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Guest Post: Economic Weakness Creates Military Weakness

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by LToddWood via,

It has happened over and over again throughout history.  Nations, empires, and dynasties have made bad economic decisions which lead to their own destruction.  The scenario usually goes something like this--one generation sacrifices and works hard to overcome global challenges and creates an economic powerhouse, which in turn allows it to project military power.  Follow on generations take their elders work for granted and ignore and even denigrate the fruits of hard labor, they just want the benefits and start giving away the spoils for free.  The next generation indulges itself in sloth and corruption and is overrun by the barbarians. 

The Roman Empire was famous for giving out bread and circuses to satiate the citizens of Rome, all the while devaluing their currency with less and less precious metal.  They ignored their financial obligations to their military.  The Emperor became corrupt, handing out favors only to those closest to him and persecuting the opposition while ignoring the very real threats to the north until it was too late.  The Spanish also devalued their currency by reducing the precious metal content as they fought wars all over the world.  We all know how that turned out.  After WWI, the Deutschmark to the Dollar exchange rate was 4 to 1.  In order to pay their war reparations, the Weimar Republic started printing money.  A few short years later it was four million to one USD.  This destroyed the German economy and gave Hitler an opening to power. 

Today with convoys of Russian troops rolling through the Crimean Peninsula and Hind helicopter gunships controlling the skies, one doesn’t have to look far to see evidence of American weakness.  Whether or not you can understand the Russian position, the bottom line is that Putin does not fear a Western reaction to Russia projecting power in Ukraine.  This situation is the latest in a long list of examples of American economic weakness leading to serious national security threats.  Iran continuing to develop nuclear weapons, Syria defying the Russian brokered agreement to destroy its chemical weapons, Russia granting Snowden asylum, North Korea going nuclear, China threatening Japan, are a direct result of an absence of a serious American response or perceived threat.

Why is America no longer credible when our president draws a red line or two or three?  It is not just that Obama is a weak leader and naive in foreign affairs, although that is certainly true. It is because American owes $17 trillion dollars, a good chunk of  it to our adversaries.   It is because we are cutting the meat from our defense budget in order to fund bread and circuses to keep the people happy.  It is because pilots in the Air Force are flying the same tail numbers their grandfathers did.  The U.S. military used to train and equip to fight two wars simultaneously.  Now the world knows America is broke and cannot even sustain one long term conflict financially.  This status of affairs has not just happened under Obama.  A long list of Democratic and Republican administrations have not spent our money wisely.  And our allies in Europe are in no better shape.  In fact, their defense situation is worse after decades of relying on the Americans and running up their debt to GDP ratio as well. 

At some point, the FED will lose control of the bond market no matter how much money they print.  Then interest rates will be set based on the credit risk of the United States.  This will cause interest rates to shoot higher.  Each percent rise in interest rates is approximately $200 billion in increased debt service costs for the United States.  Soon the majority of the federal budget will go to paying interest and entitlements and defense will be squeezed even harder.  We have not even begun to see austerity yet.  This interest rate shock will also hurt the economy.  Do you remember the twenty percent mortgage rates in the seventies?  Federal revenue will shrink at the same time expenses are rising.  The future is not pretty.

America only has a short time to deal with this problem.  We need to stop spending money we don’t have and we need to grow the economy.  The government needs to get out the way.  If you are in a hole and want to get out the first thing you need to do is stop digging.

It is not our generation that will suffer.  It will be your children and grandchildren.  Do you hear that commotion to the north?  The barbarians are coming.


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Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:03 | 4600446 Jstanley011
Jstanley011's picture

The Canadians?

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:05 | 4600447 McMolotov
McMolotov's picture

Yep, America's hat is planning an invasion.

And God how I wish we had more money to spend bombing those fucking Russians!


Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:09 | 4600468 EscapingProgress
EscapingProgress's picture

When the barbarians are at the gate I'm joining them.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:14 | 4600481 McMolotov
McMolotov's picture

Barbarians usually know how to have a good time, unless they're the kind who drone wedding parties.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:16 | 4600486 Timmay
Timmay's picture

300 million+ firearms in the U.S.


Just sayin'....

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:26 | 4600530 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

"The scenario usually goes something like this--"

some environmental effect alters the genetic make up of a population which increases the number of productive people relative to the psychopaths thereby allowing more economic success and growth.

You know - like early America.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:40 | 4600577 ArkansasAngie
ArkansasAngie's picture

As far as I'm concerned Snowden is a hero.  I wish we had more heros like him.

But you are correct.  American has over played it's hand and our government has parlied our economy down the tubes.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 19:58 | 4600838 sushi
sushi's picture

American has over played it's hand


Cannot see how. POTUS had over 900 staffers in his entourage to Europe. Are you suggesting that this constitutes waste?

Speaking about drawing future red lines is also a very economical way of forcing opponents to conform to our world view.

Statements such as FUCK THE EU are bold and clear policy statements that energize our allies and ensure a co-ordinated response to serious threat.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 21:36 | 4601154 petolo
petolo's picture

Is that a fat lady from the North i hear singing?

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 23:30 | 4601483 Terminus C
Terminus C's picture

Rita McNeil?

