US increasing military spending to maintain global hegemony: Expert

The United States is spending a prodigious amount on its military in order to maintain global hegemony, as the US economy is totally dependent on military spending, according to Professor Dennis Etler, an American political analyst who has a decades-long interest in international affairs.

Etler, a professor of Anthropology at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Friday while commenting on a report which says US President Donald Trump is planning to accelerate American weapons sales abroad.

President Trump will issue an executive order or presidential memorandum in this autumn, asking the State Department and Pentagon to more actively advocate on behalf of US arms manufacturers, POLITICO reported on Friday.

“The US military budget is projected to increase at least 5 percent per year over the next 8 years which would amount to $970 billion by 2025. In reality that could be much higher given the Trump administration focus on increasing the US military and its global deployment. At that rate US military spending over the next 8 years will amount to at least $6.6 trillion,” Professor Etler said.

“These calculations do not take into account spending on ‘homeland security,’ which adds additional billions to the funding of the military-industrial complex and the national security state. These untold billions and trillions of dollars are meant to defend the US from threats both foreign and domestic. But defend the US from what? No foreign force has invaded the US homeland since the War of 1812 and the threat of terrorism in the US is minimal and mostly homegrown,” he stated.

“There is no reason for such a prodigious amount of spending except to maintain US global hegemony,” the analyst emphasized.

‘US faces threats to its economic dominance’

“The threats the US faces are not threats to its safety but threats to its economic and political dominance. These threats are not military in nature but due to the economic and political rise of China,” Professor Etler said.

“China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is meant to increase trade and connectivity throughout Eurasia and Africa by massive investments in infrastructure, including high speed rail systems, new sea and airports, energy project and pipelines. Financed primarily by China these projects will cost trillions of dollars over the next decade,” he said.

“It is this peaceful expansion of China’s economic and political influence that the US most fears, not any potential military rivalry. Both Chinese and Russian military spending, as well as that of various other countries under threat from the US, is purely defensive in nature. Russia, China, Iran, North Korea would much rather spend their resources building their countries up rather than spend on military self-defense, but they have no choice given the record of US aggression over the last 70 years,” the commentator said.

“As part of the US military build-up is the ramping up of overseas arms sales which the US already dominates, to the tune of tens of billions of dollars, which is seen as a way to jump start the economy and create more high paying jobs,” he noted.

“This further demonstrates that the US economy is totally dependent on military spending, which itself is predicated on creating tensions abroad to justify the immense squandering of resources,” Professor Etler said.

“While the US economy stagnates, and its infrastructure crumbles the only answer the Trump administration has is to increase military spending and the export of lethal military hardware. With all the vast expenditures in money and personnel for the projection of military power overseas the US cannot even respond to natural disasters in its own backyard,” he said.

“As the US spends billions in Afghanistan and elsewhere its own territory of Puerto Rico faces a post-apocalyptic future destined to what the US mainland will eventually face if it doesn’t change its ways,” the scholar concluded.

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