US Spends Billions on Overseas Wars, But Who Really Benefits?

US Spends Billions on Overseas Wars, But Who Really Benefits?
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The White House says that spending tens of billions on foreign wars benefits Americans, but experts are divided.

Fears over incentivizing global conflicts are rising as the Biden administration requests more than $105 billion in supplemental security spending.

The administration says the money, primarily for Israel and Ukraine, will be good for the economy.

President Joe Biden has described the mammoth spending package as “a smart investment” that will “pay dividends” to U.S. security interests.

Likewise, Assistant Secretary of State James O’Brien described the supplemental as “a very good bargain.”

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the money will “flow through our defense industrial base, creating American jobs in more than 30 states.”

Many are skeptical of the administration’s claims, however, and believe that the massive investment in the defense industry will squander the nation’s ability to adequately address social and infrastructure needs.

Presidential hopeful Robert Kennedy Jr. is among them.

“Creating jobs is a poor excuse for a foreign policy that wreaks mayhem around the world,” Mr. Kennedy told The Epoch Times in an email.

“If we want to increase employment in good manufacturing and construction jobs, instead of making weapons we should repair our infrastructure and manufacture products that actually serve human well-being.”

Defense Contractor Windfall

Numerous analysts believe that the administration’s supplemental, in addition to its record-breaking defense funding, would effectively serve as a massive transfer of wealth from American taxpayers to the defense sector.

Stephen Semler, co-founder of the Security Policy Reform Institute think tank, said that defense contractors stand to reap billions from the administration’s requested supplemental, which would go “mostly to just a few companies.”

“Based on my estimate, the proposal would produce $60 billion in revenue for private-sector military contractors,” Mr. Semler said in an email.

Whether those billions of dollars will adequately serve the national interest is an open question. To that end, Mr. Semler says that the Biden administration is now “selling” the spending package as an economic boon because most people won’t believe it would improve national security interests abroad.

“If people don’t buy the foreign policy argument for spending $106 billion, the thinking goes, maybe they’ll support it if it’s framed as domestic policy,” Mr. Semler said.

Citing research from the Costs of War project at Brown University, Mr. Semler’s research suggests that shifting $100 billion from the defense budget into the energy or infrastructure sectors could create 290,000 jobs.

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