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 23:58 | 4601519 Jreb
Thu, 03/27/2014 - 20:25 | 4600936 americanspirit
americanspirit's picture

Snowden is definitely a hero - and the assholes in the US intelligence community are not. THAT is why they hate him - not because he revealed secrets. Because he is a man with a big heart and plenty of courage and they are slimey little bureaucrats. Let's not forget how often the US intelligence community has been penetrated all the way to the top - Anyone remember Aldrich Ames? They are losers and that's why they are haters.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 20:28 | 4600949 mc225
mc225's picture

--one generation sacrifices and works hard to overcome global challenges and creates an economic powerhouse, which in turn allows it to project military power. --


yeah, the original statement was corny.


how about, 'one generation survives virtually unscathed, a war where every other major industrial base is shelled/bombed into oblivion; and surviving power dominates the world economy on the basis of being the only remaining game in town'. then they help rebuild germany/japan, and offshore a lot more to china, etc.

but they have always (since 1913) had funny money, and a strange sense -- going way back -- of 'god being on their side'; and -- with help from the likes of dr. seuss -- the masses were thus easily propagandized into believing they were 'the good guys'. yada yada ymmv

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 19:01 | 4600633 10mm
10mm's picture

That's gonna be one hell of a light show.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:16 | 4600488 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

The barbarians have been running Washington for a long time.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:20 | 4600501 McMolotov
McMolotov's picture

Like I said below, they simply bathed, got haircuts, and bought fancy clothes. Some of us can still smell them, though.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:55 | 4600615 Ifigenia
Ifigenia's picture

the jews are not barbarians they have a long history, since the time of ancient egipt.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 00:01 | 4601524 Jreb
Jreb's picture

"The inmates have been running Washington for a long time."

There fixed it.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:39 | 4600574 fxrxexexdxoxmx
fxrxexexdxoxmx's picture

Seems to me that terrorists spend way to much time at weddings. If they spent more time killing Infidels, the Infidels would lack the manpower to drone them. Less terrorists weddings and more Infidel killing and the problem will resolve itself.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 19:47 | 4600791 Manthong
Manthong's picture

Also, the fewer infidels and drones, the fewer terrorist funerals there are to drone..

Seems to me like you’ve got a virtuous cycle going there.  : - )

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 04:06 | 4601737 Socratic Dog
Socratic Dog's picture

They spend a bit too much time collecting firewood on hillsides, to.  Especially the old lady and children terrorists.  Makes it just too damn easy for our heroic drone jockeys.

Firewood and weddings.  Who woulda guessed it would be so easy to ID the terr's?

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 21:00 | 4600948 harlanaladd
harlanaladd's picture

These aren't exactly Barbarians (they're Cossacks) but they clearly do know how to have a good time:


Not too far from Crimea, come to think of it...

WB7? For in some other context?

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:28 | 4600543 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

It is not our generation that will suffer. It will be your children and grandchildren.

Nah-Pretty sure they will simply refuse the debt bondage and then - should the Wamphyri press the issue with taxes that reach the level of bondage then conflict will ensue.

That which cannot be paid, will not be. Deal.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 19:03 | 4600638 GooseShtepping Moron
GooseShtepping Moron's picture

That which cannot be paid, will not be. Deal.

That may be true as far as it goes, but it doesn't change the fact that our society will still weaken to a degree proportionate with the unpaid debt. Repudiating the paper debt only solves the accounting problem, not the economic problem.

We paid for our current standard of living with all of that debt; with the "time-preference" it bought us we were able to shift an enormous amount of future spending into the present, and it also allowed us to financially repress the rest of the world through the petro-dollar system. Without the ability to take on similar debt loads in the future, the current level of spending cannot possibly continue. Therefore living standards will have to decline.

In other words, the debt will be "paid" one way or another, if not from current revenues then with reduced future purchases.

(EDIT: I wasn't the one who junked you, by the way.)

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 22:09 | 4601249 BigJim
BigJim's picture

 We paid for our current standard of living with all of that debt

Who is this 'we' you speak of, white man? 

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:20 | 4600505 Freddie
Freddie's picture

F MIC!  This article talks about the Air Force flying old planes.  BS.  The system, Pentagon and country is totally corrupt.  It is run by the crony capitalists, billionaires, defense contractors, banks et al.

The USA has spent a few trillion on the F-35 which is a piece of shit and the F-22 is not much better.   The Russians spend 1/10 of what America does on defense and their jets and missiles are state of the art. 

Putin is too smart to get into endless wars because the USSR empire imploded because the USSR did all the stupid empire crap the USSA is doing.  The police/intell/surveil state probably has a budget of $200 billion or more.

Finally, any country who would elect Obama will fail and deserves to fail.  There are no real elections in Amerika anyway.  I doubt real elections have occurred since before The banksters Civil War.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:38 | 4600559 CH1
CH1's picture

Rah, rah military? Fuck NO!

NeoCon shit.

I'm NOT interested in the US military bombing the shit out of brown people to prove that we're all still virile.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 19:15 | 4600672 Ifigenia
Ifigenia's picture

"Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights? No I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is here. I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom and equality. If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years."  Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr

Even this Cassius had more balls than Baracus

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 04:58 | 4601761 Ar-Pharazôn
Ar-Pharazôn's picture

"those who are fighting for their own justice"


Yeah, vietnamese freedom...........................

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 11:52 | 4602682 WeAreScrewed
WeAreScrewed's picture

"No Vietnamese ever called me nigger."

