Tuesday, July 21, 2009

F22 Raptor Purchase

Please support the amendment to the FY10 Defense Authorization bill to eliminate any and all funds for procurement of F-22 Raptor fighter jets and avoid a Presidential veto. The Senate voted this week to cut the funding and I am writing to urge the Defense Appropriations Committee to do the same.

The United States should be leading the world to a future free from warfare. Modern military conflicts in the world today appear much as we might imagine evidence that industrialized weapons sector had been allowed to circumvent democratic control by exercising its economic power: obtaining favorable legal status and the ability to influence policies directly affecting that sector's welfare, control and profits.

It seems reasonable that profitable, violence-related globalized industries will drive increasing authoritarian domination rather than better defense of individual liberty and democracy, a dynamic we observe in many countries. Significant high-level allocation of resources to the military yields easily measured profits, the usual metric equated with societal "benefits". Unfortunately, the costs are less easily perceived. Support of violence-related industries generally reduces the overall wealth of the state unless used efficiently to extract wealth from outside the state. This allocation adds various immediate risks and problems but most important are the especially high deferred costs it entails.

Dispensing with ethical arguments against killing and waging war, a highly profitable arms industry remains a steady danger to any society because of its survival need for violent conflict – perceived or real – which justifies sustained and growing profits for the industry's members.

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