What to Ask Candidates

A reporter asked me what to ask candidates re military. I suggested:

In the analysis of National Priorities Project military spending is 54% of U.S. federal discretionary spending. In 2001, U.S. military spending was $397 billion, from which it soared to a peak of $720 billion in 2010, and is now at $610 billion in 2015. These figures from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (in constant 2011 dollars) exclude debt payments, veterans costs, and civil defense, which raise the figure to over $1 trillion a year now. Is that too high, too low, or just right?

If it’s too high, how much money would you move away from it and where would you move that money to?

Eisenhower said military spending would create pressure for more wars, not fewer. Does he not seem to have been right?

In the analysis of a new book by American University professor David Vine, the United States is spending at least $100 billion a year on over 800 bases in 70 nations, not counting permanent ongoing trainings and exercises, even though airplanes now allow the U.S. to get troops anywhere in the world without keeping them permanently stationed abroad. Does the United States have too many, too few, or just the right number of troops and bases abroad?

Should the United States continue to give billions of dollars in free weapons to Israel, Egypt, and other nations?

Candidate Obama said a president could not launch a war without Congress. President Obama has launched a war in Libya, a war in Iraq/Syria, and a number of drone wars without Congress. Who was right, the candidate or the president?

Does a president have the right to murder people with missiles from drones?

There has been little coverage of U.S. aggression in Ukraine: Bush’s withdrawl from the ABM treaty, the past decades of NATO expansion, the $5 billion invested in the coup, and unproven accusations against Russia. What in your view has the United States done wrong? Should the United States propose the global elimination of nuclear weapons? Should NATO be disbanded?

Will your administration continue to defend Israel at the United Nations from any legal consequences for its crimes against Palestinians?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *