Will terrorism actually have the effect of leading to a lasting peace in the Middle East?
It already may be doing so. In short, many people the Middle East now see that their real enemy is radical Islam and a radical Iran, not peaceful and democratic Israel. This realization is leading some Arab nations to set aside their differences with Israel with a common goal of destroying the terrorists, who threaten to consume the entire region.
President Trump’s cordial meeting with conservative Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House on Wednesday set a very positive tone. These men spoke of the strong bond between Israel and the United States, something that anti-Semite Obama rejected, stirring the war pot in the Middle East.
Let us pray that we see real peace in the region. It will be a sterling part of Trump’s legacy, with a great beginning at the White House. Now here is today’s second editorial:
Here are some excerpts from Foxnews.com:
BRUSSELS – U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Wednesday issued a sharp ultimatum to NATO Wednesday, telling allies they must start increasing defense spending by year’s end or the Trump administration will “moderate its commitment” to them.
Echoing a demand made repeatedly by President Donald Trump, Mattis said NATO must adopt a plan this year that sets milestone dates for governments to meet a military funding goal of 2 percent of gross domestic product.
(Editorial note: That “2 percent” figure means that a nation should spend 2% of its annual economic production (GDP) on defense, i.e., if a nation’s GDP is $1 trillion per year then it would be expected to spend 2% of that, or $20 billion, on defense. The United States currently spends 3% and that is a historic low.)
…”No longer can the American taxpayer carry a disproportionate share of the defense of Western values,” Mattis told the alliance’s 27 other defense ministers, according to a text of his remarks. “Americans cannot care more for your children’s future security than you do.”
Mattis noted Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region and the Islamic State group’s hold over parts of Iraq and Syria, and said that “some in this alliance have looked away in denial of what is happening.”
The United States has been paying a hugely disproportionate amount of money to defend the world’s freedom for the last 100 years, and president Trump is finally saying that enough is enough.
Nikitas3.com estimates that the United States has spent up to $50 trillion in today’s dollars just since the beginning of World War II to beat back tyranny and defend foreign nations from threat, exclusive of our defenses here at home (military bases, manpower, training, etc.).
The expenditure on Europe alone has been staggering. Without US forces and hardware in the decades after World War II Europe would have been overwhelmed by aggressive Soviet communism which might still be in force if it had not been for the courage of US president Ronald Reagan.
He proved that the much poorer Soviet state could not keep up in spending or technology with the vastly richer and more advanced United States.
The United States even financed the rebuilding of a Europe devastated by World War II under the Marshall Plan with more than $120 billion in today’s dollars.
Now Trump is demanding that NATO member nations must spend at least 2% of GDP annually on defense. This comes after the United States spent 37% of GDP(!) in 1944 at the height of World War II, or the equivalent of $7.5 trillion in today’s dollars in one single year (annual American GDP in 2017 is $20 trillion).
By 1960 the United States was still spending 10% or the equivalent of $2 trillion annually in today’s dollars. Much of that was going to defend Europe since the Soviet threat remained very high.
Today under Obama, US military spending has fallen to a postwar historic low of 3% of GDP (roughly $600 billion) which is why there is so much talk about troops unprepared to fight, aircraft unable to fly for want of spare parts, and lack of missiles and bombs.
This was the intentional plan of Obama to strip US military power. The same thing just so happened to have occurred at the end of the presidencies of two other Democrats – Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. No surprise there.
European nations today are spending as little as 1% of GDP. They have militaries that cannot or would not even put up much of a fight if push came to shove. Just imagine coming up against the Italian army; the thought is laughable.
This is nothing new. France surrendered to Hitler in just 6 weeks in 1940 rather than fighting. There is a famous joke about a French World War II army rifle for sale on EBay. The description says ‘Never fired, dropped once’.
In the mid-1980s president Reagan planned to install modern American Pershing missiles in Europe to oppose the Soviet SS-20 missiles pointed at Europe. The pacifist Europeans turned out in the streets by the millions in protest, certain that Reagan was going to trigger a nuclear war.
The Pershings went in and the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, just like Reagan knew it would. The communists knew that the United States had outspent them and defeated them technologically.
This is called Peace Through Strength, which Reagan touted over and over. Now Trump is doing it too. That is why a robber who is going to break into a house will pick the home with the Audubon Society bumper sticker on the car in the driveway, not the car with the National Rifle Association sticker.
What has Europe done with all of the money that it has not spent on its defenses since the end of World War II?
It has shoveled it by the boatload into its welfare states, that’s what, i.e., American taxpayers have been funding Europeans’ slothful ways for many decades.
The most productive form of government spending is military weapons spending. By far it returns the biggest bang for the buck to the economy. It stimulates private companies to develop cutting-edge technologies employing highly skilled, disciplined and educated people at excellent salaries.
Much of American technology, and thus global technology, has been “incubated” or advanced in American military projects including aircraft design, avionics, radar, jet engine technology, rockets, satellites, modern metals and composites, modern electronics, computers, and on and on. Even the internet itself started as a Defense Department project.
In short military spending has been a huge stimulus to the American economy and American technology. This is why America boomed with World War II and in the decades thereafter.
On the other hand Democrat president Franklin D. Roosevelt spent large amounts of taxpayer cash on make-work programs like road building and national parks to try to end the economic depression of the 1930s. It did not work. It was defense spending for World War II that finally lifted the American economy out of the depression and powered it for decades thereafter.
President Trump is vowing to lift US military spending from 3% up to 4% of GDP and more, maybe as high as 5%. That extra $200 billion to $400 billion per year spent on military weaponry will be a massive boost to the American economy, infinitely greater than any other type of government spending. As an example Obama’s $800 billion ‘stimulus’ package of 2009 (the equivalent in today’s dollars of more than $1 trillion) produced no growth at all.
President Reagan almost doubled military spending from around 3% to 6% during his presidency. This is one of the reasons that the American economy boomed in the 1980s and well into the 1990s.
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