Money we spend on military could be better uses elsewhere

To the editor:

I want to follow up my last letter about China being a threat to us and answer my question: Who is behind this threat? (“Is China a threat, or leading the way?” letters, June 20)

President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s farewell speech to the nation, where he warned us to guard against the military-industrial complex, is a good place to start. Not long after his speech, we were lied into the Vietnam War.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, there was a movement for a peace dividend that would come from cuts to our military budget. Then we had the first war with Iraq.

Some people feel that we lured Iraq into the attack on Kuwait. (With Iraq’s army amassed on Kuwait’s border, our ambassador to Iraq told Saddam Hussein that we had no concerns with Iraq as far as any Kuwait actions.) Then we were lied into the Iraq war in 2003 over supposed weapons of mass destruction.

At this point, a closer look at our military budget will help shed some light on what is at stake here. We are spending $877 billion compared to China’s $292 billion. This puts pressure on China to spend even more on its military. When they do this, we call them a threat.

Another point to make is that China spends 1.6% of their GDP on the military while we spend 3.5%. If we cut our spending to 1.6% we would have $400 Billion to spend in other areas.

We could afford many of the programs that we see in Canada and Europe, such as, paid family leave, free college, Medicare for all, more money to deal with climate change (a real threat to us and the world), etc.

President Eisenhower made another well known speech where he said that “Every gun that is made, every warship launched ... is a theft from those who hunger and are not fed...”

It’s about time we cut our bloated military budget and put more money into helping with people’s everyday needs.

Paul Peckham