The daily news is increasingly reading like an obituary for the Western world, with more new failures, embarrassments, or flat-out disasters occurring. On Dec. 27, the Biden Administration announced yet another funding package for Ukraine, despite the well-known fact that that conflict cannot be won and has been a catastrophe for Ukraine and NATO countries as a whole. The White House is now looking for a way out of this, as is discussed in a recent article in Politico, given that Ukraine is running out of troops and matériel, and the U.S. is running out of political support.
Clearly now taking center stage is the ongoing bloody massacre in Gaza being perpetrated by Israel and with the support of the U.S.—and threatening to escalate the conflict to the entire region and beyond. This conflict is increasingly being recognized as a genocide, and will only further degrade Israel’s security and status in the world into the future. The recent votes at the United Nations General Assembly show that the world’s opinion has moved rapidly towards a demand for an unconditional ceasefire, an opinion that only a select few nations still reject.
Not only is this a failure in policy and strategy—just as the strategy in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Libya were failures before it—but the conflict in Gaza is underlining in big, red ink, how utterly discredited Western leadership in the world is today, and it is hard to overstate how dramatic this change will be in the years and decades to come. In an interview Dec. 27, former U.S. diplomat Chas Freeman summed up the effect on the United States’ image following this conflict: “It will be seen by the rest of the world as rank hypocrisy.”
However, this is not all. In addition to fostering the butchery of tens and hundreds of thousands of lives in these barbaric geopolitical wars, all the while pushing the world toward a global confrontation between leading nuclear superpowers, the Western world is itself in a state of economic and political collapse.
The frenzy over U.S. Treasury debt stubbornly refuses to go away, and despite efforts to close up the recent Federal Reserve lending window and announce a “soft landing” from the recent inflation, emergency lending to banks has been going in the opposite direction. In addition, unrealized losses on the books of Western banks continue to grow uncontrollably, a ticking time bomb in plain sight in the room, waiting to explode. Without a doubt, the situation portends a veritable tsunami.
The trans-Atlantic economy is bankrupt, as anyone even tangentially involved in physical goods production—or simply trying to live—can tell you. Western nations which emerged from World War II with a mission to rebuild the world and create a lasting peace, have increasingly been consumed by a monster, one which has been given various names and titles over the years. EIR has recently branded this the Military-Financial Complex, which is obvious if you look at the last 30 years of military spending in the U.S. alone.
Whereas in the 1990s military spending was approximately $4 trillion, the first decade of the 21st century saw this grow to roughly $6.5 trillion with the advent of the “war on terror” and other post-9/11 escapades. Then, in the second decade, now including the Libyan and Syrian (among other) operations, this figure grew to over $8 trillion. Add in today’s current adventures in Ukraine, Israel, and the anti-China buildup, U.S. military spending is now heading for $1.8-1.9 trillion during the 2023-24 fiscal years. While U.S. federal debt grew from $1 trillion to $5.5 trillion between 1977-2001, between 2001-2023, the same interval, it grew to over $32 trillion!
This behemoth is sucking the blood out of Western economies, ballooning national debts, and collapsing productive, valuable work—not to mention taking lives and spreading conflict across the world. Can it be any clearer that a different policy is needed?
It is time to end this Military-Financial Complex, and retool it for the legitimate needs of the world now and into the future: industry, agriculture, infrastructure, and scientific advancement which benefits the general welfare. EIR’s Dec. 14 report “Turn the Military-Financial Complex to Useful Production” outlines how this can be done, and can become the rallying cry for the kind of shift urgently needed to take the world off its current path and avert a world war.
The International Peace Coalition, meeting Friday, is leading this effort. Join in and continue to build the momentum.