Will The United States Never Again Have A Peacetime President?

Have Bush and Obama ushered in the age of vague, unpublicized, poorly-defined war that never ends? Via Foreign Policy, Micah Zenko writes:

Since September 11, 2001, the president has been able to threaten or use military force to achieve a range of foreign policy objectives with few checks and balances or sustained media coverage — to an extent unprecedented in U.S. history. It is unlikely that the United States will ever have a peacetime president again.

The primary reason for this stems from how policymakers in Washington perceive the world — a perception that bridges partisan divisions. According to most officials, the international security environment is best characterized by limitless, complex, and imminent threats facing the United States. Those threats require the military to be perpetually on a wartime footing and the president to frequently authorize the use of lethal force. As a Pentagon strategy document first noted in 2010, the United States has entered “a period of persistent conflict.”

In response to this world of grave uncertainty and looming threats, the United States has invested heavily in offensive military capabilities [including drones, special operations forces, and cyberattacks] that the president leverages with speed, secrecy, and minimal oversight.

Supporting the increased use of drones, special operations, cyberattacks, and other covert military programs has been the tremendous growth in the size and cost of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC). In 2012, the IC [spent] $75.4 billion for all of its national and military intelligence programs, the scope of which is astonishing. As reported in 2010: “1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States.” This sprawling U.S. intelligence apparatus is estimated to require 210,000 governmental employees and 30,000 private contractors.

15 Comments on "Will The United States Never Again Have A Peacetime President?"

  1. Hadrian999 | Feb 24, 2013 at 3:55 pm |

    has the U.S. ever really had a peace time?

    • Anarchy Pony | Feb 24, 2013 at 5:32 pm |

      Ummm… oh wait! Ehhhh, I know I can think of one! Ummmmmm, No, I guess your right.

      • We weren’t at war with anyone during the Hoover years were we. I think we were too busy starving then.

        • Hadrian999 | Feb 24, 2013 at 8:25 pm |

          we were re militarizing with the CCC to sneak it past the isolationists

          • Yes, but we weren’t at war. We were provoking one, but back then you still needed congress to Declare War, or to get attacked suddenly. Those were the days…

          • Hadrian999 | Feb 24, 2013 at 11:05 pm |

            not really, congress didn’t declare the banana wars

          • emperorreagan | Feb 25, 2013 at 12:06 pm |

            US was still occupying Haiti, Panama, and various other supposedly sovereign nations. They were intermittently landing troops in Nicaragua as necessary to protect corporate interests.

            What any particular action is called changes to suit the times. It suits presidents these days to call things wars and claim extraordinary war time powers. It’s all really the same, though – police actions, occupations, “protecting American interests,” wars, whatever banner you prefer to fly – the use of military force. The country was founded in war, proceeded to continue military action against Native Americans, and expanded from there.

    • Only between the World Wars when everyone went isolationist, except for big business which was goose stepping into fascism.

  2. LucidDreamR | Feb 24, 2013 at 4:22 pm |

    Team America! Fuck yeah!

  3. InfvoCuernos | Feb 24, 2013 at 5:07 pm |

    The US used to just say that it was looking after its “interests”, by which it meant it was making sure that the rich could take advantage of other countries. Look into Smedley Butler if you want to see how it used to be played. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smedley_Butler

    • Oh good, finally someone else who knows about the business plot. I like to watch people’s jaws drop when I tell them about it, but really it’s something that everyone should know about.

      • Very few people in this country believe it was tipping toward fascism. It’s like Sinclair Lewis said “it Can’t Happen Here.”

  4. BuzzCoastin | Feb 24, 2013 at 7:59 pm |

    > Will The United States Never Again Have A Peacetime President?

    Did Der Homeland ever have a peacetime puppet president?
    I can’t think of one
    especially since Der Homeland has been engaged in military conflict every year of its existence.

    War has always been the economic life blood of Der Homeland
    only it’s sheeple think it’s a peaceful land of the free.

  5. Looming threats and constant paranoia keep us in the Permanent War Economy that the ruling. 01% love.

  6. Looming threats and constant paranoia keep us in the Permanent War Economy that the ruling. 01% love.

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