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US military spending will never be enough

Updated: 2015-02-06 07:56
By Chen Weihua (China Daily)

US military spending will never be enough

It is baffling why a country with the most powerful military and the largest defense budget looks more threatened than other countries. Should other countries be as paranoid because their militaries don't even look like a flyweight in front of the super heavyweight US fighting force?

Having covered Washington as a journalist for the past two years, I have no doubt many US politicians have indeed become lobbyists representing the powerful military industry, which has benefited enormously from the huge defense spending over the years.

It is sad to see homeless veterans on the streets of New York City, Washington and other US cities, especially in freezing winter. Yet war veterans are revered in the US more than anywhere else in the world.

The term veteran is bandied about by TV anchors and politicians to show their patriotism. While buying a museum ticket recently, I was asked if I was a veteran so I could get a discount. Indeed, veterans should be respected. But the fact that the term is used so often in the US reflects that the country has been engaged in a constant war, partly pushed by interest groups.

Some US politicians like to describe China as an "aggressive" country, but China has not fought a war for at least three decades. The US, though claiming to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, has never stopped seeking out new countries to launch its missiles and arm rebels of one country or another. And that is precisely why the US military spending will never come down no matter how frantically the national debt clock ticks.

The author, based in Washington, is deputy editor of China Daily USA. chenweihua@chinadailyusa.com

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