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:41 | 4600581 McMolotov
McMolotov's picture

I'm convinced that some people are fixated on the bogeyman of military weakness because they link military supremacy to their own sense of manhood. What's even more sad is that those who are the most vocal in support of moar military adventures are often those who've never been in the military. They live vicariously through the violent exploits of others.

They're right to be questioning their manhood.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 19:08 | 4600656 NickVegas
NickVegas's picture

I'm pretty sure we spend more on "defense" than the rest of the world combined. So we should fix "the problem" by spending more, with the same people, to the same end. Hmmmm, good analysis.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 20:01 | 4600856 sushi
sushi's picture

a piece of shit composed of 9 million lines of non-working code

Fixed it for you

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:28 | 4600537 Payne
Payne's picture

without a good economy there is no reliable military.  No supply lines no support.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 19:17 | 4600682 Ifigenia
Ifigenia's picture

and without sheeps there are no cannon folders

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:47 | 4600593 rubiconsolutions
rubiconsolutions's picture

What a load of bovine scat. Economic weakness creates military weakness? How about military domination creating economic weakness? America has been at war - or some semblance thereof - for a hundred years and it weakened the country. War is the health of the state. And America is terminal.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 20:11 | 4600886 Buck Johnson
Buck Johnson's picture

Or the US decides to attack Canada and take over the country.  We are done.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:05 | 4600448 semperfi
semperfi's picture

and the barbarians are at the gates

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:08 | 4600462 McMolotov
McMolotov's picture

They're already here. The American government is comprised of barbarians in $1000 suits.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:35 | 4600561 CH1
CH1's picture

They're already here. The American government is comprised of barbarians in $1000 suits.

Yes! Yes! YES!!!  +100

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 20:06 | 4600866 sushi
sushi's picture

Don't forget the green anal beeds and the high tech cardboard communications systems.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 23:19 | 4601462 Peanut Butter E...
Peanut Butter Engineer's picture

The real barbarians are in the White House already!

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 08:31 | 4601988 drendebe10
drendebe10's picture

Let's hear it for the fudge packer in chief!

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:06 | 4600449 Caveman93
Caveman93's picture

Google searched "

"Economic Weakness Creates Military Weakness" = "Why did the Articles of Confederation fail"

Is Google Compromised?

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:18 | 4600496 Ralph Spoilsport
Thu, 03/27/2014 - 20:35 | 4600968 mc225
mc225's picture

are you saying that maybe someone 'gamed' google to put 'articles of the confederation' front and center? coo



Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:10 | 4600469 SaulRosenberg
SaulRosenberg's picture

I have a deep understanding of history. I can assure you this time it is truly different. America is the first country who's finances are run by 'Jews' and they will not allow their finances to fail!

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:13 | 4600479 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

Better be Careful Saul. The natives are getting restless.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:24 | 4600526 pot_and_kettle
pot_and_kettle's picture

as long as the economy keeps feeding lobbyists like AIPAC and continues to keep Apartheid Israel afloat, right saul?

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:30 | 4600549 I need Another Beer
I need Another Beer's picture

You suh , have a deep understanding of a black cock stuck up your ass


The largest ethnic group to serve the Confederacy, however, was made up of first-, second- and third-generation Jewish lads. Old Jewish families, initially Sephardic and later Ashkenazic, had settled in the South generations before the war. Jews had lived in Charleston, S.C., since 1695. By 1800, the largest Jewish community in America lived in Charleston, where the oldest synagogue in America, K.K. Beth Elohim, was founded. By 1861, a third of all the Jews in America lived in Louisiana.

      More than 10,000 Jews fought for the Confederacy. As Rabbi Korn of Charleston related, "Nowhere else in America — certainly not in the Antebellum North — had Jews been accorded such an opportunity to be complete equals as in the old South." Gen. Robert E. Lee allowed his Jewish soldiers to observe all holy days, while Gens. Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman issued anti-Jewish orders.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:55 | 4600614 fxrxexexdxoxmx
fxrxexexdxoxmx's picture

Robert E. Lee allowed his Jewish soldiers to observe all holy days

Which means they worked less days for the same pay. Always about the money.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:12 | 4600471 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Or is it...

Big-MIC, being the biggest socialiat scam ever, weakens economies.

Or is it...

Big-MIC, being the biggest socialist scam ever, caused people to think socialism worked over the last 60+ years; because all those cool war-toys are just so amazingly cool and what else but a centrally-planned monopoly could have created all that coolness, so why don't we apply Big-MIC to everything?  

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:23 | 4600518 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Many of those MIC defense contractors are "dual citizens."   The main shareholders.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:11 | 4600472 grgy
grgy's picture

It would be nice if the US had to stay home and mind their own business for a change.  Bring on the collapse!

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:13 | 4600478 css1971
css1971's picture

Too late, the cronies infest the system.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:20 | 4600497 Yellowhoard
Yellowhoard's picture

I say we build two gigantic bombs that can each destroy the planet. Then, when the barbarians arrive, we blow one of them up to prove that we're serious, to show the fuckers what we are capable of with the second one.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 20:10 | 4600883 sushi
sushi's picture

Why wait for the barbarians to arrive?

Why not blow both bombs up just to demonstrate to the barbarians that we are serious about our convictions. Such a demonstration of great power should scare the barbarians off.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 08:34 | 4602005 drendebe10
drendebe10's picture

In WWII, it took two...

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:22 | 4600498 Lumberjack
Lumberjack's picture

Weak minds create...well, they built it didn't they. 


