I have a disagreement with the assessment of sequestration provided by Rob Smith in his November 8 letter.
Like Mr. Smith, I am not satisfied with what sequestration proposes. However, it is not because sequestration would cut too much spending on militarism, but rather because it would not cut enough spending on militarism.
The proper perspective is important.
Bear in mind that we must never manufacture weapons of war in order to redistribute trillions in taxpayer wealth to militarism contractor corporations or even to create jobs as an end in itself, as suggested by the content of Mr. Smith's letter.
The only valid rationale for the manufacture of weapons of war is to defend the United States from imminent outside invasion the true meaning of the word "defense." Everything else is militarism, pursuit and maintenance of empire, maintenance of Western access to oil resources, and other sundry NeoConservative pursuits.
As he left office, war hero and 34th President Dwight Eisenhower warned us of the coming "disastrous rise of misplaced power" under the military-industrial complex. Ike once became so disgusted with magazine advertisements for new weapons systems that he threw the magazines into the Oval Office fireplace.
Even the "cuts" called for under sequestration would merely keep militarism spending at 2006 levels. They aren't draconian cuts at all, they are miniscule reductions in increased spending.
So in addition to sequestration I suggest the following spending cuts in order to begin to make a dent in our $16 trillion debt:
1. Bring home all American personnel from Iraq immediately with no residual forces; vacate and turn over the billion-dollar Baghdad "embassy"/imperial outpost to the Iraqis.
2. Bring home all troops from Afghanistan before the end of 2012 with no residual forces.
3. Bring home all CIA employees from Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and elsewhere in the region before the end of 2012. This would include undercover agents, "agricultural advisors," and everyone else under the purview of the CIA.
4. Eliminate immediately and permanently President Obama's drone strikes on innocent civilians throughout the Middle East; eliminate immediately and permanently all contracts with drone manufacturing corporations for both foreign and domestic use.
5. Close as many foreign U.S. bases as possible, such as in Korea, Japan, Germany, and elsewhere.
6. Defund and disband the CIA.
7. Defund and disband the NSA.
8. Defund and disband the DoHS.
9. Defund and disband the TSA.
Sequestration coupled with the above-listed steps would be a good start on the path toward fiscal sanity.
Newkirk L. Johnson