Trump signed the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on Friday before leaving for Mar-a-lago for the holidays to pocket more public money spent at the resort he owns.

Trump’s corrupt self-enrichment here is a cheap hustle compared to the $738 billion gift to the military/industrial complex. The bill, supported by both of the militaristic parties in Congress, appropriated more money than the Pentagon requested.

The “lesser evil” Democrats voted overwhelmingly for more Pentagon boondoggles and wars. In the House, Democrats voted in favor by 188-41 and in the Senate by 37-4.

While the House Democrats impeach Trump on TV, behind the scenes in the capitol cloakrooms they join with him in larding up the bloated Pentagon, renewing NAFTA as the USMCA, and adopting PAYGO austerity rules that require domestic spending cuts to pay for increased military spending. These bipartisan policies show why we need the Green Party to provide a progressive political alternative.

The policy provisions in the 2020 NDAA authorize Trump’s new Space Force and continue the open-ended 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force anywhere, U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, military use of PFAS chemicals, and border wall construction with military funds.

The bipartisan love affair with the Pentagon added 12 more F-35 fighter jets than Trump administration asked for. Not even Bernie Sanders objected to that. Sanders supports the Lockheed F-25s, the Pentagon’s most expensive weapons system that has suffered from years of cost overruns and performance failures, because many of the nuclear-capable jets will be stationed in his home state of Vermont at the Air National Guard Base at Burlington International Airport.

This Department of Defense budget is just part of a $1.25 trillion budget for the National Security State that includes money spent by other departments on nuclear weapons, intelligence agencies, foreign military aid, homeland security, and veterans affairs.

Trump signed the NDAA a week after he cut about 700,000 people off food stamps. While both parties in power always find money for war, the people’s needs for food, health care, education, living-wage jobs, incomes above poverty, affordable housing, and a real climate action program go unmet.

To start getting U.S. priorities in proper order, we must move to a far less costly, home-based, and non-offensive defense posture, including:

  • A 75% cut in U.S military spending.
  • A progressive and orderly withdrawal of the U.S. global military empire from 7 “official” wars (Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Niger), covert special operations in over 130 countries, and some 800 foreign military bases in 80 countries.
  • Nationalize the U.S. arms industry to take the profit motive and pro-war lobbying out of weapons production.
  • A U.S. pledge No First Use of nuclear weapons.
  • Unilateral U.S. nuclear disarmament to a Minimum Credible Deterrent.
  • Aggressive pursuit of negotiations among all the nuclear powers for complete and mutual nuclear disarmament, as the U.S. is obligated to do under the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
  • U.S. ratification of the pending Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.


Howie Hawkins 2020

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