"The Roman Empire was famous for giving out bread and circuses to satiate the citizens of Rome, all the while devaluing their currency with less and less precious metal.  They ignored their financial obligations to their military. "


 Problem is...they sweetened their wine with....lead.


Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:25 | 4600527 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Lead is probably safer than Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) high fructose corn syrup as a sweetner or any GMO frakenfood from Monsanto.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 19:21 | 4600692 Ceylon tea
Ceylon tea's picture

That is a very silly statement, there is a reason why we dont use leaded fuels anymore let alone put the crap in our foods

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:20 | 4600504 xamax
xamax's picture

We see a fair stability in the societies of today and thus we reiterate our S&P500 price target of 2400 by year end.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:23 | 4600515 McMolotov
McMolotov's picture


I think most people don't see what you're doing, but I think it's hilarious.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:37 | 4600565 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re:  We see a fair stability in the societies of today and thus we reiterate our S&P500 price target of 2400 by year end.

Can't argue with this really.   I don't see anything changing either.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:55 | 4600613 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

May as well reiterate 3400 while you are at it. One meaningless number is as meaningless as another meaningless number.

Yes, MacMol. We get it. Taking the bait with more bait is how we'll process this bucket of fish guts.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:21 | 4600507 Major Major Major
Major Major Major's picture

"Follow on generations take their elders work for granted"


Oh, like creating the Federal Reserve Bank and fractional reserve banking.  Thanks, elders.


Are the boomers the "sloth and corruption" generation?  Whos "children and grandchildren" are we talking about here? 

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:27 | 4600532 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Note that the Fed was voted on in the middle of the night on or around Christmas Eve like ObamaCare.  The IRS was created around the same time to make sure the suckers paid up to their new overlords.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:37 | 4600548 Major Major Major
Major Major Major's picture

At least we are having champagne when they fuck us, NDAA for the new year too.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:27 | 4600533 Ifigenia
Ifigenia's picture

"Today with convoys of Russian troops rolling through the Crimean Peninsula and Hind helicopter gunships controlling the skies, one doesn’t have to look far to see evidence of American weakness.  Whether or not you can understand the Russian position, the bottom line is that Putin does not fear a Western reaction to Russia projecting power in Ukraine."

Is this a propaganda? Russian troops on Crimea are extraordinary even before the crisis and the election to integrate in Russia?

"Iran continuing to develop nuclear weapons"

It really must be a joke, everybody, including CIA said Iran was not on nuke. Israel is and nobody talk, why?

"Syria defying the Russian brokered agreement to destroy its chemical weapons"? Facts are Syria continuing to ship out chemical weapons to be destroy.

"Russia granting Snowden asylum" and USA didnt gave asylum to banksters of Ecuador, dissidents from Cuba?

"North Korea going nuclear" just like Israel.

"China threatening Japan" due to what? USA, unilaterally gave Japan the control of islands in dispute between China, Japan and Taiwan without discussion.

So biased facts dont give rights to USA to assume the policeman status of the World.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:58 | 4600621 fxrxexexdxoxmx
fxrxexexdxoxmx's picture

So Russia has never, not once, done anything to anyone who did not deserve it, right? You tool, boris.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 19:34 | 4600731 Ifigenia
Ifigenia's picture

History demonstrate that Russia did, In commies times they let starve millions to death and also kill millions. USA also killed millions of koreans and vietnameses. So the slaughter must continue to see who kill more?

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:29 | 4600547 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

My favorite thing about it all is the hypocritical claims of Russian aggression by the DC US. The same DC US that has invaded at least 2 countries since 2001, fomented revolutions in several countries, and currently flies wedding party and school bombing and children killing drones over many others.

Yeah, "land of the free..." and the home of the brave killers by drone. LOL

DC US is done.

Just needs a fork stuck in it.

The American people and country will rise again.


The Four Rs
Rejection: Quit paying, quit obeying , quit playing
Revolution: It is inevitable, so prepare, as they are.
Retribution: Is there really any place for these sociopaths and criminals in a restored civil and Constitutional society?!
Restoration: Restore the Constitutional republic.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 19:00 | 4600630 fxrxexexdxoxmx
fxrxexexdxoxmx's picture

Do not forget about the decade Russia spent in Afghanistan bombing and kill innocent children. They are just as evil and self interested as every other global power.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 20:16 | 4600905 sushi
sushi's picture

Do not forget about the decade Great Britain spent in Afghanistan bombing and kill innocent children.

Let's see

UK 0 for 2

USSR 0 for 1

USA 0 for 1

Afghanistan 4 - 0

Must be something in the water over there. 

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 20:47 | 4601008 Tulpa
Tulpa's picture

Mostly the terrain and the backwards tribal culture.  The same things that make AFG essentially unconquerable also render it perennially impoverished.  To a large extent it makes no sense to even talk about Afghanistan as an entity; it's a blob on the map that's inhabited by hundreds of tribes and clans with only tenuous relation to each other.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 09:00 | 4602076 dogismycopilot
dogismycopilot's picture

actually, Afghanistan was once not a bad place under the soviets...then the afghani islamists overthrew the soviet leader and in 1979 the soviets rolled in to try and keep it together. (no good deed goes unnpunished).


