Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Military Spending

I have been trying to think of something to say about the recent announcement of massive increase in spending for the military. It is difficult to be dispassionate about this, few people are prepared to argue against big military budgets.
But I was reflecting  that it took a while for people to begin to question whether the "stimulus strategy" was the appropriate way to deal with the current economic dilemma. ie. is giving people more money to spend and encouragement to spend it an appropriate strategy to solve a problem that is allegedly brought about   by people overspending!
Is spending more money on military might the best  strategy to end the warring madness of the world?
The dogma that "The price of peace is eternal vigilance" is so unquestioned that it stands more as a testament to our paranoia than our political astuteness.
We think that unless we have a big gun to frighten (probably) the Chinese that they will be down upon us. 
But I would wish to note that I don't see the Chinese queuing up to rape New Zealand, which has adopted a much less strident military policy than our own.
My great sadness is the inordinate amount of money that military equipment, (everything now measured in millions and billions) is glossed over so easily. Yet when we talk about education, health, refugees, third world aid and so on every single drop has to be squeezed out.


(POST 995)

3 comments:

Kordos said...

I like the fact that the government has publicly recognized that the power in the world has slipped away from the USA http://www.smh.com.au/national/america-will-not-protect-us-warns-rudd-20090501-aq6c.html?page=-1
I think the military spend up is less about having the big stick and more about our big brother may not be able to help us if things get ugly - it is an interesting conundrum though - as we increase our military assets that could push us up an 'enemy target list' but can we afford to sit back and do nothing ? I certainly don't know

stephen clark said...

I am not convinced that even spending a few billion will replace the might of the US. Let's face it even if we buy twenty new super duper helicopters (at the cost of billions) if China decides to sit on us, we will be sat upon. But I don't think they want to spend their new found wealth on weapons, I suspect they want to get richer.
"Can we afford to sit back and do nothing?" is always the clincher because it appeal to our sense of isolation and paranoia.
I think the Kiwis challenged this orthodoxy and as I say no one is lining up to colonise them.
I just can't help thinking what the fight for cancer would be like, or the cure for AIDS if instead of militaristaion we threw the money into research.
Or am I just naive?

Kordos said...

I can't refute your statements, and in part I agree with you but on your NZ argument - a country like New Zealand is of little strategic importance, just think about the abundance of resources across Australia - most importantly our coal, oil, gas and uranium (and I mean the last one as energy not for bombs) I can't help but think of 'Tomorrow wen the War began' where the unknown nation invades Australia because they are jealous of our land and resources, but then again I am a little paranoid.