A post from a friend on Facebook and a report on NPR got me thinking about the money that goes into war. If I recall correctly, the United States is currently militarily engaged in Iraq and Syria, Afghanistan, and South Korea. That’s just where we have troops at the ready to unleash war. We also have troops in an advisory capacity in different countries in Africa and Asia. There are also ships and submarines in just about every ocean on the planet. Military bases dot Europe and the Pacific. And there is also a contingent here in the United States, of course.
I started thinking of all the money that goes into the upkeep of those operations, not just the weapons and bombs. All those soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines need to be fed. They produce waste that needs to be dealt with. Many get sick and they need to be taken care of. Many of them have families who also have needs. There are about 1.3 million active military personnel. About 800 in the reserves. That’s a lot of people with needs that need to be met.
Meeting those needs are companies and contractors who also employ people.
The “Military Industrial Complex” is an enormous monster… That’s what I’m trying to say. And I think we’re at a point where “peace” might just not be achievable anymore. We might need wars and conflicts to keep a lot of people employed and earning a living wage. Just like we need disease to keep everyone in healthcare and associated with it employed. I’m not being a pessimist. It’s just reality.. And it’s sad.
René F. Najera, DrPH
I'm a Doctor of Public Health, having studied at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
All opinions are my own and in no way represent anyone else or any of the organizations for which I work.
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