13.08.2019 Author: Martin Berger

Is the Price the US Pays for its Foreign Wars a Tad Too High?


It’s curious that El Pais in one of its recent articles has uncovered the secret that some of us have known all along – that the US represents a far larger threat to itself than all the Islamists, North Koreans, Russians, Houthis, and all those who have somehow ended up in the“ axis of evil.”

Last fiscal year alone, Washington sold 192.3 billion dollars worth of weapons, which constitutes a 13% increase over the previous year. It’s also noteworthy that this figure didn’t exceed 146 billion dollars in 2016.

But how’s that nobody is even bothered by the fact that weapons the sole intended purpose of which is killing people are being sold by the United States of A, the self-declared champion of freedom and democracy in such quantities that no other state can even aspire to catch up to?

It has recently been revealed that the State Department wants to expand its little-known effort that offers countries cash to buy American-made weapons if they give up Russian-made arms. The year-old initiative, called the European Recapitalization Incentive Program, is already assisting six eastern European countries in purchasing more arms.

Moreover, in a formal letter that was issued on May 1, Washington announced to Brussels that Europe was running the risk of facing political and economic repercussions for its continued efforts to develop its own weapons systems. Thus, the US perceives the initial timid steps that Europe takes to establish its own defense industry as a potential threat to the American dominance in the arms market. Effectively, this was Washington’s response to the temporary approval given by the European Parliament on the establishment of the European Defense Fund the total worth of which was said to exceed 13 billion euros for the period from 2021 to 2027 and the adoption of the provisions of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), in accordance with which a total of 25 EU countries were bound to launch 34 arms production projects.

At the same time, it’s been noted that those in power in the United States are going beyond themselves in a bid to somehow convince both Americans and the rest of the world that a grand total of more than 700 US military bases, scattered all across the globe, have no other purpose than ensuring security and defending human rights! In Europe, Washington has already established countless command posts, logistical hubs and related infrastructure. Those can be found in Belgium, Bulgaria, Great Britain, Hungary, Germany, Greece, the Czech Republic, Iceland, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Turkey, Kosovo, Georgia, Moldova, as well as in Ukraine. In the southeastern part of the Baltic region, the region in the immediate vicinity of Russia’s borders, there are more than 6 thousand US servicemen stationed permanently. Of these, 1,293 soldiers are deployed in Latvia, 1,100 in Lithuania, 987 in Estonia, while the rest are enjoying their stay in Poland. This fact alone completely refutes Washington’s claims that “Russia wants to destabilize Europe”, as there are no Russian troops stationed in Europe.

According to a recent study published by The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the United States has at its disposal some 3,800 nuclear warheads, of which 1,750 are combat ready at all times, while 2,050 remain in storage in case the planet wouldn’t be obliterated hard enough after the initial salvo.

It must be added that these days we know a bit more about the nuclear devices that Washington deployed across Europe due to the accidental disclosure that occurred with the released of a report drafted by a Canadian MP that was on the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. The report titled: 2019 – A New Era for Nuclear Deterrence? Modernisation, Arms Control and Allied Nuclear Forces reveals that there’s over 150 American warheads scattered all across the EU. However, we haven’t heard a comprehensive public discussion of the fact that those political leaders that agree to store those warheads on the territories of the states that they were elected to represent are essentially making their population the target for both the possible first strike or the retaliation strike. Not a single word was said about the fact that such devices can also become the target of terrorist attacks that may lead to catastrophic consequences. However, most European leaders prefer to keep a straight face as if they didn’t create a recipe for disaster by allowing those weapons in. Additionally, we can safely conclude that the matter of nuclear non-proliferation has effectively been murdered in cold blood as there could be no honest discussion of the steps that nuclear powers take when non-nuclear powers start hosting nuclear devices.

It’s equally amusing to observe the attempts that Washington makes to hush down the price it paid for its military endeavors across the globe. According to the data provided by the Pentagon, in the time span from 9/11 attacks to last year, it wasted some 1.7 trillion dollars on conducting military operations. Well, as a matter of fact, American foreign wars have created a 6 trillion dollars hole in taxpayers’ pockets! At the very least, the US killed some 480 thousand people in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria over the same time span, of which 244 thousand were civilians. In addition, some 10 million people became displaced. These figures have recently been revealed by Neta C. Crawford, a well-respected Brown University professor

Then there’s the issue of the absolute majority of American acts of aggression against other states being totally illegal from the point of view of the international law, on top of them violating international conventions, treaties and agreements along with the principles of sovereignty, freedom, self-determination and protection of life. Is it any wonder that those who were the victims of the havoc Washington created are now demanding compensations for the loss of life, property and means of obtaining income. In particular, almost three decades after the US invasion of Panama of 1989, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights demands such compensations from the US government, while appealing to the international community. Maybe if Washington is forced to foot the bill for the death and destruction it caused to others, it will have less taste to embark on yet another war of attrition against some sovereign state next time.

Martin Berger is a freelance journalist and geopolitical analyst, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.