"My bacha Beresh Afghan boy you do not know what the hell you are talking about I was in Kabul at that time in 1970 i was in afghanistan and live in Kabul, Afghanistan was modern civilised.and Pakistan was like rathol sewer.You must be one of the boy keeper of Pakistany man who send you to do their dirty job, hurt Afghan and you are a sham for real Afghans."

Sun, 03/30/2014 - 01:38 | 4607202 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

First off, I am an American citizen of the American country. I could care one iota about the Russians. I only care about me, mine and my countrymen. Our enemy is here and now in the guise of the United States Government.

Next, it has been proven that the DC US instigated the whole Afghanistan invsion so as to "give the Russinas their own Vietnam." Doesn't make any of it right, but when have any of these criminals we call government done any thing right?!

Check it out.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:30 | 4600550 RaceToTheBottom
RaceToTheBottom's picture

I think it would be a great idea to pool our depreciating money and buy this object and set it up on Wall Street......

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:32 | 4600554 tony bonn
tony bonn's picture

LToddWood - go fuck yourself you murdering butchering sack of shit.....russian tanks in the crimea is a sign of american weakness??? you neocon blood thirsty ziocon banksters make me sick. i pray for god's swift and immediate judgment on you fucking assholes.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:36 | 4600562 McMolotov
McMolotov's picture

Don't hold back, tell us how you really feel.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 19:03 | 4600643 negative rates
negative rates's picture

He's out of breath.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:39 | 4600572 NoTTD
NoTTD's picture

Gee.  Don't sugarcoat it.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:56 | 4600619 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Preach it brah.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 19:03 | 4600644 gdpetti
gdpetti's picture

Not to worry, 'God' is listening and sending Mother Nature in to do some 'spring cleaning', why else do you think the PTB have become so interested in 'dark matter'?

Something wicked this way comes.... and how many are ready for that?

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:38 | 4600570 NoTTD
NoTTD's picture

First generation-coolie; 
second generation-merchant; 
third generation- playboy;
fourth generation-coolie.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:40 | 4600575 The man with po...
The man with pointy horns's picture

Russia and China must be barbarians, they have a great love of that yellow barbarous relic...

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:42 | 4600582 atomicwasted
atomicwasted's picture

Oh noes!  Unless we stop "ignoring our financial obligations to the military" we'll be speaking Russian next year.  Cold war neocon bullshit.


Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:44 | 4600586 Ifigenia
Ifigenia's picture

"The Roman Empire was famous for giving out bread and circuses to satiate the citizens of Rome, all the while devaluing their currency with less and less precious metal.  They ignored their financial obligations to their military. "

It must be a great insult to History. Who had study Roman Empire History know that their military was a kind of state within the state, the only institute that detent real power, and since 41AD, every emperor was elected or choose by the military or must had their support. And a lot of emperors came from their ranks.

So, distorting the historical facts to push the envelope for more taxpayers money for the industrial-military complex is indecent. The sheeps also have the right to live and tend their families with a decent hope for a future. More, with a War Budget more than China, Russia, France, Japan, UK and the next ten countries war budget combines show that USA has already overspending on this field.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 19:00 | 4600628 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Yeah, but it's not just the US.    History also shows that at anytime in history one or two nations are fighting for the title of "Supreme Dick of the World" (SDW).    The SDW gets to loot the rest of the world, and gets the females with the largest teeth and hair.

England was the SDW for many years, France took a shot at it,  Germans had a brief burst of glory.   It's nothing more than normal Frat Boy behavior on a world-class level.

The US just happens to be the SDW right now,  but the US Frat Boys are spending more time vomiting the neighbor's bushes lately and pretty soon another group of testosterone fueled assholes will show up and there will be a big fight and lots of male chest thumping and lots of bullshit created about the glorous fight.

It's the 4 F's of male life:  Food, Fear, Fighting, and Screwing.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 19:38 | 4600750 Ifigenia
Ifigenia's picture

so? built more planes? have a war budget equal to the rest of the world combine? give more money to the military contractors?

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 19:00 | 4600631 gdpetti
gdpetti's picture

Before the death of Caesar, most who rose to the top, had military experience, as they were almost always at war... sound familiar?

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 19:39 | 4600755 Ifigenia
Ifigenia's picture


Thu, 03/27/2014 - 20:52 | 4601028 Tulpa
Tulpa's picture

Everybody was almost always at war in those days.  It wasn't just a Roman thing.  There was essentially no economic growth, so population pressure had only one way of being relieved.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:58 | 4600622 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Let's see ... build up the US military to face a nonexistant Russian threat, have it around doing nothing should the US taxpayers ever take to the streets.

I see what you did there.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:59 | 4600624 Omegaman2211
Omegaman2211's picture

None of the things listed by the author as "national security threats" are actual national security threats.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 19:01 | 4600635 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Anything that reduces the wealth of the top 10% is a national security threat. 

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 19:02 | 4600639 fxrxexexdxoxmx
fxrxexexdxoxmx's picture

But the new government in Kiev is a national security threat to Russia, right?

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 19:04 | 4600646 Omegaman2211
Omegaman2211's picture

Not really relevant to the discussion of US national security threats. Thanks.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 19:02 | 4600640 grunk
grunk's picture

Obama is going to get Prince Bandar to stir up some trouble for Putin in East Ukraine/Crimea.

In exchange, Obama will up the mischief in Syria.

