen recently co-authored...

A physicist, Theodore A. Postol, is professor of science, technology, and national security policy at MIT. His expertise is in ballistic...

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Trump’s Proposed Increase in U.S. Defense Spending Would Be 80 Percent of Russia’s Entire Military Budget, Alex Emmons, the Intercept

At a meeting of U.S. governors on Monday, Trump described his forthcoming budget proposal as “a public safety and national security budget.”

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The Tears We Don’t Spill

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  • On that night when America watched spellbound as a woman cried for her dead husband, no tears fell for the children who were murdered in Yemen.  Don’t think of a fucking dead kid.  Don’t think of a murdered child with his face split open by American bullets.  And do not ever fucking think about any elephants, especially fucking dead ones.
  • Related: Liberal War Addiction

Michael LandisCounterpunch.org

http://voiceseducation.org/sites/default/files/images/peacegallupcolorsmall_1.jpg  March 10, 2017 | During our current President’s speech to the joint session of paid-for lackeys, idiots and low dollar whores for Wall Street there was a particularly horrible, predictable American moment.  A fresh widow created by our intrusion into another country in the mid-East to ferret out, that is, murder, some evil-doers was trotted out for all the nation to see.  It was epic television; a hearty round of applause drowning out her deep throated gasps of mourning.  She was trying her best to stand tall with the very people who decided her husband must go on another raid for the good of our country.  It was a typically cathartic moment.

One that America embraces, with proper amounts of solemnity, to bolster our national pride and the righteous sense of ourselves and our sacrificial military combatants.  As the fictitious Colonel Jessup said, “You need brave men on that wall.”  You could almost sense those faded yellow ribbons on America’s cars brightening themselves in the moonlight.  Poignant, powerful, sad, and serious, it was a spectacle we’ve long become too accustomed to, reenacting on a massive platform.  In short, it was a very high and sinister level of war porn.  To say this is to violate one of our biggest taboos.  And it certainly remains one of the biggest problems with us, the American people.

Michael Landis is a retired Sergeant in the US Army and veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom-3.

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Liberal War Addiction, Peter Levelle, RT

Today it’s liberalism that shows itself to be intolerant and decidedly pro-war. 

Series | A Living Earth Economy, Part 9: Want National Security? Dismantle the War Machine

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  • A military response to violence creates more violence. For real security, we need to stop climate change and work toward shared prosperity.
  • 9th in a Series
  • Related: Trump’s Proposed Increase in U.S. Defense Spending Would Be 80 Percent of Russia’s Entire Military Budget

David Korten, Yes! Magazine

http://www.yesmagazine.org/peace-justice/a-security-strategy-for-the-21st-century-20160921/peaceday.jpg/imageSep 21, 2016 | The recent 15th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade towers was a reminder of the terrible consequences when a nation ignores the lessons of history—including its own recent history. The U.S. military budget is a tragic example.

We currently spend roughly $598 billion on defense, which is more than the next seven biggest military spenders combined: China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, the United Kingdom, India, France, and Japan. This represents 54 percent of federal discretionary spending. In return, we get an ability to rapidly deploy conventional military power anywhere in the world.

  http://www.yesmagazine.org/new-economy/the-thing-sanders-trump-and-clinton-agree-on-its-that-bad-20160323/Korteninset.jpgDavid Korten wrote this article for YES! Magazine as part of his new series of biweekly columns on “A Living Earth Economy.” David is co-founder and board chair of YES! Magazine, president of the Living Economies Forum, co-chair of the New Economy Working Group, a member of the Club of Rome, and the author of influential books, including When Corporations Rule the World and Change the Story, Change the Future: A Living Economy for a Living Earth. His work builds on lessons from the 21 years he and his wife, Fran, lived and worked in Africa, Asia, and Latin America on a quest to end global poverty

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Previously in this series

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Trump’s Proposed Increase in U.S. Defense Spending Would Be 80 Percent of Russia’s Entire Military Budget, Alex Emmons, the Intercept

At a meeting of U.S. governors on Monday, Trump described his forthcoming budget proposal as “a public safety and national security budget.”

 

 

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Trump’s Proposed Increase in U.S. Defense Spending Would Be 80 Percent of Russia’s Entire Military Budget

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At a meeting of U.S. governors on Monday, Trump described his forthcoming budget proposal as “a public safety and national security budget.”

Alex Emmons, the Intercept

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https://riseuptimes.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/if-war-is-the-answer.jpg?w=540  February 27 2017 | The U.S. Government already spends $600 billion dollars a year on its military — more money than the next seven biggest spenders combined, including China and Russia.

On Monday, the White House said it would request $54 billion more in military spending for next year. That increase alone is roughly the size of the entire annual military budget of the United Kingdom, the fifth-largest spending country, and it’s more than 80 percent of Russia’s entire military budget in 2015.

If Congress were to follow Trump’s blueprint, the U.S. military budget could account for nearly 40 percent of global military spending next year. The U.S. would be outspending Russia by a margin of greater than 9 to 1.

 

 

 

Alex Emmons is a reporter covering national security, foreign affairs, human rights, and politics. Prior to joining The Intercept, he worked for Amnesty International and the ACLU on their campaigns against targeted killing, mass surveillance, and Guantánamo Bay.

 
 

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Liberal War Addiction

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Peter Levelle, RT 

  • 24 Feb, 2017  | For many, we live in a world turned upside down. Traditional political divides are now blurry, and traditional political labels rendered meaningless. Today it’s liberalism that shows itself to be intolerant and decidedly pro-war. CrossTalking with Sara Flounders, John Walsh, and Mohammad Marandi.
  • Related: John Pilger | Obama’s Legacy–One of The Most Violent Presidents

Peter Levelle: American journalist, host of CrossTalk, a current affairs debate television program on RT

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John Pilger | Obama’s Legacy–One of The Most Violent Presidents, John Pilger, Dandelion Salad

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Renowned journalist, film-maker and author John Pilger gives RT his view on the future of US-Russia relations.

January 16, 2017 |  Renowned journalist, film-maker and author John Pilger gives RT his view on the future of US-Russia relations.

John Pilger: Renowned journalist, film-maker and author 

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