Proposal to Reprioritize US Military Spending

PROPOSAL NAME:        Reprioritization of US Military Spending
 
 
VETTING COMMITTEES:       MDVR, Adcom, Communications
 
FLOOR MANAGER:    John Blumenstiel,  email: maskblum@aol.com,  PH:  781-784-3601
 
SHEPHERD:  John Blumenstiel
 
SUMMARY:    This proposal is intended to replace our current webpage statement re: Eliminating the US Military. I believe the goals are consistent, but needs further elaboration, refinement and detail. This new proposal addresses these issues.
 
BACKGROUND:    The current proposal lacks detail re: the means of reducing and to what ends the funds would be utilized.  The statement of reducing the funding to zero, minus some general sense of means and direction, comes across as naive.  It does not present the party as a pragmatic, thoughtful organization.  I believe that the rewritten proposal as offered accomplishes the following: 1) Improved formatting, easier to read. 2) Provides increased detail re: the destructive outcomes of funding the US military. 3) Provides a general framework for how the funds would be repriortized to peace, justice and stability activities. 4) Provides a more extensive  statement re: the positive national and global outcomes of a US reprioritization of military spending.
 
Accomplishment:  People reading the revised statement will be more inclined to view the GRP as a thoughtful, reasonable and articulate organization willing to promote serious proposals that will have major positive impact in the world. This should enhance the likelihood of increasing our membership  and building our power for change in the electoral process.
 
Criticalness:  With the incredibly fluid current US political scene and with perhaps millions of individuals feeling adrift in the political world, NOW is the time to make our presence known and viewed seriously in addressing the global crisis exacerbated by the US military.
 
TEXT OF PROPOSAL:  
A Proposal to Address US Military Spending
Whereas the spending on the US  military consumes 60% of our national discretionary spending,
Whereas the US spends 3.5 times as much on military spending as China , the second largest military budget in the world  and 10 times more than Russia, or more than the next 10 countries put together,
Whereas the US military is the largest global institutional producer of greenhouse gases, 
Whereas the the US military creates a massive, transcontinental toxic footprint through its vast array ( 800+) military bases throughout the world, 
Whereas additional revenues to the US treasury are expended in various other governmental agencies ( Department  of Energy, Veterans Affairs, State Department and  Department of Homeland Security, among others) not transparently classified as "military spending" but nevertheless going to the Military Industrial Complex,
Whereas, with bipartisan support, these funds are increased year after year with minimal over site and no public debate,
Whereas, these funds are not utilized in the defense of the US homeland but rather are utilized as the tool for advancing global empire,
Whereas, the US utilizes these funds for overt and covert political, economic and military intrusion throughout the world for the economic benefit of US and global corporations and, 
Whereas, these ongoing  intrusions have led to death, harm and destitution of millions of our fellow human beings globally while undermining the health, well-being  and security of our own citizenry, 
It is the goal of the GRP that while  retaining the ability to effectively defend our geographical boundaries and sovereignty to defund all offensive military weapons, weapon systems and interventions;  undertake a rapid closing of overseas bases and withdrawal of all overt and covert military personnel from foreign nations; reallocate a minimum of 50% of the present military budget to international diplomacy, non-hostile foreign relations and meeting the human needs of our present population while using the remainder as a means of disassembling weapons systems,  including nuclear and non-nuclear, retraining,  job development, and investment in the failing US physical and social infrastructure providing employment for transitioned out military personnel as well as the general population. Additionally we oppose all sales of weapons and weapons systems to the global community. We further call for a program of reparations to rebuild economies, physical infrastructure, personal lives as well as the land itself of those countries victimized  by US aggression. Lastly, we demand that all veterans who have suffered enormously, physically, psychologically  and spiritually  by our country's perpetual wars receive all care appropriate to their needs, in a timely manner, through a fully publicly funded single payer healthcare system.
The rebuilding of our needed infrastructure and  the reorientation of our economy to meet human needs, will strengthen our country, benefit our citizens and provide by example a path to a global community committed to peace and justice.
This must be a transformational  process by which all offensive weapons, objectives  and personnel of the US military will be re-purposed for the enhancement of peace and security within our borders as well as globally. The world and human survival can no longer tolerate a US foreign policy of intervention, repression and denial of the right to self determination by the collective peoples of the world. The soverienty of all nations must be respected. The economic, intellectual and collective energy of the US must be redirected towards human advancement and universal security for all.
History has shown that we have squandered inestimable resources and ruined countless lives in our destructive desire to control rather than cooperate with all to bring about a world order that values People, Planet and Peace over profit and individual wealth.
It is time to close this tragic chapter of our history.  It is time to reorganize our priorities, our underlying thinking and create a future committed to not just survival, but to a thriving global environment for the mutual benefit of all living inhabitants, human and non-human.
 
IMPLEMENTATION:     John Blumenstiel will oversee the implementation process 1) Identify persons with ability and authority to edit our webpage and work with them to accomplish this. 2) Time frame: ASAP once approved.
FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:   None, other than the possibility of increasing membership and thus dues.

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  • Brian Cady
    commented 2020-04-09 10:11:17 -0400
    23 March 2020

    Opening remarks of the Secretary-General’s appeal for global ceasefire
    António Guterres

    Our world faces a common enemy: COVID-19.

    The virus does not care about nationality or ethnicity, faction or faith. It attacks all, relentlessly.

