Barney Frank (Dem, Massachusetts) cuts right to the chase about military spending (from HuffPost). Why does the US, he asks, feel like it needs to be militarily everywhere in the world at once? He also nails the political conundrum: most politicians want to stay electable, so they ride the wave of popular sentiment (recently a politics of fear and rabid attack instinct) rather than make sensible decisions and risk being called “weak on terror” or “on the side of the enemy.”
But spending has increased completely out of proportion with the need, he said. “During the Cold War, 26 percent of military spending in the world was American; now it’s 41 percent. So we have fewer enemies and we’re spending more money.”
Frank said he imagines many politicians avoid the topic for fear of being assailed as weak on terror. But, he said, “I don’t think any terrorist has ever been shot by a nuclear submarine.”
The F-35 fighter program alone may end up costing $338 billion or more. And according to author Chalmers Johnson, the U.S. military currently spends as much as $250 billion a year maintaining approximately 865 facilities in more than 40 countries and overseas U.S. territories.
p.s. Did you catch how many military bases the US holds in the world? (If you guessed under 800, you were wrong.)