The war will start in Syria.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 19:05 | 4600649 fxrxexexdxoxmx
fxrxexexdxoxmx's picture

For the innocent and freedom seeking people of Syria it is a war already. May Allah protect them.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 19:05 | 4600648 notquantumdum
notquantumdum's picture

While I might not agree with everything in this article, I certainly agree with the main point:  we need to reduce government spending in the US, net.  [At this point, I'm not really sure that I actually care where it is cut anymore, as long as it is.]

And, every nanosecond that we hesitate or negotiate or argue over this reality, the more expensive the eventual costs will be.  'And, exponentially so!  While I know most people in the US may not really understand what exponential functions are, I am confident that most ZH readers probably know exactly what this means.

I also know Harry Reid has claimed that people who want to reduce spending are just anarchists, but I don't see any evidence that spending can't be reduced somewhat:

The US seemed to do just fine for hundreds of years with dramatically lower government spending than now -- and, I see no evidence that we had an anarchy back then.

Also, regarding the $17 trillion of debt; that totally ignores the $100 to $200 trillion more in unfunded liabilities [largely comprised of Medicare and SS promises which the government has implicitly made, for which it has no source of funding]!

This could become really ugly really quickly.  [Or, should I just post the link to the scene in "Anchorman" when things "escalated quickly"!?]

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 19:07 | 4600654 Omegaman2211
Omegaman2211's picture

I don't find being called an anarchist to be particularly insulting.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 19:14 | 4600669 Debt Slave
Debt Slave's picture

I also know Harry Reid has claimed that people who want to reduce spending are just anarchists,

When he does so, he is appealing to people that possess the IQ of a turnip. Hence the inherent fault of democracy.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 07:37 | 4601877 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

Hmmm, Hairy thinks he will be one of the top dogs on the New Politburo after The Big Crash.

Just about Everything wrong with the US could be summed up in 1 photo of this cretin.

Or, hold up a photo of McCain if you want to play Red vs Blue team fantasy ball.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 19:07 | 4600651 Debt Slave
Debt Slave's picture

The next generation indulges itself in sloth and corruption and is overrun by the barbarians.

Just like America is being overrun by barbarians South of the Border.

No? Pay more attention to the local evening news.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 19:13 | 4600667 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

I think much of the world thinks we're the barbarians,  so...   perspective is important when judging.  

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 19:16 | 4600676 Debt Slave
Debt Slave's picture

Most absolutely. We need only look at the barbarians who conduct our foreign policy.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 19:07 | 4600655 Oldrepublic
Oldrepublic's picture

Famous series of paintings by Thomas C ole 1833-36

The course of empire

There is the moral of all human tales;

'Tis but the same rehearsal of the past.
First freedom and then Glory – when that fails,
Wealth, vice, corruption – barbarism at last.
And History, with all her volumes vast,
Hath but one page...

Lord Byron

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 19:10 | 4600659 Malachi Constant
Malachi Constant's picture

LToddWood, you are either an idiot or a hypocrite.

If you bemoan the alleged loss of military might, secretly hoping to be noticed for your war song and hired by TPB, then you are a hypocrite.

If you fail to ask yourself the question "What makes me think the US is more important than any other country?", you are an idiot.

In any case, you haven't read The Republic by Plato, where in Book 4 the following stunning realization occurs:

justice [is] doing one's own business, and not being a busybody

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 20:55 | 4601040 Tulpa
Tulpa's picture

That works great until someone gets in the way of your business.  As in many things, Plato was extremely naive here.  

Tue, 04/29/2014 - 22:42 | 4710648 Malachi Constant
Malachi Constant's picture

if your business is valuable because of you, people will stay with you. If your business is as valuable without you, then you should be doing something else anyway.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 19:16 | 4600678 Atticus Finch
Atticus Finch's picture

"It is because we are cutting the meat from our defense budget in order to fund bread and circuses to keep the people happy."

What planet does this joker live on?

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 19:27 | 4600716 Debt Slave
Debt Slave's picture

The U.S. military used to train and equip to fight two wars simultaneously.

Mars, the war planet. Why does the U.S. need to train and equip for two wars? Because it's government goes around the globe crapping on people and making them hate us and desire to get even. Some people seem to approve of such idiotic behavior.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 19:52 | 4600813 yellowsub
yellowsub's picture

We have not spread our tyranny, I mean democracy on the entire world yet!

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 19:25 | 4600706 SKY85hawk
SKY85hawk's picture

Where are the Circuses in America?  It's clear there's plenty of bread thrown around.

Where is the QE stimulus bread going?  After 5 years they're running out of Bread? 

Each month the banks get 10 billion less to cover up their investment losses

$10 billion would pay for a year's Health Care premium for 626,000 out-of-work Americans!

WE voted them into office, they should treat us like 'Friends' too.

I wouldn't be complaing if I had the Insider trading tips that Boehner and Pelosi get.


Thu, 03/27/2014 - 19:26 | 4600714 Fix-ItSilly
Fix-ItSilly's picture

When talking about a poor economy and a depleted military, how can the author not point to the poster child, Russia?  However, if Russia is not challenged, then we follow the same rags to muscledom path as Germany between the wars.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 19:42 | 4600764 bh2
bh2's picture

The Barbarians eventually become the Praetorian Guard. We're there already.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 19:58 | 4600840 robertocarlos
robertocarlos's picture

Fuck those invading American tanks. I've got wool socks and some tar. All that's needed is some C4 and a fuse.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 20:16 | 4600904 Seal
Seal's picture

and vice versa as Casey Stengel used to say - MILITARY WEAKNESS CREATES ECONOMIC WEAKNESS - our "professional military has failed to prevail in ALL FOUR [4] major wars since WW 2. 

