The national security beast is a terrifying behemoth that extends its tentacles across the globe. Like a many-headed hydra it grows and grows. It has an insatiable appetite for weaponry. For example, in late 2013, the navy launched the Zumwalt, the largest destroyer ever built. It came in for a cool $3 billion. But that’s a bargain compared to the new Ford-class aircraft carrier. Price tag? $13 billion. The beast has a life of its own. Presidents come and go but the war machine just chugs along. The “military-industrial complex” is always manufacturing new enemies to justify itself. The most urgent threat we face is climate change. Why not slash the Pentagon budget? For starters, cut the nuclear arsenal and mothball half the Trident submarines and use the money to protect the environment.
Jeremy Scahill is the award-winning National Security Correspondent for The Nation magazine and author of the best-sellers Blackwater and Dirty Wars. He has reported from war zones around the world. He is a founding editor of The Intercept. He is also the subject of the documentary film Dirty Wars, which was nominated for an Academy Award.