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[Politics]
How the US Went from America First to Empire First
by David Stockman
Posted November 5, 2019

Empire FirstEmpire First dominates our foreign policy, because there’s so much money flowing into the Pentagon, the 17 intelligence agencies, and the rest.

That money is also going to the tens of thousands of people who are getting paid big salaries to work as contractors for the NSA and other agencies. They form a built-in lobbying force of tremendous effectiveness to keep the funds flowing.

When you add to that all of the think tanks that get money from the State Department, the National Endowment for Democracy, and various pockets and crevices in the Pentagon that no one can even keep up with, essentially you have what I call the equivalent of a self-licking ice cream cone.

The thing just keeps going because it’s so big it feeds itself—the $750 billion defense budget is just the beginning. That’s the Department of Defense budget per se, but if you add in another $25 billion for nuclear energy programs at the Department of Energy, $50 billion for security assistance and foreign aid, international relations, another $60–70 billion for Homeland Security, and then the veterans’ budget, which is $200 billion, it’s just massive. It represents the deferred cost of all these stupid wars that we’ve had and didn’t need. More…