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 20:34 | 4600965 yogibear
yogibear's picture

Barry with the Federal Reserve can help weaken the US by trashing the dollar.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 20:40 | 4600983 NoWayJose
NoWayJose's picture

Barbarians questing for the 'barbaric relic' always win...

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 20:49 | 4601013 bluedevil
bluedevil's picture

the Fourth Turning is upon us.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 20:51 | 4601021 Spanky
Spanky's picture

While it's important to consider other (esp. opposing) points of view, it's easy enough to find neocon arguments pretty much everywhere. Do we really need more of it at ZH? L Todd's analysis of our foreign policies is not especially enlightening -- better can easily be found in Foreign Affairs...

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 20:57 | 4601045 Tulpa
Tulpa's picture

It's not that hard to scroll down if you don't want to read it.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 21:45 | 4601173 Spanky
Spanky's picture

It's even easier to skip it completely. Point is, better analysis than that provided by L Todd is easily available if the Tylers want to provide a neocon perspective on military funding and US foreign policy. 

All this amounts to is L Todd's fond rememberance of his days as a chopper pilot, and his opinion that anyone not in the military or cheering for it (i.e.: willing to throw even more taxpayer money away on foreign military adventures) is mucking things up...

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 09:06 | 4602099 Stud Duck
Stud Duck's picture

I suspected he was a military retiree, criticizing "entitlements" but does not see his retirement for 20 years of service while the people that pay that retirement and most probably disability out of their salary at a job working twice the hours they are paid for with no retirement even close to his. Those military retirees with their free health care for life for themselves and family, collecting more money in retirement than they ever got on the job, They look at other people with entitlements with disdain but cant see what they have cost the economy with their worthless contibution to wealth of the whole economy.

Babble on L Todd, maybe one of you ilk will listen.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 20:52 | 4601029 grekko
grekko's picture

Yes, we've all read about it here.  It is known as the Fourth Turning.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 21:00 | 4601052 Tulpa
Tulpa's picture

What a load of manure.  80 years of data to fit an 80 year cycle.. and it doesn't even fit that of course.  How were the 1910s in any way similar to the 1990s, for instance?

Boomers insist on everything else in the world revolving around their generation, I guess history is no exception. 

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 21:31 | 4601142 Billy Shears
Billy Shears's picture

Been saying this for years. No shit!

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 21:45 | 4601187 messymerry
messymerry's picture

sort of on topic, sort of off topic...

Do you guys really think the world is impressed when the Liar in Chief shows up in Europe with Air force 1, three cargo planes, and an entourage of 900 assorted hanger ons? How does the world see us?  Well,,,

We are in the biggest flipping government bubble in history.  I wrote this for a fellow board member at a local non-profit.  He is the dean of fine arts at the local liberal arts university.  He didn't take kindly to my words: 


What does a bubble look like?


Well for starters, the inside of a bubble is like a perfect one-way mirror. Those inside see themselves all smiling and happy in this wonderland Utopian world. Colors are supersaturated and the air is clean and fresh. A soft wind blows and the birds are singing. The grass is soft and the loving embrace of their fantasy is complete...


Those outside looking in are aghast, it's like an opium den, filth and garbage everywhere while incoherent smokers dream away their existence.


Are colleges in a bubble? What do you think? Let's use your boss as an example. Jesse James, er. I mean Jesse who will remain unnamed lives in a mansion worthy of a billionaire. Spacious grounds and perks out the wazoo. A generous salary, and I'm guessing a car allowance. Smug and self-satisfied, he pads around the endless hallways reveling in his idyllic lifestyle thoroughly convinced that he is worthy and has earned the right to such luxury. In the bubble, he sees himself as lord of all he surveys.


Outside the bubble, people are looking in and shaking their heads in disbelief. How can this pompous ass deny the waste and harm of his pointless excesses. On the backs of students and taxpayers, he lives like a pasha, and lays waste to enormous resources that could be used to improve the lot of countless people. At what cost is maintaining him in this extravagant lifestyle that he has come to expect? He denies hubris. He denies excess. He denies harms. This is what people outside the bubble see.


NOTE: ...and education is only one of too many bubbles to count. The pot my potential friend is boiling.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 22:24 | 4601306 rsnoble
rsnoble's picture

"America only has a short time to deal with this problem.  We need to stop spending money we don’t have and we need to grow the economy.  The government needs to get out the way.  If you are in a hole and want to get out the first thing you need to do is stop digging."


Plan accordingly.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 23:17 | 4601452 Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

Rome held Britain for nearly 400 years. What forced them out was collapse at home, not any defeat on the borders of Roman Britain. Several times they nearly took all of Scotland but were forced to withdraw troops back nearer Rome's other restive provences. The USA now trys to hold military sway in 1/2 of the entire planet. While Russia need only defend it's own land. That makes a US attack a suicide ride. Russia is not really powerful, but on home soil they have the defensive weapons they need to force the USA into a blood bath. You think the modern USA army is up for 250,000 casualties in a matter of months. I think not.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 07:29 | 4601867 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture


This serf does not want to fight any Russkies, as I have Russky friends. But they tell me they do not want to fight us either.

