By David Stockman
David Stockman’s Contra Corner
March 15, 2014

Presentation by David A. Stockman to The Committee for the Republic, February 11, 2014

Flask in hand, Boris Yelstin famously mounted a tank outside the Soviet Parliament in August 1991. Presently, the fearsome Red Army stood down—an outcome which 45 years of Cold War military mobilization by the West had failed to accomplish.

At the time, the U.S. Warfare State’s budget— counting the pentagon, spy agencies, DOE weapons, foreign aid, homeland security and veterans—-was about $500 billion in today’s dollars. Now, a quarter century on from the Cold War’s end, that same metric stands at $900 billion.

This near doubling of the Warfare State’s fiscal girth is a tad incongruous. After all, America’s war machine was designed to thwart a giant, nuclear-armed industrial state, but, alas, we now have no industrial state enemies left on the planet.

The much-shrunken Russian successor to the Soviet Union, for example, has become a kleptocracy run by a clever thief who prefers stealing from his own citizens rather than his neighbors.

Likewise, the Red Chinese threat consists of a re-conditioned aircraft carrier bought second-hand from a former naval power—-otherwise known as the Ukraine. Its bubble-ridden domestic economy would collapse within six weeks were China to actually bomb the 4,000 Wal-Mart outlets in America on which its mercantilist export machine utterly depends.

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