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Time to end being policemen of the world
Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the U.S. Constitution, sometimes referred to as the War Powers Clause, vests in the Congress the power to declare war, in the following wording: “[The Congress shall have Power …] To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water…,” a formula that worked well for the United States for more than 150 years, from 1791 to 1945!
Unfortunately, the last time the U.S. Congress actually declared “war” was in 1941. Since the end of World War II, the U.S. has inserted itself into countless foreign affairs, without bothering to even declare a “war,” at a staggering cost in lives and taxpayer dollars.
From 1950 to 2021, the United States has sent U.S. troops to Korea, Taiwan, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, China, South Vietnam, Egypt, Lebanon, Cuba, Thailand, Laos, Congo, the Dominican Republic, Israel, Cambodia, North Vietnam, Cyprus, Lebanon, Iran, Grenada, Honduras, Chad, the Persian Gulf, Libya, Panama, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, the Philippines, Liberia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Zaire, Sierra Leone, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kuwait, Somalia, Macedonia, Haiti, the Central African Republic, Albania, Congo, Gabon, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Tanzania, Afghanistan, Sudan, East Timor, Serbia, Nigeria, Yemen, Côte d’Ivoire, Georgia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Pakistan, Uganda, Jordan, Turkey, Mali, the Strait of Hormuz, and Cameroon, at a cost of more than 102,517 lives of American men and women, and a cost to the tax payer of well over $2.5 trillion. The cost in civilian lives of all the nations that the United States has invaded is nearly incalculable. If it is truly worth one single American serviceman dying for our nation, then it is worth declaring an actual “war.” For if it is not worth declaring “war,” then it is not worth the life of one American serviceman.
What did all of that cost in lives and treasure do for “We the People”? How have you as a citizen of the United States benefited from our failed attempts at nation rebuilding in Iraq and Afghanistan? Better yet, ask yourself who made the U.S.A. the policemen of the world?
Then recall that the Roman Empire fell. The Spanish Empire fell. The French Empire fell. The German Empire fell. The Japanese Empire fell. The British Empire fell. The Soviet Union fell. All of the empires from before fell, because they overextended themselves in debt and war. The United States, too, will fail, and fairly soon, unless we as citizens take action to reign in the very politicians that we elect to high office.
Our current national debt exceeds $28.6 trillion. This is absolutely unsustainable. The United States spends more than any other nation on our planet for “defense.” We spend four times the amount that number-2 ranked China does, and we spend more than the next top 16 defense budgets of China, India, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, France, Australia, Russia, Italy, Brazil, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and Israel COMBINED together!
If the United States resolved to matching our defense to the total of just the next two highest defense spending nations, our defense budget would reduce from the current $740.5 billion to $251.85 billion, for a savings of $488.65 billion dollars to the American tax payer. The United States should look to the words of Thomas Jefferson who stated at his inaugural address that “peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none” would be the policy of the United States, or, if nothing else, we should look to Switzerland as a model for an effective defense strategy.
To add a bit of icing to the cake of wasteful spending, Congressman Rand Paul reported that in 2020 alone, he discovered $54,746,524,505.37 in wasteful spending by our government. You can read a detailed list of that wasteful spending by going to www.paul.senate.gov/sites/default/files/page-attachments/2020FestivusReport.pdf.
Congressman David Crockett of Tennessee is said to have told the assembled House of Representatives in the latter 1820s that “We have the right as individuals to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right to appropriate a dollar of the public money.” In just a cut to excessive defense spending, and cutting waste, the savings to you the tax payer would be more than $543 billion.
If you learn nothing else from my thoughts, please remember the words of Thomas Jefferson, who wrote in the Declaration of Independence that “governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” It is our responsibility as voters to only elect politicians who will obey their oath to our U.S. Constitution, who will actually declare that we are at war before sending troops into harm’s way and will not waste taxpayer dollars frivolously.