    Meanwhile, armed conflict rages on around the world.

    The most vulnerable — women and children, people with disabilities, the marginalized and the displaced — pay the highest price.

    They are also at the highest risk of suffering devastating losses from COVID-19.

    Let’s not forget that in war-ravaged countries, health systems have collapsed.

    Health professionals, already few in number, have often been targeted.

    Refugees and others displaced by violent conflict are doubly vulnerable.

    The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war.

    That is why today, I am calling for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world.

    It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives.

    To warring parties, I say:

    Pull back from hostilities.

    Put aside mistrust and animosity.

    Silence the guns; stop the artillery; end the airstrikes.

    This is crucial…

    To help create corridors for life-saving aid.

    To open precious windows for diplomacy.

    To bring hope to places among the most vulnerable to COVID-19.

    Let us take inspiration from coalitions and dialogue slowly taking shape among rival parties in some parts to enable joint approaches to COVID-19. But we need much more.

    End the sickness of war and fight the disease that is ravaging our world.

    It starts by stopping the fighting everywhere. Now.

    That is what our human family needs, now more than ever.

    https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/speeches/2020-03-23/secretary-general-appeal-for-global-ceasefire
  • Brian Cady
    commented 2020-04-09 10:06:56 -0400
    Costa Rica, in 1948 abolished its military unilaterally.(1) It has prospered in peace since, despite being between Panama and Nicaragua, amidst the strife of Central America this past century. Costa Rica plans in 2021, next year, to become carbon-neutral,(2) and ranks highly in social development and environmental sustainability indices.(3)

    Also, between the individual states of the USA, since the USA Civil War, there has been peace, which has allowed USA to develop to an unprecedented extent. We have not experienced declared war here at home since the 1860s.

    The USA and Costa Rica reveal a glimpse of what is possible with world disarmament, and even with unilateral  disarmament, here in USA.

    The investments wasted on USA armament over the past decade, (spent until now on weapons which can only damage and harm), if used constructively, could significantly slow our climate catastrophe.(4,5).

    Global 2020 military expenditures of 1,433.4 billion $(5), at an initial cost per billion $/GtCO2eq of 22.62(8) could, if invested in lowering CO2eq emitted, avoid or drawdown an estimated 63.37 GtCO2eq, or more than a thousand times the global CO2eq emitted in 2012.(9) At this yearly rate, the historic cumulative CO2eq released; ~1,600 billion GtCO2eq(10), could be drawn down completely in 25 & 1/4 years, back to pre-industrial levels.

    As the world’s leading aggressor, the USA must lead global disarmament.

    Brian
    -
    1.) “Historically, Costa Rica has generally enjoyed greater peace and more consistent political stability than many of its fellow Latin American nations. Since the late 19th century, however, Costa Rica has experienced two significant periods of violence. In 1917–19, General Federico Tinoco Granados ruled as a military dictator until he was overthrown and forced into exile. The unpopularity of Tinoco’s regime led, after he was overthrown, to a considerable decline in the size, wealth, and political influence of the Costa Rican military. In 1948, José Figueres Ferrer led an armed uprising in the wake of a disputed presidential election between Rafael Ángel Calderón Guardia (who had been president between 1940 and 1944) and Otilio Ulate Blanco.52 With more than 2,000 dead, the resulting 44-day Costa Rican Civil War was the bloodiest event in Costa Rica during the 20th century.
    The victorious rebels formed a government junta that abolished the military altogether, and oversaw the drafting of a new constitution by a democratically elected assembly.53 Having enacted these reforms, the junta transferred power to Ulate on 8 November 1949.”
    2.)“Following the brief Costa Rican Civil War in 1948, it permanently abolished its army in 1949, becoming one of only a few sovereign nations without a standing army.121314
    The country has consistently performed favorably in the Human Development Index (HDI), placing 63rd in the world as of 2017, among the highest of any Latin American nation.15 It has also been cited by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as having attained much higher human development than other countries at the same income levels, with a better record on human development and inequality than the median of the region.16
    3.)Costa Rica also has progressive environmental policies. It is the only country to meet all five UNDP criteria established to measure environmental sustainability.17 It was ranked 42nd in the world, and third in the Americas, in the 2016 Environmental Performance Index,18 and was twice ranked the best performing country in the New Economics Foundation’s (NEF) Happy Planet Index, which measures environmental sustainability,1920 and was identified by the NEF as the greenest country in the world in 2009.21 Costa Rica plans to become a carbon-neutral country by 2021.222324 By 2019, 99.62% of its electricity was generated from green sources2526 particularly hydro, wind, geothermal and solar.27
    4.) [in 2015]" 54 percent of all [USA] federal discretionary spending, a total of $598.5 billion" was military spending.(NPPhttps://www.nationalpriorities.org/campaigns/military-spending-united-states/)
    5.) [in 2020] direct USA estimated military spending of 684.6 billion $ (List of countries by military expenditures), compares to Global Military spending of 1,433.4 billion $
    8.) Calculated from estimated totals at https://www.drawdown.org/solutions/table-of-solutions
    9.) https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EN.ATM.GHGT.KT.CE
    10.) https://ourworldindata.org/co2-and-other-greenhouse-gas-emissions
  • John Blumenstiel
    published this page in Spring_2020_statecom_proposals 2020-04-08 21:42:18 -0400