Militarism Will Inevitably Lead America into Bankruptcy
The United States likes to boast about its much-touted industrial might and how it’s still “the world’s largest and most advanced economy.” Indeed, Washington DC holds several absolute world records when it comes to the economy. Namely, it has the highest national debt in the history of mankind, incurred by going all over the world, burning, pillaging, murdering and generally destroying the lives of hundreds of millions. Back in mid-September, the US national debt topped $33 trillion for the first time. Worse yet, by October 12 (just a bit more than 20 days later) it already grew another $520 billion. In August, it was estimated that the US budget deficit will be $1.7 trillion by year’s end, although experts now believe it’s extremely likely to go past that and reach around $2 trillion. If true, this means the deficit will grow by over 40% in comparison to last year when it stood at around $1.4 trillion.
The US debt-to-GDP ratio is nearly 130%, but Washington DC keeps raising the debt ceiling. Namely, in January 2023, the belligerent thalassocracy hit its debt limit and by June 2023, it was forced to suspend it to avoid default. We all remember last year and how the political West kept patting itself on the back for effectively stealing hundreds of billions in Russian foreign reserves and denying Moscow the ability to service its debt. The mainstream propaganda was maliciously overjoyed with the prospect of Russia’s artificially induced default. And yet, this never happened, while the US is the one that found itself in a near-default situation. What’s more, the only way to avoid it was to use a perpetual “cheat code” that simply enables it to incur more debt. A responsible government would do something to prevent the escalation of the crisis, but Washington DC has other plans.
Apart from making sure that its economic issues spill over to the rest of the world, where impoverished and heavily exploited countries pay the price of US imperialism, the belligerent thalassocracy keeps militarizing and creating enemies in order to feed the monstrosity called the American Military Industrial Complex (MIC). Back in late March, as the debt ceiling crisis was unfolding, General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated that the Pentagon would be doubling its military budget. At the time, Milley kept parroting about “a looming global conflict”, but clearly “forgot” to explain that if there were to ever be one, its sole cause would be the US itself, as it’s the only country on the planet with an openly stated strategy of “full spectrum dominance”. However, the only way to accomplish this is to keep spending funds that Washington DC simply doesn’t have.
Global military spending for 2022 was around $2.1 trillion, meaning that the US is already at over 40% of the world’s total with its current budget. Doubling it, even over the next several years (also taking into account that other superpowers would certainly respond to it), could push that figure close to 60%. In terms of the US federal budget, it would also require further cuts to investment in healthcare, infrastructure, education, etc. As the military currently spends approximately 15% of the entire US federal budget, obviously, doubling it would mean the percentage would go up to (or even over) 30%. Such figures are quite close to what the former Soviet Union was spending, which was one of the major factors that contributed to its unfortunate dismantlement and the later crisis in all post-Soviet countries that needed approximately a decade to recover.
As previously mentioned, such a move would also force others to drastically increase their own military spending in response to US belligerence. If China were to follow suit, its military budget would then rise to approximately $500 billion, while Russia’s military budget would be close to $200 billion. In fact, Moscow is already in the process of doing this, as it recently increased its defense spending by 70% in 2024 alone in order to tackle NATO aggression in Europe. As we can see, this is causing a military spending “death spiral” that’s extremely difficult to control and is leading the world into an unprecedented arms race. However, it seems that’s exactly what Washington DC wants. On October 12, the US Congress Strategic Posture Commission issued its final report and called for further expansion of America’s already massive arsenal of thermonuclear weapons.
It should be noted that the reasoning (although there’s hardly anything reasonable in it) behind such a decision is a simultaneous confrontation with both Russia and China. This includes massive investment into new weapons systems such as the B-21 “Raider” strategic bomber/missile carrier and Columbia-class SSBN (nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine), as well as the replacement of the heavily outdated “Minuteman 3” ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles) with new LGM-35 “Sentinel” missiles. All three types are in different stages of development and are expected to be fully operational by the early 2030s. However, with the US debt projected to reach over $50 trillion in less than ten years (the best-case scenario), the viability of such a massive expansion in American military spending is highly questionable (if possible at all).
By 2027, interest payments alone are expected to surpass the Pentagon’s entire budget. What’s more, America’s ability to keep up with the technological advances of its geopolitical adversaries is also falling short, particularly in the development of hypersonic weapons, a field in which Russia has an absolute advantage, despite spending approximately 20-25 times less on its armed forces. The only way for the US to avoid bankrupting itself is to finally leave the world alone and focus on the mountain of domestic issues that keep piling up.
Drago Bosnic is an independent geopolitical and military analyst.