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Is Obama Just a Pawn in the Military-Induistrial Game? June 15, 2009

Posted by incognito4peace in Politics.
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After a lengthy discussion the other day with a comrade, an idea popped into my head. I don’t know how plausible this would be – and frankly there really is no way for us to know – but what if Obama’s war in Afghanistan was for ulterior motives? What I do mean by that? Many speculate that FDR’s New Deal was only partially responsible for the recovery out of the Great Depression, and that World War II was the real catalyst that lead the US back to stability and growth. I wonder if there are any economic factors that shadow Obama’s decision to keep troops deployed. Think about it, we are in a giant economic slump, and drastically cutting military spending could completely destabilize the economy. Could deploying troops in Afghanistan be in part a fiscal tool? Now I truly believe that Obama’s actions follow moral and ethical lines, but I’m not discounting this possibility. Any thoughts on this?

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1. incognito4peace - June 15, 2009

Now I wasn’t necessarily saying that Obama’s decision to deploy more troops in Afghanistan revolves around his economic interests. All I am saying is that could it be possible that as “Afflatus” mentions, “economic recovery is one of the many contributing factors that led Obama to decide to nearly double our troop levels in Afghanistan.” I think thetruth31, you have written this off too fast. Do you think Obama possesses any ideological conflict? He is a liberal president, known to admonish those who are militarily aggressive, (or defensive in G.W.B.’s words.) And I think it came to many people’s surprise when he announced his stance on the Afghanistan war. Now of course Afghanistan is much more legitimate of a war than Iraq. But the thought of another Vietnam??? An unwinnable war? Not to mention the high civilian casualty toll. I don’t really know how I stand on the war. It’s more complicated than most, and is not a black or white kind of issue. You have to keep in mind how important military spending is for our economy. Obama may have only raised the budget slighty – but do you have any idea how outrageous the figure was?

2. Afflatus - June 15, 2009

Any foreign policy decision, especially one as significant as the troop levels in Afghanistan, is influenced by multiple factors/motives/reasons.

I think economic recovery is certainly one of the many contributing factors that led Obama to decide to nearly double our troop levels in Afghanistan.

But it isn’t necessarily as sinister a motive as one might think. While an economy is in a recession, nearly every industry is contracting. The only entity that will (or should) be consistently expanding during recessions is the government. Arguably, decreasing any government spending in a recession would be potentially disastrous; the last thing our economy needs now is our country’s largest employer, the federal government, cutting back spending and operations in any industry, but especially not in the the government’s largest sector, the US military.

This is what revolutionary economist John Maynard Keynes argued during the Great Depression and what Paul Krugman is advising currently.

Keynesian economics specifically argues for increased investment in infrastructure. Obama’s plan for economic recovery has 3 pillars: investment in infrastructure, health care, and education. For more on this see a short speech given by Jared Bernstein, Chief Economist and Economic Policy Advisor to Vice President Joe Biden. http://ourfuture.org/video/2009062301/jared-bernstein-obamanomics

And, unlike Iraq, there are legitimate US security interests in Afghanistan (anti-US terrorists).

Responses? Thoughts?


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