I thought about starting things off here with some numbers, like maybe the cost of a new aircraft carrier (about 13 billion dollars) and the cost of running just one of the several major naval fleets currently operated by the United States.
Or maybe the cost of constructing and maintaining the gajillions of U.S. military bases sprinkled around the globe.
Or perhaps the total annual military budget alongside the inconvenient (and thus routinely ignored) mathematical reminder that the United States is not only broke, but diving deeper into debt by the second.
But who cares?
Do numbers even matter anymore?
Do things like math and economics have any sway at all over the apparently untouchable principle of relentless American military growth and adventure?
The way that self-described “conservatives” – many of whom claim to be Christians – toss concepts like honesty, consistency, and responsibility right out the window at the drop of a hat when the subject of military budgeting is concerned is one of the more egregious examples of how good ol’ American “conservatism” has become utterly detached from (and disdainful of) reality.
The Chinese are ramping up their navy? We must build more ships! And pronto!
The Russians are daring to flex their military might near their national borders? We must build more ships! And more planes! And more other stuff! And pronto!
It’s just automatic.
It’s reflexive, and ridiculously so.
Never do we even begin to entertain the comically obvious principle that maybe, just maybe, a broke country shouldn’t have a giant military.
Did he really just say that?! But…‘Merica!
I know, I know…this is all pretty much heretical from most Americans’ perspective these days, anyway, but isn’t it still just the most basic sort of common sense idea? Isn’t it the sort of foundational conservative principle that most American professing conservatives claim to revere as essential?
If you have no money and are already in debt, stop buying stuff!
Especially really expensive stuff!
Broke countries shouldn’t build bigger armies. They shouldn’t build bigger navies. They shouldn’t plan expensive wars here, there, and everywhere across the globe.
The loud, proud willingness of American “conservatives” to suspend the God-made laws of logic, math, and economics isn’t helping America. It’s killing America…and serving as yet another example of the judgment of God pouring out upon a proud, unrepentant (and did I mention broke) people.
It’s as though all rational measures of math, economics, and fiscal responsibility just don’t apply to us when we want more stuff…like ships, planes, tanks, guns, rockets, bombs, ammo, etc., etc., etc.
It’s as though we actually believe that the rules of economics and mathematics can – and should! – be suspended any time they conflict with our desire to have “the biggest, baddest military in the world”.
Because we put our faith and hope not in God, but in our stuff.
Oh sure, when it comes to certain things and certain programs, the same “conservatives” who insist on doing whatever it takes to have the “biggest, baddest” military in the world rail relentlessly against the “wasteful”, “irresponsible” spending of money that we don’t have. In those carefully chosen instances, they insist on basing our decisions on the fact that every borrowed dollar plunges us deeper toward the eventually inescapable slavery of insurmountable debt. So selling future generations into such a condition through piling on more and more debt is a concept that is on the typical American “conservative’s” radar at some level. They sure do talk about it a lot, anyway, but almost always in a manner drenched in the selective application of self-serving, emotional, and ever-shifting “standards”.
The Welfare State – or at least the parts of it that grate on the selective sensibilities of “conservatives” – is pummeled and cited as an obvious, glaring target for reduction.
But there is no similar application of standards to the Warfare State or even to popular State-empowering/mass-enslaving programs like Public Schools, Social Security, Medicaid, “special government loans” for housing and education, and on and on it goes.
Biblically, all of these State-empowering, mass-enslaving systems and approaches to life are evil and therefore destructive.
All of them.
Therefore, they all have to go.
All of them.
If we’re going to even find our way to true life, liberty, justice, peace, and prosperity, anyway.
And in order to get there, Christians in America are going to have to lead the way in repenting of many systems they’ve personally embraced and empowered. Christians are going to have to lead the way in rejecting and repudiating the unbiblical, State-empowering, mass-enslaving systems that we have been rationalizing and propping up for many generations now.
Social Security, Medicaid, Food Stamps, Unemployment Benefits, Disability Benefits, and the perpetual warfare enabling Military Industrial Complex are all explicitly unbiblical and therefore, whenever and wherever they are enabled and embraced, inherently and invariably pose a serious threat to true freedom, liberty, justice, peace, and prosperity anywhere they are allowed to persist in God’s creation. (See: Kicking the Socialism Habit: Do we love the Lord (and one another) enough to confront and correct our dependence on the State?)
If we truly want restoration in the land, there is a pathway there.
If our prayers for such restoration are sincere, we will be moved toward the repentance and restoration that can and will come to any and all people who, by God’s grace, embrace His Gospel-fueled Great Commission and submit to His Son as King over them.
Only then, with our peace and security rooted in Him rather than in the tools and devices of men, and with a life-enabling fear of the Lord replacing the fear of the world that now dominates and defines our culture, will we finally find the true, life, liberty, happiness and security that The State always promises but can never deliver.
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Finally, here are a few good intro/reminder links for those of you who are new to Fire Breathing Christian and curious about exactly what’s goin’ on ’round here:
What are you, some kind of [insert label here] or something?!
What’s with that shark-fishie graphic thing?
Intro to Fire: The Power and Purpose of the Common Believer
When the Bible gets hairy. (Or: Is it right for men to have long hair?)
And especially this one: Never forget that apart from God’s grace you and I are complete morons.
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One of the most overlooked truths about the Navy, Aircraft Carriers in particular, is that Naval Operations are an interlinked series of operating pieces.
An Aircraft Carrier is just a big empty boat without a deployed Air Wing consisting of up to half a dozen squadrons of various types of aircraft.
All that investment doesn't just go cruising off over the horizon without a surrounding flotilla of Battle Cruisers, Cruisers, Destroyers, and Submarines as escorts designed to protect this very expensive operational asset.
The Aircraft Carrier is only the tip of a $100 Billion bag of assets.
Since you need two or three of these Battle Groups to keep one station manned at all times the costs quickly grow to mind boggling proportions.
We need a minimum of 3 stations manned 24/7 just for the coastal waters of the United States, thats 7 to 9 Battle Groups right there. Add in the permanently manned stations in each of the worlds oceans far from our shores [plus the Mediterranean sea] and the costs are now beyond the comprehension of a single human mind.
Wonder why we're broke? See the picture at the top of the page, add in all the infrastructure needed to keep all that "stuff" operating and multiply that times the number of "stations" to be manned and you now have a graphical picture of the problem.