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Economic collapse causes war

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Economic collapse causes war

Mead 09

[Walter Russell Mead, Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow in U.S. Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, “Only Makes You Stronger,” 2009]

Bad economic times can breed wars. Europe was a pretty peaceful place in 1928, but the Depression poisoned German public opinion and helped bring Adolf Hitler to power. If the current crisis turns into a depression, what rough beasts might start slouching toward Moscow, Karachi, Beijing, or New Delhi to be born? The United States may not, yet, decline, but, if we can't get the world economy back on track, we may still have to fight.

Plan Solves- withdrawal now solves debt and economy

Paul and Frank 10

[ Rep. Barney Frank D-Massachusetts Chairman of the Financial Services Committee, Rep Ron Paul R-Texas, “Why we must reduce military spending” 7/6/10,]
By far the single most important of these is our current initiative to include substantial reductions in the projected level of American military spending as part of future deficit reduction efforts. For decades, the subject of military expenditures has been glaringly absent from public debate. Yet the Pentagon budget for 2010 is $693 billion -- more than all other discretionary spending programs combined. Even subtracting the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, military spending still amounts to over 42% of total spending. It is irrefutably clear to us that if we do not make substantial cuts in the projected levels of Pentagon spending, we will do substantial damage to our economy and dramatically reduce our quality of life. We are not talking about cutting the money needed to supply American troops in the field. Once we send our men and women into battle, even in cases where we may have opposed going to war, we have an obligation to make sure that our service members have everything they need. And we are not talking about cutting essential funds for combating terrorism; we must do everything possible to prevent any recurrence of the mass murder of Americans that took place on September 11, 2001. Immediately after World War II, with much of the world devastated and the Soviet Union becoming increasingly aggressive, America took on the responsibility of protecting virtually every country that asked for it. Sixty-five years later, we continue to play that role long after there is any justification for it, and currently American military spending makes up approximately 44% of all such expenditures worldwide. The nations of Western Europe now collectively have greater resources at their command than we do, yet they continue to depend overwhelmingly on American taxpayers to provide for their defense. According to a recent article in the New York Times, "Europeans have boasted about their social model, with its generous vacations and early retirements, its national health care systems and extensive welfare benefits, contrasting it with the comparative harshness of American capitalism. Europeans have benefited from low military spending, protected by NATO and the American nuclear umbrella." When our democratic allies are menaced by larger, hostile powers, there is a strong argument to be made for supporting them. But the notion that American taxpayers get some benefit from extending our military might worldwide is deeply flawed. And the idea that as a superpower it is our duty to maintain stability by intervening in civil disorders virtually anywhere in the world often generates anger directed at us and may in the end do more harm than good. We believe that the time has come for a much quicker withdrawal from Iraq than the President has proposed. We both voted against that war, but even for those who voted for it, there can be no justification for spending over $700 billion dollars of American taxpayers' money on direct military spending in Iraq since the war began, not including the massive, estimated long-term costs of the war. We have essentially taken on a referee role in a civil war, even mediating electoral disputes.

Also, withdrawal will create conditions necessary for short term growth

Francis 08

[Diane Francis, Media Fellow at the World Economic Forum, “Iraq pulls down U.S. economy” 2008,]

But the Iraq war is monstrously expensive and, unlike Vietnam, not stimulative economically speaking. That is because, like Wall Street, Washington has put the cost entirely on the tab. It is a war paid for on credit obtained from foreigners. This means tens of billions of dollars flow out of the currency and economy to outside creditors and will do so for decades if warmongering Republicans keep getting elected. The war, and its reckless execution, affects the world by hurting the economy, trade flows, fragile credit markets and currency values. The war, and America's foreign indebtedness, is contributing to soaring gold and other commodities' prices, the U.S. dollar's demise, scary credit markets, consumption drops, lower economic growth among trading partners who buy American goods, and, most likely, a guarantee that a Democrat will occupy the White House come the fall. Now, seven out of 10 blame the war for economic problems as do seven out of 10 who disapprove of the Bush administration. This restores my faith in Americans: The war was supposed to cost US$50-billion, which is what it is costing every three months. By the end of 2008, the tally is set to hit US$875-billion, including future military benefits and rebuilding costs. The Iraq War remains the 800-pound gorilla in America's election despite the fact that coverage of the war has been stifled in the past handful of years. The Pentagon has discouraged coverage of funerals or wounded vets. Lengthy wars -- to TV network execs -- are deadly. Like a series lasting 52 weeks, the characters become too familiar, the plotlines predictable and viewers reach for their channel changers. But the Fourth Estate's attention deficit disorder does not seem to have translated into a somnolent electorate south of the border. Washington is borrowing US$15-billion a month for Iraq and Afghanistan, a burn rate that will likely total US$3-trillion by 2017, according to the latest book by Joseph Stiglitz, a Columbia University professor and winner of the Nobel Prize in economics in 2001. He estimates that for one-sixth of the cost of the war the United States could fully fund social security for 50 years without benefits being lowered or contributions raised.

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