Who will pay for Biden’s new ‘eternal war’?

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This week, the United States and its NATO allies pledged to increase their military presence in Europe sevenfold, to prepare for what they called “the war against nuclear-armed competitors”. , that is, the war against Russia and China.

NATO members said they would increase their “high readiness forces” from 40,000 to 300,000. Biden announced that the United States would send 20,000 more troops to Europe amid escalating the war with Russia, accompanied by the permanent deployment of missile destroyers and F-35 aircraft.

Biden, flanked by General Andrew Poppas and General Mark Milley, in 2016.

The United States, which spends more on its armed forces than the 10 largest armies combined, has increased military spending for six straight years. Biden’s 2023 military budget, already the largest on record, was boosted an additional 6% by a vote in the Senate Armed Services Committee, bringing the total to $858 billion.

Since the start of the Biden administration, the United States has pledged more than $50 billion in military and economic aid to Ukraine. Ukrainian President Zelensky said the country needed at least $60 billion a year in aid to continue its war effort, a figure equivalent to almost half of Ukraine’s pre-war economic output.

Last year, when Biden announced the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, he said, “We have been a nation at war for too long. If you’re 20 today, you’ve never known a peaceful America. He said: “It is time to end the eternal war.

Now, Biden is engaging the American people in a new perpetual war, saying there are no limits to the resources that must be devoted to it.

Asked at a press conference at the NATO summit in Madrid on Thursday to “explain what this means for the American people” and whether he was promising “indefinite US support for Ukraine,” Biden said. said “We will support Ukraine for as long as it takes.

Another reporter asked about “high gasoline prices in the United States and around the world,” asking, “How long is it fair to expect American drivers and whole world are paying this premium for this war?

Biden reiterated, “As long as it takes.”

Nobody thought to ask Biden an obvious question: How long will it take? What will be the cost of this open war and what will be the consequences?

The United States is the spearhead of a global conflict that threatens the lives of millions of people and, if it turns into a nuclear exchange, the fate of humanity itself.

Can we imagine, moreover, that a war against Russia, the aim of which is to overthrow the government of the largest country in the world, coupled with a war against China, the world’s second largest economy, could be waged without totally impoverishing the American people?

The social and economic consequences of the militarization of society promised by the United States and its allies at the NATO summit are incalculable. In every country, public spending on public health and social infrastructure must be reduced in order to free up resources for the war effort.

The costs of war must be imposed on the working class through the dismantling of social programs and the demand that workers accept a reduction in real wages in the name of the “national interest”.

The eruption of war was accompanied by the total abandonment of all efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19. According to US government estimates, there will be 100 million new cases of COVID-19 this fall, more than the number of all previously reported COVID-19 cases to date. And Congress has refused to approve any additional pandemic funding, which means uninsured people will be forced to pay out of pocket for COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments.

This week, New York City announced it was cutting funding for public schools by $215 million, in what is expected to be a wave of austerity measures across the country.

Already, the war has fueled demands to cut “entitlement” spending. “NATO needs more guns and less butter,” Glenn Hubbard, the former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, wrote in an op-ed in the the wall street journal earlier this year, demanding cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid spending. “Spending offsets to meet higher defense spending would surely require slowing the growth of social insurance spending,” he wrote.

While runaway military spending amid decades of Wall Street bailouts has contributed to the inflationary crisis, the US political establishment seeks to impose the full burden of the crisis on the working class. The Federal Reserve launched a program to deliberately increase unemployment by raising interest rates, hoping to restore “balance” to the labor market by throwing hundreds of thousands of people out of work.

The escalation of the war will take place against a tidal wave of layoffs, starting in the technology and real estate sector, and spreading through the auto industry. According to a tracker, there were 26,000 layoffs in the tech sector alone last month, up from 20,000 the previous month.

The global war unleashed by the Biden administration is at the same time a war against the working class of the United States. Through war, the American ruling class seeks both to divert internal tensions outwards by creating an external enemy, while strengthening the forces of repression to crush strikes and social struggles.

Biden’s commitment to unlimited American involvement in the war with Russia enjoys the support of the entire American political establishment. The outcome of the NATO summit was hailed by the editorial boards of major US newspapers, from the Democratic New York Times and Washington PostRepublican-aligned the wall street journal.

“Whatever else happens during President Biden’s tenure, and however long that term lasts, events this week in Europe will ensure that his presidency will be consequential,” the President said. Job proclaimed.

Not a single Democratic member of Congress criticized Biden’s promise of endless resources for the war effort.

Despite the relentless barrage of propaganda designed to excite the hated public of Russia and China, the war in Ukraine is largely unpopular. In a YouGov poll released this week, 40% of respondents said the United States should be “less engaged militarily in conflicts around the world,” compared to 12% who said it should be more engaged.

Asked about Biden’s top priority, 38% said the White House should seek to address the soaring cost of living, compared to 8% who said the United States should “secure a defeat for Russia in Ukraine”.

Forty-six percent of those polled said they “oppose the US military getting directly involved in fighting the Russian-Ukrainian war,” compared to just 23% who support such a move.

The American people have not forgotten the crimes committed by American imperialism against the peoples of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen and dozens of other countries subjected to American destabilization campaigns, proxy wars and deadly economic sanctions.

There is no organized political opposition to the war plans of US imperialism outside the International Committee of the Fourth International. The social basis for building a new anti-war movement is the working class. Just as the imperialist war abroad is at the same time a war against the working class at home, so the struggle against war is at the same time a struggle of the working class against inequality, exploitation and the capitalist profit system.

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