I sent the New York Times this letter on March 20, 2019:
To the Editor,
Peter Navarro’s op-ed “Why America Needs a Stronger Defense Industry” argues that “Investing in the sector means more jobs at home and improved security abroad.” He praises the construction of tanks used in wars in Iraq.
Here is a study demonstrating that military spending produces fewer jobs than other types of public spending, or even than not taxing money from working people in the first place:
“The U.S. Employment Effects of Military and Domestic Spending Priorities: 2011 Update,” Political Economy Research Institute, https://www.peri.umass.edu/
So, the more jobs at home claim is false. What about the “improved security abroad“ and the labeling of the weapons industry as “defense”?
Tanks have no more function against a foreign invasion than they do against hijackers of airplanes or against mass-shooters in schools or against climate collapse. Thus “defense” is twisted into the vague concept of “security abroad.” Yet, clearly most U.S. travelers abroad are not going to be accompanied by tanks.
A review of the data has concluded that: (https://peacesciencedigest.
If facts are insufficient, let’s appeal to authority. On February 27, 2017, President Donald Trump said, “Almost 17 years of fighting in the Middle East . . . $6 trillion we’ve spent in the Middle East . . . and we’re nowhere, actually if you think about it we’re less than nowhere, the Middle East is far worse than it was 16, 17 years ago, there’s not even a contest . . . we have a hornet’s nest . . . .” (http://www.realclearpolitics.
An actually defensive defense industry would not resemble the current one. There have been no recorded terrorist attacks driven by resentment at the provision of aid. A tiny fraction of U.S. military spending could end starvation on earth. (“The World Only Needs 30 Billion Dollars a Year to Eradicate the Scourge of Hunger,” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, http://www.fao.org/newsroom/