President Bush launched the invasion of Iraq last year after Congress caved-in and gave him the unlimited right to do so.
This followed on the heels of the earlier invasion of Afghanistan, and in the wake of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.
Very little planning was done for the post-invasion phase of the war in Iraq, with all efforts being placed instead into the
political campaign to launch the war. The "weapons of mass destruction" claim provided the political cover for the
invasion and now indefinite occupation of Iraq.
Prior to the September 11 attacks our nation already spent more on our military machinery than all other countries combined.
Any reasonable hopes that the collapse of the Soviet Union would have resulted in reduced military spending a so-called
"peace dividend" are now dashed completely.
Since the 2001 terror attacks, military spending has skyrocketed, with no end in sight. Military spending now
exceeds a staggering $500 billion per year, with an additional $100 million of annual interest on the federal debt attributed to
past military spending.
President Bush was forced during 2003 to approach Congress to obtain $87 billion in extra funds for the Iraq
quagmire, and he warned that he would likely return for more as costs escalated. The combined effects of the recession, tax cuts
for the rich, and skyrocketing military spending have now created a record-breaking federal budget deficit of more than $500
billion for this year alone! Experts have warned that unless reined-in, these deficits will likely have dire consequences for
the nation in the immediate future.
The ongoing "Homeland Security" hysteria has also unleashed a tidal wave of companies all seeking to
market expensive military gear and services to the federal government, with Congress reluctant to refuse for fear of being
labeled "soft on terrorism." U.S. troops are now marooned in Iraq under harsh and dangerous conditions, with many
suffering severe financial hardship as a result of the extended assignment.
Our union has taken a sober and critical view of our national military spending for many decades. We have
denounced the illegitimate invasion and hazardous occupation of Iraq, and we have warned all along that big business and
opportunistic politicians would profit handsomely from the conflict at the expense of the troops and taxpayers.
For a fuller explanation of our unions thinking on Iraq and its consequences, please take the time to read
the statement of the UE General Executive Board entitled "Change U.S. Policy, Bring Troops Home" (UE News update).
- The decision of President Bush to invade Iraq with virtually no international support has compelled our country to
shoulder most of the burden of the occupation and its expense.
- Some experts predict that the Iraq occupation may last as long as a decade and cost upwards of a trillion dollars.
- Given current trends, the federal budget will consist strictly of spending for defense, interest on the national debt, and
Social Security and Medicare in as few as 15 years.
-> Political Action -> Issues Briefing