The greatest consumer of wealth in our economy is the ability to make war.
It is dead capital. Perhaps it is a cost of doing business.
Those aircraft carrier groups in the Strait of Hormuz facilitate the transport of oil from Iraq.
Oil we "bought" at the cost of five thousand American lives and many more injured and maimed.
That doesn't even touch upon the million Iraqis that died.
Nor does it touch upon the fact six trillion dollars of our national treasure was spent.
Ooops! My error. We borrowed that from our children and grandchildren.
Iraq exports 800,000,000 barrels per year.
At $40 per barrel, that's $32,000,000,000.
For our six trillion dollar investment, it would take almost 200 years to recoup.
IF we got the revenue- which we do NOT!
We should have taken six trillion one-dollar bills and burned them in a power plant.
That would have produced as much energy as the 200 years worth of oil and we'd have 5000 live soldiers and no debt.
(Based upon the premise we can always print more money.)
What is wrong with that picture?

Money invested in weaponry and military goods is dead capital.
It produces nothing further.
Buy a drill press and it makes widgets, year after year.
A missile is dead capital. Fired and exploded, it destroys capital (other people's as well as one's own) and is then dust and smoke.
Generally a bad idea all around unless one has a monopoly or near monopoly on the sales of these items.

A strong soldier and a later decent and fair President Eisenhower warned (and instructed):
"This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience.
The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government.
We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications.
Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the
military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted.
Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense
with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."

This author would venture to say this is an instruction from our President.
In his capacity as commander-in-chief it is an "order". (The word "must" appears repeatedly.)
It has never been rescinded.
It is a standing order.
Any soldier who does not follow it, disobeys an order from his superior officer- his commander-in-chief.
The first sentence of the second paragraph gives an instruction.
The first two sentences of the third paragraph elaborate on that "order".
It is clear as the light of day as to what he was instructing us.
That "us" means his officer corps as well.
I would posit they are directly disobeying an order of their commanding officer.
The "order" merits an appropriate response.

Beyond President Eisenhower's instructions, one can go on interminably about the horrors of war.
It may be argued that in a very small statistical sliver of instances, war is required.
This is a "defensive" war.
Ironically, it requires a similar-sized military establishment because our potential enemies are so large and powerful as well.
We cannot drop our guard or we can be subjugated.
However, the maxims of Eisenhower stated above still apply. Period.

This author's ancestors were Quakers.
His great-grandparents ended up in Oklahoma and Kansas remote from the Eastern Meeting Houses.
They became back-sliding Weslyan Methodists.
His father was a pacifist (served with the Signal Corps in China in WWII).
When the old-time Methodists repackaged as the modern United Methodists, this author drifted away.
Interest in genealogy led him to an interest in Quakers and last year he googled a local meeting.
He has since attended as a weekly "guest".
Maybe someday, he will be invited to become a member.
In the meantime, the creed requires a strict aversion to war.
Makes sense to me.

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