Resist US-Led War decries out of touch Congress debates and bloated military spending in the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act
Once again, a political showdown in the US Congress has led to threats of a government shutdown, impacting the livelihood of millions of people. From work furloughs to stopped paychecks to suspensions of services, the shutdown would force people to go without food, medical treatment, or a roof over their heads until Congress reaches a compromise on 12 spending bills to fund the agencies which run the government. In the United States Congress, current spending laws expired on Sept. 30. Republicans and Democrats in the Senate passed a 45-day continuing resolution Saturday to stave off a government shutdown with less than three hours to spare.
But when the smoke clears, we’ll see how at least one spending category will have grown instead of shrunk: the military budget.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), is the largest spending bill passed annually by the US Congress, which will fund the many current sprawling military operations of the US, with over 1400 military installations worldwide. The proposed FY24 NDAA authorizes a whopping $886.3 billion for national defense discretionary programs, an increase of $28 billion over the FY23 enacted level.
Attempting to wear a progressive mask, Democrats waned and waxed poetic on the Republican threats to rescind the Pentagon’s program reimbursing service members who must travel to obtain reproductive health care, limit access to gender-affirming care for transgender troops, and end various diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives at the Defense Department
Despite the grandstanding on social issues, driving the appearance of major political differences, there is a solid bipartisan agreement to carry on the profit-oriented and war-driven economy of the US. This means that Congress will choose to cut the budget for safety nets and human services, while raising its funding for high tech weapons and nukes that are fueling insecurity and jeopardizing our safety, Instead of investing in long term solutions to the climate crisis, Congress will increase funding for space programs to hunt for resources that are in short supply in the US.
The truth is neither Democrats or Republicans truly care about bodily autonomy of women or gender oppressed people, as demonstrated by the utter disregard for human life and ruthless murder, displacement and violence against civilians perpetuated by the US Military operations overseas and domestically. The proxy war in Ukraine has claimed well over 100,000 lives and led to thousands of displaced people and refugees. 150,000 have been killed in airstrikes in Yemen and over 227,000 have died from blockade-imposed famine and destroyed medical facilities in the US-backed Saudi war in Yemen. The use of drones of mass destruction, notably in Kurdistan, Somalia, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Pakistan, the Philippines and across Western and Northern Africa have killed countless unarmed civilians, as well as targeted and destroyed agriculture. The unilaterally enacted economic, financial, trade and other sanctions on individuals, organizations and over 40 countries as a means to force their compliance with US policies have led to mass hunger, disease, and destabilization.
We don’t want a “woke military” that will improve diversity, equity and inclusion among its forces just to improve their lethality; we want to end all wars of aggression and support the true and genuine peace that will come from the self determination and liberation struggles of the oppressed people of the world.
The budget further extends the “Pacific Deterrence Initiative to enhance U.S. deterrence and defense posture in the Indo-Pacific region. It funds the initiative at $9.7 billion, an increase of $600 million over Biden’s budget request. This primary front of US led war is on a quick path of escalation to World War III, with US provocation in the region– a war whose build up has already begun with the deployment of nuclear powered submarines to Australia, storage facilities and base expansion in the Philippines and further military alliances brokered, including a tri-lateral agreement between Korea, Japan and the US on US defense interests.
The reality we must face as anti-war activists, here in the US and around the world, is that the budget for defense and the lengths to which the US will go to extend and expand its military operations all across the globe, will always give the basis to build a militant anti-war movement. We must be in the streets, demanding an end to the ludicrous spending and war policy of both Parties while struggling against endless militarism, and redirect spending priorities to meet the many social needs of the people–housing, healthcare, education and basic food and livelihood assistance programs among them. More importantly, the Resist US-led War Movement will continue to march arm in arm with the people’s resistance, especially those on the receiving end of the drones, bombs and sanctions, to end all wars of aggression and build a just peace.
REsist US- Led War
building an anti-imperialist, anti-war movement against wars of aggression and building just peace