We all agree there are Too Many Oligarchs on the loose.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 23:47 | 4601508 ableman28
ableman28's picture

Actually, the premise is backwards.  It is the desire and need to maintain military supremecy, at all costs, and as the favored alternative to cooperation or diplomacy, that creates weak economies.


Fri, 03/28/2014 - 03:51 | 4601729 kanoli
kanoli's picture

No, it is THIS generation that will suffer.  The grim reaper is at the door.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 04:57 | 4601757 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

article full of contradictions. spending money wisely seems to be the tenor, yet

"It is not just that Obama is a weak leader and naive in foreign affairs, although that is certainly true."

proof for that besides the usual "peanut gallery" wisdom?

"It is because American owes $17 trillion dollars, a good chunk of  it to our adversaries."

oh, adversaries. that's when a "competitor" is on the way to become the... "enemy"? 

"It is because we are cutting the meat from our defense budget in order to fund bread and circuses to keep the people happy."

oh boy. seriously? the author seems to think that America must be able to substain two prolonged major wars anytime, anywhere. no empire was ever able to do this in history. Uncle Sam had this "window of opportunity" between 1994 and 2014, making it for a generation the only hyperpower in history, completely overshadowing the previous global hegemony of the British Empire. now reality, like gravity, is pulling back

and you know why? because wars are hideously expensive

the US spends more than the next 11 "adversaries" together. I repeat, the US spends more than the next 11 contries together. ding, ding

take for once the world's reality in your view, not only your red team / blue team spending priorities bitching bordering solipsism

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 07:25 | 4601858 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

The writer also leaves out that the USG/Monied Power has instigated some of the problems itself, as in, Russia would not be flying those choppers if TPTB had stayed OUT of Ukraine to begin with.

Water under the bridge, but Truman and FDR GAVE AWAY too much at the end of WW2. Russia suffered moare than almost any country; Stalin needed assurance his western flank was safe.

I would have kept my armies in Europe until a proof could be made and a treaty done in such a way that Eastern Europe would have remained Neutral. Forcefully confronting Stalin's paranoia vs Russia's security were two different things. Making honest but strongly backed arguments may have forced the Soviets to dump Stalin or force concessions from him, as in the other Russians on the Politburo telling Stalin to chill out. That is the part that was Russia's responsibility. So, then we end up with a Cold War which was only better in that there was no general warfighting.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 08:22 | 4601967 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

yes, but Eastern Europe... Neutral? Before the demise of the USSR, they were anything but neutral, as you say. And to come back to later history after that... we tried. But Dubya's admin barged in and promised to all fast-track EU membership (something most Eastern European wanted and still want) for NATO membership (which is a different matter altogether). Not complaining too loudly about that, then after all the EU is something we see as having to admit eventurally any european applicant, yet this is what the US wanted, NATO all the way to the Russian borders, and "Fuck the EU" for trying to resist... until he started to make similar promises of EU membership to Turkey, that is

further, there is the little matter of all the Russian nationals & speakers "stranded" in the fringes of the old empire, as Crimea specifically and Ukraine in general show so well

as much as I don't like the way Putin is doing things, myself and many other europeans see Russia's national interests differently from our American Allies. and it starts with... people

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 07:11 | 4601843 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

I have just finished reading several books on Churchill.

In the process, I was able to see what the writer is describing here: it happened in GB. As you read of Winston's exploits, you see the loss of power in GB as their empire receded.

As I continue traveling around the world at my job, I can see the rise of economic power in the area from Central Asia to the Far East.

It seems to be one of the universal history-repeats-itself truths.

The only thing which could change the paradigm is: The Internet and free flow of information. Just like the Turks' FF plans were leaked, power can get back into the Hands of the Peoples. Snowden's work has blown the cover on saturation-spying.

It cannot happen unless we try to change some aspects of human nature, which is Possible.

Each of us must keep his own street-front clean, one person at a time. It's not much, but right now it's the best I can come up with. When I meet people overseas, I try to tell them that I, as a USA serf, only want International Free Markets and individual/ethnic self-determination (as in we do NOT need a 1-world govt which would be a clusterfuck).

I intend to be a bit naive and promote my ideas. Most other citizens of other countries seem to agree individually, but Governments and Monied Powers get in the way!

Carry on.


Fri, 03/28/2014 - 07:28 | 4601863 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

nice. though about "I...only want International Free Markets..."

how open have those markets to be? I, for example, don't want US GMO Food, particularly unlabeled, on our european supermarket shelves

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 07:54 | 4601904 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

I call bullshit, in fact, I'd argue that military conquest BANKRUPTS nations on many levels...

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 07:57 | 4601909 escargot
escargot's picture

"It is because we are cutting the meat from our defense budget in order to fund bread and circuses to keep the people happy."

Who is the moron who wrote this tripe?  Is the Hedge going downhill, or is this a joke? 

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:54 | 4603116 kurt
kurt's picture

THE problem is the barnacle like incrustation of the procurement process. During the Spanish American War contractors for tinned beef where happily shipping bits of hides with fat and hair and maggots in swollen cans.

That's par for the course.

Blow up the existing procurement system. Crimminalize failure to satisfy orders per contract, no corporate protections, executives go to jail. Review price structures. Impose protections to re-home industry in CONUS. Make it illegal to sit on patents that would actually break the oil monopoly, new energy/tech.


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